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Thoughts on Just War

Updated: May 5, 2022

Today’s “Bits & Pieces” has grown from a couple of conversations I’ve had with you regarding the Ukrainian situation. So, here are my thoughts. Hopefully, they can be thought starters for you.

I was struck last week by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyv’s presentation to the Congress of the United States.

Everyone sat in their Sunday finest, he received a rousing standing ovation, and then Congress probably went to lunch. Later, the Senate, led by Marco Rubio, passed a bill to make daylight savings time permanent, and did so by consent decree. The contrast was beyond striking. Most Senators weren’t there and didn’t even know the legislation was happening. Other than that, there’s just the normal sniping and blaming, while doing nothing but ginning up the base and raising money. We are masters at the first rule of politics: Angry people are pliable people. In the midst of it, people are dying in Ukraine.

So, how are serious Christians to look at the Ukrainian war? Let me offer Just War Theory, which has been thought and written about since Augustine.

The number of points has varied through history, but here are five components in contemporary thought:

Is there just cause?

Is conflict a last resort?

Is war to be declared by sovereign authority?

Is there right intention by entering into conflict?

Is the end proportional to the means used?

These are five things to consider when thinking and praying about what an appropriate response should be to Russian aggression in the Ukraine.

It is increasingly clear that the clown show in Washington and the bigger clown show in Jefferson City lacks either the courage or the ethical clarity to provide anything that resembles leadership.

PS—I haven’t reached a conclusion regarding the above, but, it seems clear that the pressure the west is putting on Russia has not netted the desired result.

I’m eager to have further conversation with you. In the meantime, be in prayer for our leaders, our world, and those being chewed up by the aforementioned.

See you Sunday,


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