Wednesday, 22 December 2010

John MacArthur: Jesus Supports War (Defensive Jihad)

Christian apologists seem to bend over backwards to present Jesus (pbuh) as a complete pacifist. Why would it be so terrible to even view Jesus (pbuh) as a Prophet who allowed defensive Jihad? There is no reason. Liberal Christian apologists are pandering to the secular humanists in the West.

Jesus and war/self defence

Do all Christians believe Luke 35-36 is a parable and cannot be used for instruction in a self defensive war? No. A prominent Christian theologian who has studied at Biola University, John Macarthur seems to see no insult in portraying Jesus as a supporter of defensive Jihad – in the context of war.

An insightful video by 1MoreMuslim shows the two Christian extremes – the liberal Christian apologist (David Wood) who presents Jesus as a staunch pacifist whilst the well known scholar John MacArthur sees no harm in using the Gospels to justify war in certain instances. Who is right?

John MacArthur's views on Jesus Supporting War, Jihad and Luke 22:35-39

Jesus (according to John Macarthur) preached defensive Jihad

John MacArthur claims Jesus in Luke 14:31 ELEVATES war:

"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

John Macarthur advances the idea Jesus in Luke 22:36 endorsed a just war and self defence:

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. [see comment sction for the full passage]

The Bible can be interpreted in many ways – even in violent ways

This just goes to show the Bible can be interpreted in many ways. During the inquisition and crusades Christians were imprisoning, torturing, butchering, murdering, raping and pillaging under Christian leadership. The crusades and inquisitions were religiously sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Now, are you telling me NO Christian was using the Bible to justify BLOODSHED?

Muslim terrorism Vs Christian terrorism

Which interpretation?
 Christian extremists like portraying Islam as a faith which sanctions terrorism while the SCHOLARS teach the terrorists are distorting and misusing Islamic texts. Muslim scholarly condemnation is consistent and is certainly more authoritative than the ramblings of the Christian right wing.

However, the Christian right are war mongers and will certainly use their Bibles to justify American aggression in the Middle East and elsewhere. Think about it, would “Christian” America REALLY be bombing Iraqi and Afghan kids if no American Christian supported them? Christians need to admit there are extremists within Christianity who have access to far more potent and destructive tools than the rag tag folk which comprise Al Qaida.

Christian terrorism is more dangerous

We should also admit “Christian” terrorism has claimed more lives and heaped more misery upon the innocent than “Muslim” terrorism. Whilst we are telling a few home truths we can state Muslims have denounced “Muslim” terrorism whilst Christians have not really denounced “Christian” terrorism nearly as much – in fact their terrorism is under the guise of “war”.

Point of interest - Jesus and Muhammad similarities [pbut]

Jesus is very much like the Prophet Muhammad. During the Meccan phase, Muhammad was in a powerless position which resembles the situation Jesus found himslef in during his whole lifetime. Of course, Jesus was a minority so certainly could not have taken on the Roman subjugators via war. Perhaps this is the reason behind Jesus not partaking in war.

Prophet Muhammad, during the Medinan phase, found himself in a position to fight back and oppose the transgressors physically - which he did. Jesus will have a similar phase upon his second coming - he will have power to oppose disbelievers. He will kill disbelievers and will kill the Antichrist. [see Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Fitan Ashrat as Sa'ah 8.196-199]

We should respect these two great Prophets and love them - peace be upon them

An invitation to the Truth

Would you like a relationship with God? Would you like closeness with God? If yes please look into Islam:



Yahya Snow said...

Passage from Luke 22:

31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift youa as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

34Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

35Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

36He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’b; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That is enough,” he replied.


John MacArthur's bio details (from wikipedia):

The son of Jack MacArthur (an accomplished preacher in his own right),[7] and fifth cousin of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur,[8] John MacArthur attended Bob Jones University before transferring to Los Angeles Pacific College (now Azusa Pacific University). He later obtained his Masters of Divinity from Biola University's Talbot Theological Seminary, in La Mirada, California. He graduated with honors. From 1964 to 1966, he served as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church, in Burbank, California and, from 1966 to 1969, as a faculty representative for Talbot Theological Seminary. Then, in 1969, he became the third pastor in the then-short history of the nondenominational Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, California.[9]
His daily radio program, Grace to You, which is now broadcast throughout much of the world, began as an audio recording ministry to provide cassettes of his sermons to church members who were unable to attend. They were first broadcasted in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1977.[10]
In 1985, MacArthur became the president of The Master's College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College), an accredited, four-year, liberal arts Christian college;[11] and, in 1986, he founded The Master's Seminary.
MacArthur also received an honorary doctorate from Talbot Theological Seminary[12] and an honorary doctorate from Grace Graduate School.

minoria said...

Obviously MacArthur is wrong because later on Peter used the sword cutting a man's ear and Jesus rebuked him for it.And healed the man.

But regarding his idea of defensive war he refers to war as a last alternative.I early realized there were cases when force was necessary,if somebody was beating a baby and won't stop you have to use force to stop him.Or somebody who is raping a woman,or stabbing somebody.

"Do to others as you would have others do to you."In RWANDA nothing was done,800,000 dead in 100 days.War,force was necessary,but only as a LAST RESORT.
MacArthur I believe refers to striking out Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent it being used to kill civilians,it is defensive war,no doubt.

Yahya Snow said...


You say:
MacArthur I believe refers to striking out Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent it being used to kill civilians,it is defensive war,no doubt.

From the clip it is not evident MacArthur is speaking about Iran's nuclear facilities. however, surely striking those facilities will impact on Iranian life..

Moreover, you (Macarthur) want to preemptively strike Iran because you (MacArthur) think they will use it to kill innocnets. How do you kn? You don't. Simulataneously you said violence should only be used as a last resort.

Would you have liked it if Britain had struck France whilst it was developing nuclear arsenal? After all us Brits could have seen potential threat - similar to that seen by MacArthur and other Christians in America vis-a-vis Iran

Or perhaps another Christian country will strike at American nuclear weapons - they have, after all used them TWICE whilst nobody else has.


Also, you speak so confidently in declaring MacArthur's interpretation to be incorrect despite he being a Christian theologian. The Bible does have multiple levels of meaning as Origen taugh.

I personally see no reason to think less of Jesus if he instructed a just war. Nothing wrong with a just war.

BTW minoria, I completely agree on the Rawanda issue. People stood by and watched. What a tragedy

Haecceitas said...

Two issues here. MacArthur's exegesis of those verses in Luke 22 is very questionable given the context of the passage. Any appeal to different layers of meanings as a way to substantiate an allegorically based interpretation that would support war would at least put a strong burden of proof for the person who makes such an appeal. (And I don't think that MacArthur is big on such allegorical interpretation anyway).

As for Jesus being a staunch pacifist, you have to be more specific. One can plausibly argue that Jesus adopted (and commanded his followers to adopt) a policy of non-violence, but it wouldn't follow from this (and neither does Wood claim that it follows) that there can be no legitimate defensive wars or even that a Christian cannot partake in such. Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, but prior to the return of Jesus, a Christian is a member of two kingdoms.

Anonymous said...


"Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, but prior to the return of Jesus, a Christian is a member of two kingdoms."

It's unfortunate, for the majority of the world right now, that you Christians have no idea as to what being a member of this 'kingdom' entails. You cannot found a culture or civilisation upon the new testament, not if you want it to be a just, orderly or sacred one.

The prophet Muhammad (saws) came with an all encompassing system, where no aspect of living was left untouched by divine concern. Because of this the Muslim understands his or her duty towards God in all aspects of living.

There is no false dichotomy for the Muslim, like there is for the Christian, between the 'worldly' or the 'spiritual'. Islam is a God centred Deen. God is soveriegn over all aspects of the believers life. It is the primordial tradition of mankind and a corrective to the mistakes of the Christian tradition.

The Muslim has the ability to tap into the exhaustive knowledge of Sharia regarding all aspects of living from marriage and family issues to education, trade, economics, warfare etc. Nothing was left untouched by God's final messenger to mankind (saws).

That is why Christians were forced to incorporate the philosphical traditions and laws of pagan Rome into their traditon which had absolutely no divine warrant. It is no real surprise that America right now looks and behaves more like a resurrected Roman Empire as opposed to a 'Kingdom of God'.

By their fruits you shall know them...

minoria said...

I still think Macarthur is wrong in his analysis of the passage.Violence is the last alternative.Tolstoi read the Sermon on the Mount,he wrote "The Kingdom of God is within You"(a saying of Jesus)where he puts Jesus' ideas into PRACTICAL APPLICATION.

Tolstoi advocated that for changing injustice,in general it works.Gandhi read Tolstoi and used it to free India,Martin Luther King used it,Desmond Tutu against apartheid,the refuseniks of Russia,the Solidarity movement in Poland,Cesar Chavez(for the rights of Mexican-Americans).


David said the sword was to fulfill a prophecy,Jesus in MARK 14:27/MATT 26:31 quotes ZACHAR 13:7(the shepherd will be struck and the flock scattered).
Zech 13:7:
"Sword, awake against My shepherd, And against the man who is My fellow/my companion, An affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts. Smite the shepherd, and scattered is the flock, And I have put back My hand on the little ones."

The Hebrew word translated as my fellow/companion is also used in LEV 18:20 to mean "my neighbor".It is specific in that it implies an equality:economic,or social or other sense.So God is talking of a man who is in some way his equal(power or goodness or wisdom,etc).