This GCSE RE Christianity quiz should be considered in conjunction with our parallel ones on Suffering and Social Justice. Our world is not only ‘troubled’ by the consequences of individual sin ~ be this single or multiple murder, or national or corporate (multinational?) malfeasance that oppresses, uproots or otherwise disempowers countless ‘little people’ and their often fragile finances or environments ~ but by the shameful scourges of ongoing wars in the name of territory, resources and even religion, where any eventual ‘victory’ can only bring with it regrettably disproportionate amounts of suffering and destruction.
This quiz considers how such states of affairs come about, and what a Christian response and viewpoint might be.
Sometimes, and not without regrets and reservations, Christians have been involved in wars (including civil wars) as combatants ~ either for their country, as professional militia defending their national interests against (for instance) an atheist / communist enemy, else even engaged in battles against representatives of other faiths. In such a case the question immediately arises as to God hardly being able to endorse both sides at once. It certainly remains sadly true that nominal forces of Christianity have been guilty of various bloodshed down the ages, notably perhaps during the Crusades ~ well-intentioned, by the standards of their time, though these doubtless were.
After any war there may, and should, be peace ~ at least of a sort. The matter of genuinely fair justice for the ‘losers’ then arises, insofar as anyone on earth can fairly determine it, while the victors may themselves be bloodied and have skewed agendas of their own (as was the case with the Versailles Treaty at the end of World War 1, more or less a century ago).
Then again, not entirely dissimilar issues arise over transition from inequitable regimes where there has not technically been a war as such (e.g. Eastern Europe after the collapse of the international communist experiment, the dismantling of apartheid, or the aftermaths of outbreaks of ‘ethnic cleansing’ … the only kind of cleansing, one might wryly observe, that seems to require a bloodbath).
Let us venture into these deep dark waters …