On Why the United States Should Not Attack Iran: A Conservative, Evangelical Christian Response

نوع مقاله: علمی تخصصی


Associate professer


In the midst of American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the aftermath of the presidential election in Iran, support for American involvement in Iran has increased in some circles. In this piece, our desire is to give a conservative, evangelical Christian response to why America should not support any military action against Iran. A position advocated by many of us is “Just War.” In short, this position permits war if certain conditions are met. Just War theory has a long and storied heritage in the Western world, going back to writers such as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and Hugo Grotius. Two criteria in particular are relevant. The first is just cause: there must be a specific reason for going to war. The second criterion is last resort: all other nonviolent options must be pursued. In the case of Iran, we see no just cause for a military strike. The nuclear issue does not provide just cause for military intervention, nor does the aftermath of the most recent presidential election. Iran has not attacked either the United States or any other vulnerable country. As conservative evangelicals, we find ourselves on the dovish end of the Just War spectrum. As followers of Christ, our impulse is to be at peace with all men, personally. The apostle Paul instructs us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12.8). Our reflex is nonviolence. The gospel of Christ is not advanced by means of the sword. However, it is also true that the Christian Scriptures teach that the state may legitimately employ force in order to protect her citizens and keep public order. Indeed, the state is given these responsibilities by God himself. Christians, consequently, are called upon to support the government in its legitimate role. It is incumbent upon Christians, therefore, to urge their leaders in Congress and their President to shape foreign policy in a manner that reflects the peaceful and non-violent dispositions described in Scripture. Unless the global community is threatened by the actions of Iran (which currently they are not),the American government must not interfere and allow Iranians to determine their own fate. Military intervention must have just cause and it must necessarily be a last resort

عنوان مقاله [English]

On Why the United States Should Not Attack Iran: A Conservative, Evangelical Christian Response

نویسنده [English]

  • Bruce Riley Ashford

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Online Program
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • USA