Is it a Sin to Fight as a Christian

Is it a Sin to Fight as a Christian? What the Bible Says

As a Christian, you may have wondered if it is a sin to fight. The Bible is clear that Christians are called to strive for peace and unity within the body of Christ.

However, there are instances in which fighting may be necessary, such as defending oneself or others from harm.

So, what does the Bible say about fighting as a Christian? Let’s explore.

Is Fighting a Sin? (What the Bible says about fighting)

As a Christian, you may wonder if fighting is a sin. The Bible provides guidance on this topic, and it is important to understand what it says.

First, it is essential to note that the Bible does not condemn fighting in all circumstances. In some cases, fighting can be righteous and good, while in other cases, it can be sinful. The object of the fight is what determines whether it is righteous or evil.

For example, God fights on behalf of His people who trust Him.

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

Deuteronomy 1:30

“The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

Nehemiah 4:20

“In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.”

In these cases, fighting is not a sin but a necessary means of protection and defense.

However, fighting can also be sinful when it is motivated by anger, hatred, or a desire for revenge. The Bible teaches us to put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, and abusive language from our mouths.

Colossians 3:8

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

We are also instructed to let all bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling, and slander be put away from us, along with all hatred.

Ephesians 4:30-31

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

Furthermore, the Bible teaches us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.

Matthew 5:44

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

This means that we should seek to resolve conflicts peacefully whenever possible, rather than resorting to violence.

Biblical Perspective on Violence

As a Christian, it is important to understand the Biblical perspective on violence. The Bible does not condone violence for personal reasons or revenge. In fact, it teaches that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).

However, there are instances in the Bible where violence is used for self-defense and protection.

For example, in Exodus 22:2-3, it is stated that if a thief is caught breaking in and is killed in the process, there is no guilt in the act.

Exodus 22:2-3

“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”

Additionally, in Luke 22:36, Jesus instructs his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword if they do not have one, indicating that self-defense is necessary in certain situations.

Luke 22:36

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

It is important to note that Christians are called to be peacemakers and to pursue peace with all people (Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:18). Violence should not be the first option, but rather a last resort when all other means of resolving the situation have failed.

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Romans 12:18

 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

Furthermore, it is important to differentiate between violence used for personal gain and violence used for the greater good.

In Romans 13:4, it is stated that the governing authorities have been established by God and they do not bear the sword in vain.

Romans 13:4

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

This means that the government has the authority to use violence to protect its citizens and maintain justice.

Jesus’ Teachings on Non-Violence

As a Christian, understanding Jesus’ teachings on non-violence is essential. Jesus’ teachings on non-violence can be found in the Sermon on the Mount, where he teaches his followers to love their enemies and turn the other cheek.

Sermon on the Mount

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them.

Matthew 5:43-44

 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

Jesus’ message is clear: Christians should not seek revenge or retaliate against those who wrong them. Instead, they should love their enemies and pray for them. This is a radical message that goes against the natural human instinct to seek revenge.

Turn the Other Cheek

Another teaching on non-violence can be found in Jesus’ instruction to turn the other cheek. He says, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matthew 5:39).

Matthew 5:39

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

This teaching is often misunderstood. Jesus is not saying that Christians should be passive or allow themselves to be abused. Instead, he is teaching his followers to respond to violence with non-violence.

By turning the other cheek, Christians demonstrate their commitment to non-violence and their willingness to suffer for their faith.

Instances of Fighting in the Bible

Fighting is a prevalent theme throughout the Bible. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, there are many instances of violence and conflict. In this section, we will explore some of the most notable examples of fighting in the Bible.

Old Testament Battles

The Old Testament is full of stories of battles and wars. From the very beginning, we see the first instance of violence when Cain kills his brother Abel.

In Genesis, we read about the battles between Abraham and the kings of the Canaanites. In Exodus, we see the Israelites fighting against the Egyptians and the Amalekites.

One of the most well-known battles in the Old Testament is the Battle of Jericho. In this story, the Israelites marched around the city of Jericho for seven days, and on the seventh day, they blew their trumpets, and the walls of the city came tumbling down.

Another famous battle is the Battle of David and Goliath. David, a young shepherd boy, defeated Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior, with a single stone from his sling.

Jesus Clearing the Temple

In the New Testament, we see Jesus engaging in a form of fighting when he clears the temple.

In this story, Jesus enters the temple and finds merchants selling animals for sacrifice and moneychangers. He becomes angry and overturns their tables, driving them out of the temple.

This story is often cited as an example of Jesus’ righteous anger and his desire to purify the temple. However, it is important to note that Jesus did not use physical violence against the merchants and moneychangers. Instead, he used his words and actions to make his point.

Christianity and Self-Defense

As a Christian, you may wonder whether it is permissible to defend yourself against an attacker. The Bible does not provide a clear-cut answer to this question, but there are some principles that you can consider.

First, as a Christian, you are called to value the image of God in the lives of others, even as you protect the weak and vulnerable.

This means that you should not use excessive force or violence in self-defense. Instead, you should use the minimum amount of force necessary to protect yourself or others.

Second, you should abide by local laws, including self-defense laws. Romans 13 is clear that governing authorities are from God and are to be obeyed. This means that you should not take the law into your own hands, but rather rely on the legal system to protect you and bring justice.

Third, you should examine your motives for self-defense. Are you seeking revenge or justice? Or are you seeking to protect yourself or others from harm? If your motives are not pure, then self-defense may not be the right choice for you.

The Concept of Just War in Christianity

As a Christian, you may wonder whether it is ever acceptable to fight in a war. The concept of a just war has been debated among Christian theologians for centuries.

In general, a just war is one that is fought for a moral or ethical reason and is waged with proportionate force.

Here are some key principles of the just war theory:

  • Legitimate authority: A war must be declared by a legitimate authority, such as a government or ruler.
  • Just cause: A war must be fought for a just cause, such as self-defense or protecting innocent people from harm.
  • Right intention: The intention of the war must be to bring about a just peace, not to seek revenge or gain power.
  • Last resort: War should be a last resort after all other peaceful means of resolving the conflict have been exhausted.
  • Proportionality: The force used in the war must be proportional to the threat posed by the enemy. Excessive force or violence is not justified.
  • Probability of success: A war should not be fought if there is no reasonable chance of success.

The just war theory is based on the idea of balancing the need to defend oneself or others with the obligation to respect human life and dignity. It recognizes that war is sometimes necessary to prevent greater evils, but it also sets limits on the use of force.

It is important to note that not all Christians agree on the just war theory. Some Christians believe in pacifism, which is the idea that all war and violence is morally wrong. Others believe in a more aggressive approach to war and self-defense.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to fight in a war is a personal one that each Christian must make based on their own conscience and understanding of scripture.

However, by considering the principles of the just war theory, you can gain a better understanding of the moral and ethical considerations involved in making such a decision.


What does the Bible say about fighting with family? (siblings, relations)

The Bible teaches us to love our family and treat them with respect. Fighting with family members can cause serious harm to relationships.

In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus instructs us to reconcile with our brother before offering our gift at the altar. It is important to resolve conflicts with family members peacefully and seek forgiveness.

What does the Bible say about fighting against principalities?

As Christians, our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). We are called to put on the armor of God and fight against the devil’s schemes. We should pray for discernment and wisdom to recognize and resist spiritual attacks.

What does the Bible say about fighting for what is right?

The Bible encourages us to fight for justice and righteousness. In Proverbs 31:8-9, we are instructed to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. We should stand up for what is right and just, even if it means facing opposition.

Is professional fighting a sin?

Professional fighting, such as MMA, is a controversial topic among Christians. While the Bible does not explicitly forbid it, we should consider the motives behind participating in such activities.

If the goal is to glorify oneself or cause harm to others, it would not align with biblical principles. However, if it is done with pure motives and as a means of physical fitness and competition, it may not be considered a sin.

What does the Bible say about fighting temptation?

The Bible teaches us to resist temptation and flee from sin. In James 4:7, we are instructed to submit to God and resist the devil, and he will flee from us. We should seek strength and guidance from God to overcome temptation and avoid situations that may lead us into sin.

Is it a sin to fight in a war?

The Bible does not give a clear answer to this question, as it depends on the circumstances and motives behind the war. However, we are called to be peacemakers and love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

War should always be a last resort, and we should pray for wisdom and discernment in such situations.

What does the Bible say about fighting against God?

Fighting against God is a serious offense. In Acts 9:5, Saul (later known as Paul) was struck down by a light from heaven and heard the voice of Jesus saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” We should submit to God and His will, rather than fighting against Him.

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