Theory of the Just War (No. 110)
(Edition 1.0 19950429-19991009)
This paper is an historical and philosophical analysis of Just War Theory that demonstrates the development of the process with Augustine of Hippo and through the orthodox or catholic system from the fifth century. The meaning of the papal bull Unam Sanctam is explained and the implications that holds for war and Just War Theory as well as for the concept of the church as an exclusive organised body, membership of which is essential to salvation. The history of the doctrine up until modern times is of great importance to Christians who adopt any position on military service or warfare.
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(Copyright ã 1995, 1999 Wade Cox)
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Theory of the Just War
Up until the reformation, the Roman Catholic Church had justified its exercise of civil and ecclesiastical power by a series of subtle and erroneous philosophical contrivances. These subtleties sought to explain the use of force and the interference of Church in state power despite the biblical sanctions of the New Testament. The argument became known as Just War Theory and, after the Reformation, could not be accepted in total as some of the argument derived from the patristic literature. For the reformers, biblical authority alone was the standard and, hence, the concept of Just War Theory had to be secularised in order to expand its terms of reference. To understand its origins and, hence, deal with its premises the historical development must be understood.
From the close of the first century, Christian doctrine had been under attack from various quarters, some passing as Christian, some later being attributed as Christian such as the Gnostics. The Christian sect was pacifist and continued so almost in total until the beginning of the 4th century when a forced fusion of Western Christian and Elagabalistic churches occurred under Constantine. In order to adjust to the seduction of empirical recognition, two factions emerged which claimed to be Christian but which had long since been tainted with apostasy. The factions came to be known as the Athanasian faction after Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (296-373 CE) and the Arian faction after Arius, Presbyter of Alexandria (250-336), both of whom were deposed by packed synods, for Arius at Alexandria in 321 and for Athanasius at Tyre in 335. The history of the conflict is too detailed to go into here but it was instrumental in the production of many theories and doctrines and a by-product of one was Just War Theory.
The Church was faced with the dilemma of being an official state religion and continuing the exercise of civil and military power contrary to the instruction of Christ’s doctrine. Doctrine had to be promulgated. The first comprehensive biblical analysis we have of the use of military force occurred in the writings of Augustine, a North African thinker, who was baptised a Christian and was educated in Punic, a variant of Hebrew as well as Latin. From 373-383, he was a Manichean and Platonist philosopher. He was rebaptised in 387 an Athanasian. Ambrose of Milan with Theodosius had gained control of the Roman Church for the Athanasian faction in 381 and ordered the Council of Constantinople. Ambrose’s involvement with Augustine was instrumental in the latter's adoption of that creed, which at the time was no doubt seen as a prudent course. Theodosius suppressed paganism after defeating Eugenius in September 394.
The so-called Athanasian/Arian disputes led to bitter persecution by the Athanasians or Trinitarian faction. The Goths and Vandals were Unitarians (the Gothic Bible dates from 351). They were later termed Arians by the Trinitarian faction to disguise the real nature of the dispute. The disputes were to continue to arise even later when the Empress Placidia sent the Goths, aided by Vandals, to oppose the revolt of Count Boniface in Africa in 427. They were accompanied by Maximinius, a Unitarian Bishop. Augustine had to publicly defend the Athanasian or Trinitarian sect in 428.
By and large the formulation of Just War Theory stems from the writings of Augustine of Hippo.
It is a rationalisation of the endorsement of Christianity of its adoption as the syncretic state religion. Christianity’s adoption as the state religion meant consequential involvement in the military and civil infrastructure. Subsequently Augustine’s faction persecuted other sects. Just War Theory attempts to justify those activities.
Augustine's position was adopted by one of the ecclesiastics educated in his schools and who became a disciple of his thought. This most powerful cleric became Gregory 1 (or the Great). He successfully fused civil and ecclesiastical power together. In 590 he commenced a union of church and state. The union was to form a series of empiric groups, which achieved relative continuity until 1850 - lasting some 1,260 years. 1,260 years is three and a half prophetic times. The significance of this time scale should not be lost on Bible students.
The doctrines established by Augustine and Gregory were substantially unchanged until events of the thirteenth century were to precipitate a further spate of theorising. Firstly, by Gregory IX in 1232 in his conflict with the Greeks. In 1236, Gregory IX with Frederick II asserted that Constantine the Great had given temporal power to the popes and that emperors and kings were only his auxiliaries, bound to use the material sword at his direction. From 1265-1272 Aquinas developed this theme in the Summa Theologica (at II II, 40. c.~271) and together with writings of Bernard of Clairvaux and Hugo of St Victor et. al. inspired the writing of the Bull Unam Sanctam issued by Boniface VIII on 18 November 1302. This became the definitive word on the dual power argument and the legitimate use of force.
The modern doctrine of Just War Theory is dependent upon the status quo and the existence of the state as is. It further rests upon the assumption that the crime of aggression is the measure of justification of Just War. Following from this there are divisions of Jus ad Bellum dealing with the determination of a Just War and Jus in Bello regulating conduct of the participants.
To see how these distinctions are made, and from whence they derive, we must look at some premises of Augustine and later of Aquinas. We will examine their accuracy and then look at Unam Sanctam. From this Modern Just War Theory will be examined.
From Augustine’s political writings we see the following premises. At C a, he reflects his earlier Platonist days when he quotes Cicero: that a state should be so constituted as to be eternal. Thus death is not natural to a republic as to a man; and, no war is to be undertaken save for safety or for honour.
From reference to the Saguntine’s choice of destruction of the state rather than breaking faith Augustine points out that Cicero did not say which was preferred, safety or faith (the Saguntines chose to keep faith with their allies because of their word even though they knew that it meant extermination). Hence, the dilemma of safety, and by extension winning, is implied to be in conflict with morality here as faith. He concludes with
But the safety of the city of God is such that it can be retained, or rather acquired by faith and with faith, but if faith be abandoned no one can attain it.
At C b he says
Yet the natural order which seeks the peace of mankind, ordains that a monarch should have the power of undertaking war if he thinks it advisable and that soldiers should perform their military duties in behalf of the peace and safety of the community.
He poses the most extraordinary question.
What is the evil in war? Is it the death of some who will soon die in any case that others may live in peaceful subjection? This is mere cowardly dislike not religious feeling.
There are two major areas of objection to this premise.
The first is that it is directly contrary to the commandments and it attempts to insinuate that a temporal ruler can order one to commit an act against biblical law.
The second is that if the argument is admitted that the death of some is acceptable, so that others may live in peaceful subjection, we admit a series of doctrines; euthanasia on economic grounds and execution on doctrinal grounds or even on ethnicity
Augustine attempts to list the real evils of war as love of violence, revengeful cruelty, fierce and implacable enmity, wild resistance, and the lust for power, etc.
These would appear to be objections of Jus in Bello (Justice in War) and therefore relate to restrictions on participants. He makes the premise based on Romans 13:1 that there is no power but God who either orders or permits, so that a righteous man may be under an ungodly king but he may fight on two grounds. That:
it is plainly the will of God, or
it may be an unrighteous command on the part of the king but the soldier is absolved because his position makes obedience a duty.
Further he stated How much more must the man be blameless who carries on war on the authority of God? The limitations of this position were evident at Nuremburg.
Augustine is biblically unsound on a series of points. Firstly, his biblical examples in support of the above are misused. Luke 3:14 relates to the baptism of John the Baptist before the introduction by Christ of the New Covenant. In all cases those baptised by John for repentance were always rebaptised and did not, until their laying on of hands, have the power of the Spirit. The wars permitted under the Old Covenant were, in the first place, to ensure the unhindered occupation of Canaan by Israel for two reasons. Firstly, to replace a nation which had forfeited its right by disobedience and secondly, to safely establish the biblical narrative and the plan of salvation.
Matthew 22:21 refers to the tribute money and rendering unto Caesar all that is Caesar’s. Augustine attempts to infer that because the tribute money was used to pay soldier’s wages then Christ was indirectly condoning war.
Matthew 8:9-10 refers to the centurion who asked Christ to heal his servant. Because he was commended for his faith and he was not rebuked or told to change his profession but rather the opportunity was taken to explain that there would be those chosen not of Israel, this example is misused. There is no record of this man being baptised unless he was Cornelius at Acts 10.
The argument at Romans 13:1-6 requires submission to authority and the payment of taxes as a requirement of the faithful. The fact that those of this world bear the sword and are raised by God does not mean the called or elect are to do the same.
Christ's response to Pilate at John 18:36 was My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. At verse 11 he had commanded Peter to put his sword away. From Pentecost it is not recorded biblically or in the early Church records that any Apostle or elder ever bore arms or condoned it.
Augustine's argument stems from two points. Firstly, he was an Athanasian apostate who did not understand the plan of salvation and, secondly, the Athanasian faction (now called Orthodox or Catholic) were attempting to rationalise their faith with their new found power; and doctrine was adjusted accordingly.
Gregory was to adapt Augustine's rationalisation to reconstitute a temporal and ecclesiastical empire under the supreme authority of the Pope.
Gregory IX reiterated this position which led to the doctrine of the status quo in that all states existed by the authority of Rome. When this authority was withdrawn, it was seen that internal disorder generally eventuated, as all states were released from oaths of allegiance.
The argument of Just War Theory status quo is largely derived from this premise of Pontifical Authority. Augustine’s, and Gregory's, justification of war worked well while there was a common enemy or external threat to the empire (preferably heathen). By 1000 AD the empire was expanding well in the establishing of Catholic hierarchies with the archbishoprics of Gniezno in Poland in 1000 and Gran in Hungary in 1001, and in 1018 the Byzantines occupied Bulgaria.
By 1031 Muslim Spain fragmented with the dethroning of the last Caliph of Cordoba and in 1050 they were expelled from Sardinia. By 1092 the Almoravids had imposed their rule on southern Spain with only three independent emirs left. In 1094 El Cid took Valencia. In 1095 Urban II proclaimed the Crusade which set out from Constantinople in 1097. The historic demonstration of the argument of the status quo was seen from the year 1041 with the occupation of Melfi by the Normans under Tancred d'Hauteville.
All feudal states in Europe relied on the church for smooth running. The largest feudal system ever created was the German or Holy Roman Empire. The incursion by the Normans of Melfi on the Lombardy/Byzantine border in southern Italy was seen as a serious destabilising influence. An alliance of the eastern Byzantine and western Holy Roman Empire together with the Pope attempted to crush them but were defeated at Civitate and Leo IX was captured.
Several serious repercussions were to flow from this as the Pope blamed the Byzantines for his defeat. The result was the East/West schism of 1054. As a result of the weakened position of the papacy, some internal reforms of the church were forced. However, Nicholas II took the election of the papacy out of the hands of the clergy and the people of Rome by declaring the Pope solely elected by the Cardinals. To restore stability in the authority question he recognised the Normans, who by 1060 had conquered all southern Italy, and in 1061 removed the Muslims from N.E. Sicily. The dispute over the appointment of bishops became of fundamental importance in this question. A dispute erupted between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) in 1076. After Henry's excommunication, followed by surrender and penance in 1077, it finally resulted in Henry's occupation of Rome in 1084 and the election of Pope Clement III who crowned him. Hildebrand held out in the Castel San Angelo to be later rescued by the Norman Robert Guiscard.
Far from being irrelevant conquests and squabbles, these struggles were fundamental to the question of who established the status quo and the legitimacy of state identity, which was fundamental to Just War Theory.
Over the period coinciding with the Norman expansion and from about 1066 a great upsurge in building and the creation of abbeys occurred. From 1076 (at Salerno) the foundations were laid for the establishment of Universities. In 1098 Robert founded the Cistercians at Citeaux and the school of Dialectic was opened by William of Champeaux in Paris in 1104 which commenced the university there. In 1107 the Synod of Westminster settled the appointment of bishops controversy, in England, between Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry I with joint investiture agreed. At this time also, city expansion commenced in western Europe and the Age of Reason (later aided in 1210 by the founding of the Franciscans) was under way, although Abelard’s doctrines were condemned by the Council of Sens in 1141. In 1115 Bernard founded the Abbey at Clairvaux. In 1122 the Concordat at Worms between Pope Calixtus II and Henry V, the German or Holy Roman Emperor, settled the appointment of the clergy question in Europe which whilst appearing to be a compromise was a defeat for the Empire which desperately needed the exclusive loyalty of its clergy. With this decision the establishment of the states and the status quo remained firmly within the papacy.
By 1158 Frederick Barbarosa's recognition of student rights at Bologna marked the formal start of the university there and the University of Paris emerged as a regulated body. By 1160-62 Henry the Lion Duke of Saxony conquered the Wends of the Lower Elbe who were forced to accept Roman Catholicism and in 1164 the Swedish Archbishopric of Upsala was founded.
With the establishment of a relatively stable feudal state system under Roman Catholic domination with the subjugation of internal unrest and external threat, two things occurred. Firstly, a population explosion and, secondly, an interest in philosophy and science developed.
The conquest of the crusades began to collapse, commencing in 1145 with Turkish reconquest of Edessa and Saladin's annihilation of the Army of Jerusalem in 1187. The situation caused the Pope to introduce new crusades headed by the Kings of England and France, i.e. Richard Lionheart and Phillip II.
An interesting reaction to the new situation was that of a spirit of intolerance which arose in Europe. The Church of God had established itself in Southern France, Spain and to some extent Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ukraine in the east. Keeping the same festivals as the original Jewish Church, it was identified with the Jews. In 1182 Phillip II issued an edict banning all Jews from France. The south was composed of either English fiefs or lands claimed by them and consequently the church, called Albigensian, was still occupying the areas of Toulouse, Languedoc, Gevaudan and parts of Provence and Guyenne becoming a repository for the banished "Jews" as did Spain and later Portugal.
In 1208, the year that saw Oxford University in existence, Innocent III called for a crusade against these heretics. The sect called Cathars (i.e. Cathari or Puritans) had sprung up in the same areas and it was their alleged practices which led to the justification for the crusade.
In 1226 Louis VII took Avignon as part of the crusade and there were a series of papal edicts issued relating to the justification for the crusade and the conduct of the crusade. In 1229 the crusade ended with the French crown annexing Languedoc and the Inquisition established in Toulouse. Originally Benedictine controlled, the establishment of the Dominicans at Toulouse in 1215 to combat this heresy saw them assume control of the Inquisition. Under the Dominicans, the Inquisition reached new heights of perversion, sadism and avarice.
The extending of the university system to Cambridge in 1213 and Padua in 1222 (from Bologna) saw a philosophical rationalisation of theories of Justification of War and of crusades and heretical suppression by the church. The church became drunk on the blood of the saints.
The absurdities of Just War authority was highlighted by the conflict between Gregory IX and Emperor Frederick II, when Gregory excommunicated Frederick for not going on a crusade in 1227, for going on a crusade in 1228 and for recovering Jerusalem, without papal permission in 1229.
In 1241 the Mongols invaded Poland and Hungary. They withdrew on receiving news of the death of Ogadai Khan, but the defeat of Henry of Silesia at Liegnitz and Bela IV of Hungary at Mohi created some uncertainty.
The proliferation of the centres of learning and inquiry, and the philosophical problems of the legitimate pursuit of war were raising serious questions amongst churchmen and the philosophical and ethical questions raised by the Albig(h)ensian crusade and the establishment of the Inquisition required explanation.
In order to rescue the Church of Rome from its philosophical dilemma, Thomas Aquinas, as one of its leading dogmatists, was prompted to take Augustine's works and pose a series of inquiries. The answers to the points of inquiry at Question 40 on War were fundamental to Just War Theory for Athanasian Christians and hence the western world.
Aquinas' points of inquiry are:
1. Are some wars permissible?
2. May clerics engage in war?
3. May belligerents use subterfuge?
4. May war be waged on feastdays?
In answering the first point, Aquinas demonstrates clearly but not exhaustively that it is always sin to wage war on the following grounds:
a. It is proscribed by God with the punishment specified, vis. all who live by the sword shall die by the sword.
b. It goes against the divine commands of Scripture. The example Aquinas uses is from Matthew 5:39 where Christ does away with the doctrine of an eye for an eye and states:
but I say unto you, do not resist one who is evil But if anyone strikes thee on the right cheek turn to him the other also etc.
This is also echoed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (at 2Cor. 11:20).
For you bear it if a man makes slaves of you or takes advantage of you or put on airs or strikes you in the face (although he himself was too weak for that).
This point was made after the point that Satan poses as an angel of light and his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (verse 12-15). This text is very relevant to this whole question of war and the redress of wrongs.
2Corinthians 11:12-21 12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish; but even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 (What I am saying I say not with the Lord's authority but as a fool, in this boastful confidence; 18 since many boast of worldly things, I too will boast.) 19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if a man makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
Again at Romans 12:19
Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God. For it is written vengeance is mine I will repay, says the Lord.
c. Anything contrary to virtue is a sin. As war is contrary to peace it is therefore always a sin.
d. In the fourth point, Aquinas draws on current church practice, which outlaws war tournaments and denies victims ecclesiastical burial. Consequently if practising for war is wrong then the act itself is therefore plainly wrong.
Despite a clear case, Aquinas then goes on to rationalise the position by reference to a number of philosophies commencing with Augustine's misinterpretation of Luke 3:14 relating to the fact that John did not tell the soldiers to lay down their arms but rather to do violence to no man. As we have seen, this was under the Old Covenant and Christ laid specific instructions, which Augustine ignored.
His reply to this point is based on the fact that the civil worldly powers allowed by God are to be obeyed as they wield the sword as the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Whilst denied to the individual, groups of Christians may exercise civil power with resort to arms.
The objection to this is that Christ's comments in John 18:36 that his kingship was not of this world clearly precludes this interpretation of Aquinas and Augustine. In order to circumvent this objection it was necessary for Gregory and the church to declare the Kingdom of God on this earth in the form of the Roman Church and Empire, and the papacy as the Vicar of Christ.
This argument is fatuous on the following grounds;
Firstly, Daniel 2:44 shows that in the last days of the ten kings, the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed. It shall break in pieces those kingdoms, bringing them to an end. The comment is that the sovereignty will not be left to another people. The stone is Christ and all of these kingdoms spoken of will be brought to an end forever. The fact that there is a multiplicity of warring nations continually extant defeats the Roman argument.
Secondly, the comments in Revelation indicate a Millennium of 1,000 years which Rome attempted to appropriate and Aquinas no doubt accepted as being the period expected to end at 1590 with judgement and the resurrection. As we know, 1590 passed without such an event and with it the argument. Revelation has been rearranged and reinterpreted to accommodate Catholic theory as has Daniel 2 and 11 been conveniently ignored. Aquinas’ reply in the first inquiry is therefore irrelevant to Christianity and his three requirements are purely philosophical speculations of a worldly nature symptomatic of an apostate cleric.
His three necessary points for the conduct of a Just War are:
1. The authority of the sovereign on whose command war is waged (in that the power to counsel and declare war belongs to those in supreme authority).
2. A just cause is required. From Augustine it is ascribed as one which avenges wrongs, either in punishing states which refuse to make amends for outrages done by its subjects or to restore what it has seized injuriously.
This point is so totally against the sentiments expressed by Christ at Matthew 5:38-42 that one must marvel at the duplicity of Aquinas in stating it.
Matthew 5:38-42 38 "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. (RSV)
The relevance in engaging in war to redress wrongs assumes some control over the size and nature of war or that the seizure of property is to be greater than that estimated to be lost in the war. History has shown this premise to be totally erroneous as indeed it demonstrably was when Aquinas wrote it. Its intent was to justify (along with the third premise) the conduct of the religious internal and external crusades.
3. The right intention. Participants must intend to promote the good and to avoid evil. Aquinas restates Augustine's argument that
Among true worshippers of God those wars are looked on as peacemaking which are waged neither from aggrandisement nor cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, or repressing evil and supporting the good.
Aquinas allows that wars can have the first two requirements yet still be wrong because of perverse intention. Augustine's consideration of intent and conduct are used as exclusions of this category thus Jus in Bello considerations collectively held or held by the power can be Jus ad Bellum criteria.
Augustine's argument is that to draw the sword is to arm oneself or to spill blood without command or permission of superior or lawful authority. Aquinas argues from this that use of the sword by authorities of the sovereign; or a public person in zeal for justice is by the authority, so to speak, of God and is therefore not punishable.
He accounts for the fact that even those who use it sinfully are not always slain but they will always die by the sword since they will be punished eternally for their sinful use of it unless they repent.
Aquinas' argument here has no biblical basis, indeed it is contrary to Scripture and is certainly the product of a worldly consideration.
Aquinas' second Article of Inquiry is whether it is lawful for clerics and bishops to fight.
In dealing with this premise he uses the authority of Gregory (Hom in Ev XIV) and that of Leo IV who ordered clerics to meet the Saracens. He also makes a major premise in the theory of condonation of offences when he introduces at objection 3 that according to Romans 1:32 They who do such things are worthy of death, and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. Those, above all who seem to consent to a thing, are those that induce others to do it. As Adrian induced Charles to go to war with the Lombards by this precedent they are also allowed to fight. It would seem here that Aquinas argues that the inducing of others is not only condonation but also consenting participation by logical extension. Indeed this is what must be deduced from it.
At objection 4 Aquinas condones the concept of the crusade or Holy War on the sanction of patristic literature but rightly quotes Christ at Matthew 26:52 instructing Peter to put up again thy sword into the scabbard, (the Vulgate has its place although scabbard is from John 18:11).
It is in this premise that Aquinas introduces the concept of non-combatants on the premise of importance of task. War is forbidden to a cleric on the premise that it is of secular nature (from 2Tim. 2:14 where Aquinas paraphrases Paul's comments). He further decrees that all who shed blood become irregular and, therefore, clerics would be rendered unfit for their primary duty as war is directed to the shedding of blood. On these grounds any who are called to the faith, ministry or not, would be precluded, but Aquinas does not address this point.
He mentions that the Prelates are precluded on the grounds that the weapons available to them are spiritual as stated by Paul at 2Corinthians 10:4 The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. For a cleric of Aquinas' ability to argue that clerics are precluded from warfare by this text and argue elsewhere that the laity is allowed to engage in warfare is absurd. The previous verse states For though we walk in the flesh we do not war after the flesh. Verse 4 was also cut short by Aquinas and includes to the pulling down of strongholds.
2Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (RSV)
Aquinas argues also from Joshua 6:4 that clerics are permitted to accompany troops in battle but not to engage. He also asserts that it is the duty of clerics to depose and counsel other men to engage in Just Wars but are forbidden to take up arms, not as though it were a sin but because such an occupation is unbecoming their personality.
He also asserts that although it is meritous to wage a Just War it is rendered unlawful for clerics on the same grounds as marriage becomes reprehensible in those who have vowed virginity.
Whilst tedious, the examples quoted above are useful in coming to grips with the sort of mind required to rationalise the absolute conflicts that arise from the positions adopted by the church between the fourth and thirteenth century. These very premises occupy man’s thinking and have distorted his attitudes almost beyond rectification.
The application of immunity from battle and the role of non-combatant stem directly from Aquinas. From his arguments, it is perfectly reasonable to hold that all clerics should be instantly shot as the subject of intensive military operation on the grounds of argued culpability greater than the participants. His doctrine allows the argument of systematic extermination from this and the following grounds of all clerics who argue for a Just War.
Aquinas’ third article shows clearly why war leads to subterfuge and deception in his example Ambushes and that this directly contravenes biblical law (e.g. Mat. 7:12). In what is probably the most laughable of rationalisations this cleric justifies secrecy in campaigning, not on grounds of practicality but by Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy to dogs. Further, it is argued from Augustine (QQ in Heptateuch, qu X super jos), provided the war be just it is no concern of justice whether it be carried on openly or by ambushes, proving this from Joshua 8:2.
Joshua 8:2 and you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves; lay an ambush against the city, behind it. (RSV)
Aquinas demonstrates why ambush contravenes principles of holy and good conduct yet overturns his objection on the most tenuous of grounds.
We therefore develop from this that in Just War Theory there are no limits to deception or propaganda. Aquinas argues, however, that there are limitations to deception. Deceiving the enemy through false statement or by breaking promises are in breach of the rights of war and covenants which ought to be observed. This is derived from Ambrose (De Offic 1). The total inoperability of the sentiments and the conflict of Aquinas' position are evident.
Aquinas argues from Apocryphal writing (1Maccabees ch. 41) that it is lawful to fight on holy days. Perhaps this is why this erroneous writing is included in the Catholic canon.
He is aware of the censure of Isaiah at 18:3 of smiting with the fist, etc. on fast days but confuses these with Sabbaths. In the most extraordinary piece of rationalisation one would have thought him capable, he justified, from John 7:23, that because Christ healed on the Sabbath it was therefore permissible that they should also tear each other in pieces on the Sabbath to protect the common weal of the faithful because not to fight would be to tempt God.
Catholic doctrine became dependent on the rationalisation of this cleric and at the Council of Trent the Summa Theologica was elevated along with the patristic writings and Bulls to equality with Holy Scripture as the three pillars of the Catholic faith (see Catholic Encyclopedia article St. Thomas).
From these writings the codification of Just War Theory emerged in the Bull Unam Sanctam [Latin - The One Holy (i.e. The Church)]. Issued on 18 November 1302 during the dispute with Phillip the Fair it arises from the Roman Council of October 1302 and was incorporated in the Corpus juris canonici and thus is established as definitive canon law on the subject of authority and force.
The main dogmatic assertions concern the unity and necessity of belonging to the church and the position of Pope as supreme head and the duty arising therefrom of submission to him for salvation. This position is held to emphasise the higher importance of the spiritual in relation to the secular.
The main propositions of the Bull are:
Firstly, unity of the church and the necessity to belong to it are derived by reference to the one ark of the flood and to the seamless garment of Christ. As there is unity of the body so there is unity of the head in the Pope as successor to St Peter, i.e. he who is not subject to the Pope denies he is Christ's sheep. This position is in total opposition to the doctrines of the New Testament church and its structure, and NT prophecy, specifically Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
Second, the following four principles and conclusion emanate from the Bull:
1. Under the control of the church are two swords i.e. two powers which is an expression of the medieval theory of the two swords, the spiritual and the secular. This is substantiated by the customary reference to the swords of the Apostles at the arrest of Christ (Lk. 22:38 & Mat. 26:52).
Luke 22:38 And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough." (RSV)
Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (RSV)
2. Both swords are held to be in the power of the church, the spiritual wielded by the hands of the clergy and the secular to be employed for the church by the hands of the civil authority but under direction of the spiritual power (this answers perfectly Revelation 13:15).
Revelation 13:15 and it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast should even speak, and to cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. (RSV)
3. The one sword must be subordinate to the other, the civil power must submit to the spiritual which has precedence because of its greatness and sublimity having also the right to guide and establish the secular power, having power of judgement over it when it does not act rightly. An earthly power is judged by a spiritual authority, which in turn is judged by the highest spiritual authority (the papacy) which in turn is judged by God. (It is seen from this that Just War authority is rigidly feudal or hierarchal).
4. The authority, although granted to and exercised by man, is divine and granted to Peter by divine commission and confirmed in him and his successors. Whoever opposes this power ordained of God opposes the law of God and, like a Manichean (who hold a dualist theology), to accept two principles. Now therefore we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff.
From the declaration on the margin of the text of the record the last sentence is noted as the real definition of the Bull. Declaratio quod subesse Romano Pontifici est omni humanœ creaturœ de necessitate salutis (tr. it is here stated that for salvation it is necessary that every human creature be subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff).
This has been the constant teaching of the church and it was declared in the same sense by the Fifth œcumenical council of the Lateran in 1516. ... The Bull also proclaims the subjection of the secular power to the spiritual as the one higher in rank and draws from it the conclusion that the representatives of the spiritual power can install the possessors of secular authority and exercise judgement over their administration...
This is a fundamental principle, which had grown out of the entire development in the early Middle Ages of the central position of the papacy in the Christian national family of Western Europe. It has been expressed from the eleventh century by theologians like Bernard of Clairvaux and John of Salisbury, and by popes like Nicholas II and Leo IX. Boniface VIII gave it precise expression in opposing the procedure of the French King. The main propositions are drawn from the writings of St Bernard, Hugo of St Victor, St Thomas Aquinas and letters of Innocent III.
The Bull and the Canonical position derive from the actual conditions of medieval Western Europe (Catholic Encyclopaedia (1912), article Unam Sanctam, pp. 126-127).
It is therefore demonstrated exhaustively from the above that the Just War position is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church and is evolved from a justification of its external conquests and expansion and its internal bigoted persecutions.
From 590 to 1850, for 1260 years, this power attempted to achieve world domination by whatever means at its disposal, both civil and theological, permeating every aspect of law and society, exercising ultimate power and control. By terror and repression, justified by philosophical and biblical rationalisation, it became a whore gorged on its internal minorities and drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs (Rev. 17:6).
With the Reformation of the seventeenth century the reformers sought to codify its ethical conduct while renouncing the papacy and found itself in extreme philosophical and historical contradiction.
In relation to Just War Theory it follows, without the authority of Rome, the doctrine of the Status quo has no meaning. Certainly it is open to attack along the simplistic line of Stalin (vis. How many divisions has the Pope?) and of Napoleon (God is on the side of the big battalions). The doctrine exists only so far as nations recognise and restrict themselves to it.
Because of this inherent problem the nations and leaders have sought to replace Rome with a secular world authority and the current movement for a World Government is gathering momentum supported by Middle Europe whose nations see a revival of the Holy Roman Empire of European world domination. This new United States of Europe was scheduled to come together in 1992 as a complete functioning state. 1990 saw the Warsaw Pact disintegrate.
The United Kingdom ratified the Single European Act of 1986 and ceded authority to the European Parliament in effect doing away with the rights of the monarchy and the absolute sovereignty of the British people (the details are in T. C Hartley, Foundation of European Community Law, Oxford, 1981 and show the development from the Treaty of Rome leading up to this event). England has so bound itself to the European system under the Treaty of Rome that internal political reorganisation may only be possible legally by succession from Europe which of itself can be declared illegal by Europe and could justify invasion on the grounds of Just War Theory as above.
Under the doctrines established by canon law, world peace is impossible unless Europe and Rome achieve total world domination exercising full civil and ecclesiastical power. History has shown that when it is considered achievable Europe and Rome will act to realise this aim. Thus historically Just War Theory can only be seen as a tool of European Athanasian Christian self-justification for its religio-political ambitions. This doctrine applies equally to modern Islamic Hadithic doctrine and to Marxist-Leninist ideology. The current attempts at superimposing Marxist ideology on Roman Theology in South America is seen as a way of fusing two of these three groups. The new age religious movement is another facet of this syncretic amalgam for world authority and hence established power structures, which justify the status quo.
The Book of Revelation shows, by allegory, how this historical sequence is to come to pass. It shows the sequence of cause and effect commencing with the first horseman of the Apocalypse: that of false religion, which arms itself with the bow and seeks to conquer setting off a chain reaction which was to span over 1,400 years and ultimately lead to the establishment of a world government, which, given total power, persecutes those who are in its power, and are not of it, until it is overthrown by the return of Christ. Philosophers, of course, dismiss the religious aspects of the argument and seek to make some sense of the arguments on the merits and hence fail to come to grips with its aims and parameters.
Modern Just War Theory follows closely the considerations laid down by Catholic theologians. The conditions are:
1. Right Authority
2. Just Cause
3. Right intention
4. Peaceful aim
5. Proportionality condition,
a. The good to be achieved should outweigh the harm done
b. You should not use excessive means to accomplish your ends
6. Possibility of success.
Proportionality conditions are invariably exceeded in the ensuing hostilities as they increase. The Holy War traditions are supposedly opposed to the body of Just War Theory but as has been demonstrated Just War Theory developed as a justification for Holy War and religious persecution.
Protestant philosophers are in a serious predicament. Given the perverted nature of the biblical rationalisations involved in the premises of Just War Theory espoused by Rome, they are left with few alternatives. The alternatives are chiefly that of pacifism or similar perversion or of rationalisation. Most rationalise.
While war was relatively unsophisticated, this was of itself somewhat harmless. However, the escalation of war in its modern phases from 1860 with the American Civil War into the wars of the twentieth century has shown the absurdity of the concepts of Just War Theory limitations. From Clauswitz, we have seen modern war explained in terms, which shows its tendency to totality and extremes of destruction. If it is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds, then, given the capacity to destroy the world as we know it, war must be seen as an act of insanity of the ultimate kind where humanity and all life would be destroyed.
The modern limitations placed upon it are, in a sense, the highest form of gambling. Morality is seen as having no place in international relations being for domestic consumption. Indeed morality is seen as being dangerous in these considerations and the interest of the state is seen as the only moral consideration. It is for this reason that both biblical and secular power looks to unified world government. Biblical argument does away with nations at Christ’s return. Some political leaders espouse world government. The assumption that world government will eliminate war is held true and the cost to individual liberty ignored. The end result will be mass extermination.
In the slow evolution of war as a political tool we have seen the slow elimination of considerations of honour and sentiment or morality. Somehow these considerations are always sacrificed on the altar of success, practicality and efficiency. Efficiency of action is paramount and invariably the doctrine of the end justifies the means emerges.
From these considerations the tendency towards the absolutes will always outstrip the bounds or restrictions placed upon it. Its tendency to the absolute will render it liable to get out of control and therefore subvert its political purposes.
Limited war is only possible when one side is not threatened with total defeat and has supremacy in weapons to the point of controlling its destiny. Where two nations are locked equally in war, they are only limited by their technology and some agreed restrictions on Jus in Bello considerations. The case of chemical warfare is an example, although the wars in the Middle East show that previously held assumptions about these considerations are suspect.
War has a demonstrated end result and will always tend to the extreme. The causes are deeply rooted in erroneous religious considerations or philosophical considerations, which justify the taking of human life and the enforcement of religious or ideological belief to extermination of non violent or minority groups. A fundamentalist Christian will argue that it is not permissible to fight even in defence of one's nation and life and some philosophers tend to claim that defensive operations are the only permissible acts under Just War Theory. It seems therefore that even this is false.
Non violent action seems only to work where the ruling power is bound by constraints, which allow it to succeed. In the case of India, by a legal system which guaranteed the participants a form of legal framework within which to operate. It is doubtful if Ghandi would have been as successful against Hitler for example.
Similarly, it cannot be argued that Jus in Bello considerations rest on any other premise than what participants agree to be reasonable standards of conduct at the time. However, there is no absolute rationality to them. Indeed, having once embarked on a course of war, modern warfare renders such conditions untenable and ultimately enforceable only by supremacy of arms.
Just War Theory is as untenable now as it was when the Roman clerics developed it to justify an unbridled lust for world domination, power and wealth. Membership of a body or world organisation is totally unnecessary for salvation. The doctrine that the Church is a corporate or physical structure or organisation, membership of which is necessary to salvation, is a heresy. It is an even greater heresy when it preaches contrary to God’s laws. The head of every man is Christ and the head of Christ is God (1Cor. 11:3). The elect of Christ will follow him everywhere he goes. The 144,000 follow him from their sealing. They are not defiled by church systems. They move with Christ, the pillar of Fire and Cloud (see Rev. 14:1-5).
The first horseman of Revelation or the Apocalypse, that of false religion, was released from the Councils of the early Church. It established and set in motion the second horseman of war. When the 1,260 years had been completed, the false religious system had alienated the world. It had divided it into armed camps and established a military system that set off the chain events of revolution and modern warfare. Commencing with the American Civil War, the first of the modern wars, it developed into the wars of the twentieth century. Coupled with the technology of war is that of the materialism of the military industrial complex. The third and fourth horsemen are unleashed and follow from the first two. The forthcoming Third World War and the subsequent wars will kill over two thirds of the planet. Pray fervently "Thy kingdom come".
Christian Churches of God
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