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modern interpretation of the OT as conveying permission by God to war


Subject: modern interpretation of the OT as conveying permission by God to war

America at War :
An interview with Lt. Col. Tom Pardue Sr. (USA Ret.)

   Tom Pardue: The nature of the cultural institutions God has   
   ordained is jurisdictional. Families, civil governments,         
   churches, etc., govern within defined boundaries. None are              
   permitted intervention in the jurisdictional sphere of the other,       
   that is, civil government does not discipline church members for
   infractions of church rules, churches do not bear the sword
   against infractions of civil law and the covenant heads of      
   families do not administer the sacraments, etc. We find no              
   sanction in either Old or New Testaments for civil magistrates to
   cross into international jurisdictions to administer justice. We 
   see an example of a civil magistrate entering an international
   jurisdiction in the case of Abram rescuing Lot, c.f. Gen.
   14:14ff; the Israelites rescuing the Gibeonites with whom they
   had a covenantal relationship, c.f. Josh. 9:3ff, 10:6ff. We see
   Israel crossing tribal borders to bring criminals to justice, 
   c.f. Judges 20:7ff. It is proper to logically deduce from the    
   example of Scripture that international offensive military
   operations are appropriate only in a very narrow sense, to rescue
   filial and covenantal relations and to affect justice for       
   citizens entrusted to the care of a civil magistrate. To make a
   contemporary application, it is proper for the US to conduct
   offensive military operations across international borders to   
   rescue hostages and bring alleged criminals to justice. Offensive
   action against the jurisdiction protecting the alleged criminals 
   is just as in the example of Israel above. 

   It is important to note that Israelite offensive military action
   against the nations in Canaan is not normative. God's command to
   the Israelites to exterminate these nations was a judicial death
   sentence restricted to a specific time for specific offenses. God
   commanded the Israelites to conduct offensive military operations
   to punish the Canaanite nations, c.f. Gen. 15:16ff; Lev. 18:24ff.


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