ABOUT WAR AND PEACE

In the world, universal peace was very rare, wars have raged in all centuries, seizing innumerable human lives, condemning many people to misery, grief, and distress. Why is there a war in the world created by God?

God created the universe, our world, and man and saw that everything is good (Genesis 1:31). But evil came upon the world and tempted the man, attracting to his wicked intentions, and the creation fell down (Genesis 2:17, 3.1-19). The inclination of sin was established in man and spread over human generations. Conflicts and murders were committed under the influence of evil and sin and by free choice. Cain murdered his brother Abel (Genesis 4: 8).

The fact that humanity is a descendant of one ancestor and then the continuation of the human race from the righteous Noah’s descendants after the Flood (Genesis 9:19) confirms the idea of brotherhood between people and nations. In this sense, wars and the opponents’ killing each other is a fratricide. But who committed murder during the war to protect the homeland, the people, the sacred values, is not considered as a murderer because his goal is not the murder but the defense. The action is defined by the intention.

War is a catastrophe and evil. It is a consequence of evil incited by the evil about which the Savior says: “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). With His death on the cross and the glorious Resurrection, Christ defeated the evil, gave to the humanity the grace to win the sin. But those who act against God’s will, in this world are under the influence of Satan. The evil is ruling over them. That is why John the Evangelist calls Satan a prince of this world (John 12:31, 16:11) and says in his epistle: “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (John 5:19).

Christ stresses this fact with the parable of the weeds and its interpretation: “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one;] The enemy that sowed them is the devil” (13:37-39).

If the cause of sin and especially wars is also the free will, with which one chooses to be a partner of evil, then why God does not hinder free will and permits the emergence of wars and misfortunes brought by them?

Man’s imitation of God is also done with the free will. In the beginning, the man was created according to God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). A human being perceives good by free will. The compulsion or unconscious condition is not able to appreciate the granted rewards and beneficence. The man deserves eternal life by the free choice.

So, the elimination of the free will would mean to make meaningless God-given good, turning the man into a programmed machine without the will. God does not impede the will of the evil doers because through the repentance they can become saints, as we have such examples in the Scriptures.

God does not want evil and wars. But He lets them happen because even from such events He extracts the good. By the martyrdom for faith men are sanctified, by the sufferings and tortures during times of distress they are purified from sins, and the glory and crown are increasing in eternity.

Wars are also an admonition for some nations. This opinion is expressed by Saint Basil of Caesarea: “God sends punishment by wars to those who deserve it”. Basil of Caesarea gives the examples from the Scriptures and history, such as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:23-25) and the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of the Jewish temple after the crucifixion of Christ.

The Bible’s exhortation is to use the free will correctly and not to cause evils. Christ says: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18), “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries…” (Matthew 15:19), “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

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