We begin our discussion by asking some fair questions. First, “May a Christian fight to protect his own person?” Is there an inherent right for a child of God to defend himself personally from bodily harm? We answer in the affirmative.
Second, “May a Christian fight to protect his wife and children?” What about a man who does not properly care for his own and especially those of his own household (I Tim. 5:8)? Again, we would surely agree that a man may engage in physical combat to protect his wife and family.
Third, “May a Christian fight for his community?” If a local community of fifty homes is being attacked by an enemy, is it wrong for the Christian men of that community to come to the aid of their community? This writer doubts that any would object to this.
In each of the above cases we are assuming that the cause of fighting, whether individually or collectively, is a just cause. The Christian is not one who can take personal vengeance as the motive for fighting – whether in regard to his own person, the persons of his family or his community! Vengeance does have its place in the overall scheme of things. Vengeance belongs to God (Rom. 12:19). There is a difference between personal and individual vengeance and an effort by the individual to protect himself from an enemy. It should be noted that the governments of nations are for the purpose of exacting God’s vengeance on evildoers. A study of Romans 13 well establishes this fact.