In order to answer this question correctly, we first must know what Jesus meant by "turning the other cheek." When he explained this concept, it
wasn't to meant to make Christians pacifists. In fact, that is not the style of Christ or the Apostles. To "turn the other cheek" means to not
return insults with insults, to confront hate with love and patients.
It does not mean to be idle when a violent crime or military action is placed upon us. The Bible teaches that we have the right to self defense,
Exodus 22:2: "If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no blood guiltiness on his
The Bible also tells us to protect the innocent, Deut. 19:10, "So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of
your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and blood guiltiness be on you."
So, as you can see, we are instructed to
defend ourselves and others.
How about war?
War is a state of declared, open, and armed conflict between two or more nations. It is sometimes undertaken in self-defense such as when the U.S.
entered WWII as a result of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor. Other times, however, nations unjustly go to war to take spoils from other countries.
Murder, on the other hand, is an unlawful taking of life and is always wrong. When nations go to war, it is declared lawful by the countries going to
war -- sometimes for moral reasons and other times for immoral reasons. Therefore, and immoral war could be considered a form of murder where a moral
war could be in self defense. But not all war is wrong.
I would conclude that war is justifiable when it is in self defense and/or when it is to protect the innocent. Therefore, a Christian could rightfully
engage in war given those conditions. War is an unfortunate reality in this world and it causes great destruction, misery, and loss of life. It
should be avoided if possible and undertaken only as a last resort.
God sent people to war:
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 51 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say
to them, "When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and
destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; 53 and you shall take possession of the land
and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it," (Num. 33:50-53).
God uses war as a means of disciplining nations:
"I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made
the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me, declares the Lord," (Amos 4:10).
The Lord is called a warrior:
"The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name. 4"Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his
officers are drowned in the Red Sea," (Exodus 15:3-4).
With this said, "turning the other cheek" is different than self defense and protecting the innocent. It is a means to be slow to anger, insult, and
feud. Killing is allowed by God for a Christian. But, under the circumstances in which I stated. Anything beyond that would be considered
edit on 14-4-2013 by Siberbat because: (no reason given)