By Jon Kauffman


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

There was war in heaven and Satan was thrown from heaven.

Many scientists tell us the universe is 13.7 billion years old. What if Satan was thrown from heaven 13.7 billion years ago? Did Satan’s fall from heaven cause the universe to begin dying, as the universe expands it grows colder. The beginning of violence?

Scientists tell us that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. What if as God created animal life at each step of what scientist call evolution. Satan interfered and introduced death and violence each step of the way. Dinosaurs killed dinosaurs.

Peace Dove


Then God created Adam and Eve. They lived in the Garden of Eden as equals. They sinned and because of man’s stronger physic, man protected woman from the dangerous animals and evil men and used his greater strength to provide food and shelter. Man abused his strength and power over women.

Cain killed Abel. God protected Cain from revenge, but Cain and his descendants created cities and government and used the power of violence to protect thenselves. The sin of men brought about great violence.


God repented of creating man because of their violence. He started over with Noah and promised never to wipe out mankind again. God would find a way to overcome the sinfulness and violence of man without using a flood.

Man built violent and evil empires such as Sumer, Egypt and the Akkadian Empire. These empires used war and violence to control and enslave people.


God began revealing himself to man and bringing about the salvation of man by becoming a friend to Abraham.

God sent Joseph to Egypt to save his family and Egypt. Joseph became vizier of Egypt during the reign of Amenemhat III. 1,2 Pharoah gave Joseph and his family a home in city of Avaris in the land of Goshen.

God blessed the Israelites, they had many children and there was a great multiplication of their numbers.

A pharaoh (Sobekhotep III)1. who did not know Joseph, enslaved the Israelites.

Then Dedumose II1,2 is confronted by Moses. God through many miracles convinces pharaoh to let his people go. 600,000 men, their wives and children leave Egypt. The pharaoh changes his mind and pursues the Children of Israel to the Red Sea. God fights for Israel and defeats Egypt, casting the pharaoh’s army into the sea.

God is leading his people to a way of nonviolence and love of enemy as he protects his people in weakness and they win a great victory.

God fights for Israel and they defeat Jericho and many other fortified cities. God is the protection of Israel.


Often the Children of Israel refuse to depend on God and take their defense into their own hands. Sometimes they depend on God and win great victories in weakness, such as in the time of Gideon.

Through the law of Moses and the prophets, God teaches his people that he wants them to care for the widow and orphan, the poor and the helpless and to show compassion to the foreigner. God wants his people to trust him for protection.


In Deuteronomy 17: 14-20 Moses gives guidelines for a King.

Often the people take detours and do not depend on God for protection.3.

The people take a major detour and against the advice of Samuel crown Saul King.

The Kings do not follow the guidelines set by Moses.

Saul begins to depend on his own strength like the nations and loses his Kingdom to David.

David, a man after God’s own heart, defeats Goliath.

For hundreds of years during the time of the Judges, Israel did not maintain a standing army. The Israelites did not know war.

David, as King becomes a man of great violence. He depends on his own strength. Instead of depending on God, David hired foreign mercenaries to fight for Israel and to train soldiers for Israel.

David displays the sword of Goliath. Was he displaying his own great military prowess?

Because of his great violence, God does not allow David to build the Temple.

Solomon builds the temple. He also does not follow the guidelines set by Moses for a King. Solomon worships idols and has many wives. Solomon accumulates great wealth.

The Kingdom divides after the death of Solomon, some Kings allow God to fight for them and they are successful. Some Kings depend on themselves and end in defeat.


With the Babylonian capture of Judah, the King experiment ends.

God is showing his people that they will live in the nations and be a blessing to the nations.

With Ezra and Nehemiah, the people return to Israel so that the messiah can be born in Bethlehem and die and raise from the dead in Jerusalem in fulfillment of prophecy.

Alexander the Great conquers Jerusalem in 332 BC.

The Jews rebel in violence.

In 63 BC Pompey conquers Jerusalem for Rome.

The Jews rebel in violence.

God does not allow the Jews to win against their oppressors. God is leading them to be a blessing to all the nations and to live out among the nations, he does not allow the return to the rule of earthly kings of Israel.


Jesus is born.

He is tempted in the desert by the devil to take political power. The Kingdom of God on earth is not an earthly kingdom, but a Kingdom with members living in every nation.

Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God. He teaches us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the prisoner to love our brother and sister and to love our enemy so that they can become our brother and sister.

Jesus sent out his 72 disciples representing the 72 nations of the earth as mentioned in Genesis. Jesus sees Satan fall like lightening from heaven. See Luke 10.

The zealots wanted to fight violently for freedom. Simon the zealot is Jesus disciple. But Jesus teaches peace.

Jesus died without resistance to conquer his enemies when he had 12 legions of angels at his disposal.

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend. Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:50-54

After the resurrection Jesus sends his people to preach to every nation. His Kingdom is a part of every nation. Jesus allows persecution in Jerusalem to push the Christians into all the world.

Even when Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples were asking when he would restore the earthly kingdom of Israel:

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1 6-8.

Jesus said we must be willing to die in the same way:

Jesus said: 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27

Paul continues the idea of a Kingdom of God that does not include a earthly kingdom. Paul tells us Christians do not fight with weapons of the world such as guns and knives and swords, but put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 11,12

The Ephesians passage is reminiscent of Luke 10. Demons rule the nations.

The Jews rebel violently against Rome and suffer great defeat in 70 AD, just as Jesus predicts.

The church depends on God for protection.

Prostitutes, tax collectors and soldiers become followers of Jesus.


Most Christians were pacifist but as time passed soldiers began to remain in the military. In 170 AD, the first soldiers to become Christian and to remain in the military are confirmed historically.

Then St. Ambrose, a master politician, was made bishop by popular demand. Ambrose called for the killing of pagans by Christians. The preaching of the gospel was put on hold and earthly power was grasped by Christians. Romans and Christians discriminated against pagans.

Soon only Christians could become soldiers in the Roman Army.

The military was used to force people to become “Christian.” Instead of preaching the gospel and teaching people to choose Kingdom of God through love, Christians turn to the violence of the world.

St. Augustine wrote about just war. Even his watered-down teachings concerning violence were twisted and ignored.

Christians fought for land and power and safety and did not trust God for protection.


Christians fought the Crusades to conquer Jerusalem and kill the Muslims. Christians are not loving their enemies and preaching the gospel to Muslims, they are killing their enemies like the nations of the earth.


Christian governments prove they are no better at peace than were the Empires of Rome and Egypt. The Holy Roman Empire, France and England fought constantly, Christian slaughtering Christian.

Thomas Aquinas refines the Just War theory.

Nations continue to ignore the teachings of Jesus. Nations and Christians alike refuse to follow Aquinas’ Just War theory.

Protestants and Catholics fought and killed each other. In the 30-year war 1/3 of the population of Europe died as this religious and political conflict raged. Were Christians becoming more violent than the world?


Pope Alexander VI issued the Papal Bull ‘Inter Caetera,” on May 4, 1493. This came to be called the “Doctrine of Discovery” used by “Christian” European Empires such as Spain, England and France to conquer foreign lands in North and South America, Africa, Australia and India for profit. The Doctrine of Discovery allowed the United States to legally and with the blessing of the church steal land from the Native Americans.


The Unites States has fought many wars with Christian nations. Fighting for land, resources and power.

The United States became a nation as a result of the Revolutionary War in direct disobedience to Paul:

2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:2

Today many of the most vocal war mongers in America call themselves Christian.

In 1918 after Germany signed the peace treaty, Germans were starving. The US Congress voted not to send wheat to Germany. Nearly 1,000,000 Germans starved to death as a result. Because to the starvation Germans elected Hitler. If we had feed the hungry as instructed by Jesus could we have prevented World War II? And with that one act perhaps we could have prevented the Cold War? And the Korean and Vietnam Wars? See What about Hitler.

Jimmy Carter submerged the US in endless war in the Middle East to ensure large quantities of cheap oil for America. Military contractors make huge profits from the war in the Middle East. Soldiers protect oil wells to ensure profits of oil companies and the war continues. See America’s War for the Greater Middle East.”

Can we in America be saved from God’s judgment for our violence?


Europe and America brought slaves from Africa. America fought the Civil War in direct disobedience to the teachings of Jesus. Christian brother killing Christian brother. This war was about power and greed. The south rebelling against unfair taxes and refusing to free their slaves. The North demanding taxes and politicians using the end of slavery as a means to gain political support. Great Britain ended slavery without war. Why not America?

We can see through history how true are the words of Jesus: Live by the sword die by the sword. America’s war and death continues in the Middle East as Christians fail to follow Jesus’ words of peace.


Today Satan still seems to rule the Christian nations, as Christians fail to resist the temptation to rule through worldly politics. The same temptation Jesus overcame in Matthew 4: 8-10.

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Matthew 4: 8-10. NIV

Jesus and Paul gave us a way to defeat Satan if we only take it. See Luke 10 and Ephesians 6.

Today Jesus still calls us to love our enemies and preach the gospel to all creation. Our brothers and sisters, our fellow members of the Kingdom of God live in every nation.

How can we feed the hungry, house the homeless and give water to the thirsty when we join the military and kill the hungry and thirsty? Or join the military make more people hungry and thirsty? How can we love our brothers and sisters in Christ if we join the military and kill them? How can we love our enemies when we join the military and kill them?

Jesus will continue to build his Kingdom even when Christians do not follow his gospel of peace.

Remember that Jesus saw Satan falling when he sent out the 72. Jesus defeated evil on the cross and has won the victory even if Christians do not follow his teaching. Whatever our sin, we can all expect Jesus to work in our lives as he teaches each of us to become more like him.

Jesus will have the victory.

Coming soon: A new heavens and a new earth without death and violence.


  1. Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest by David Rohl.
  2. Patterns of Evidence, The Exodus, Documentary by Tim Mahoney
  3. The Politics of Yahweh, by John Nugent

Edited 6/25/2020

Copyright © 2020 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

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St Augustine’s Mistake

By Jon Kauffman

Many, who support Christian use of violence, say that they base their position on the teaching of St. Augustine. Augustine based his teaching about war on the teachings of Ambrose, Plato, and Cicero.

After Constantine came to power in 306 AD the 300 Bishops in the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) called Christians to leave the military and this seems to be the official view of the Roman church at that time.

“Those who endured violence and were seen to have resisted, but who afterwards yielded to wickedness, and returned to the army, shall be excommunicated for ten years.” 
Excerpt from Cannon 12 of the Council of Nicaea.

Ambrose was the first Christian to write about just war. Ambrose was a highly loved and respected Roman Governor stationed in Milan and by popular demand became Bishop of Milan in 374 AD. Ambrose was a masterful politician and was able to overcome highly volatile situations using peaceful negotiation.

When Ambrose wrote about just war he was upsetting 350 years of Church teaching.

Did Ambrose write about just war because he realized that if Christians were to fully leverage their political positions then they needed the ability to ask young Christian men to slaughter enemies of the state at the state’s request?

With Ambrose did the Church begin to succumb to the third temptation of Jesus?

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Matthew 4:8-10 NIV

Ambrose was St. Augustine’s Bishop. Did St. Augustine write justifying war to bolster the ruling classes ability to maintain the status quo by allowing Christians to fight? Rome was in decline. St Augustine was arguing to give justification to leaders sending their constituents into battle. Did St Augustine write about just war because so many people were becoming Christian and the number of people available for battle was dwindling?

St. Augustine was teaching against the position of the Council of Nicaea. Should we expect him to have strong arguments demonstrating how the church teaching was counter to the teaching of Jesus? What did Augustine teach?

St. Augustine used Roman’s 13 to justify his position. As I have explained in a different blog post, Romans 13 does not justify violence on the part of Christians, but quite the opposite. (1) St. Augustine really did not bring his position back to the teaching of Jesus.

St. Augustine also tried to use the Old Testament to justify his position that Christians could join the military and follow Jesus. He tried to synthesize the love of Jesus with violence of God in the Old Testament.

Origen saw a problem with all that Old Testament violence.

If we agree with Origen that it is doubtful that a loving God would slaughter infants, we must look for alternative explanations of Old Testament violence attributed to God. If we follow Origen’s example we must remember that the Bible is infallible and we must find an explanation that reveals Jesus and God as loving us. We must read the story and interpret it as Jesus would interpret that story. See “God is not Violent, Korah’s Rebellion.” (2)

St. Augustine’s criteria for Just War included Just Authority, Just Cause, Right Intention, and Last Resort.

Does a Just Authority exist? If an authority contradicts the teaching of Jesus can it be just? Jesus refused to resist and died on the cross and said: “Take up your cross and follow me.” How can a Christian find greater authority than Jesus? If Jesus is the final authority on how we should live, and if we follow him, and if Jesus does not authorize Just War, then does a “Just Authority” exist who has the right to ask Christians to fight. If world leaders do not have Just Authority, Augustine’s other points – Just Cause and Right Intention are mute.

Does Just Cause exist? True justice replaces what was lost and brings reconciliation of the wronged party with the one who did the harm. Only Jesus can bring true justice. Someday he will he wipe away every tear. How can a government who is more interested in retaining power than following Jesus hope to determine Just Cause?

Is “Right Intention” a justifiable reason? I’m sure Winston Churchill thought he had right intention when he pushed for war against Germany prior to World War I. However had peaceful negotiations taken place instead, World War II and perhaps the Cold War with USSR could have been prevented. Our best intentions often end in disaster when we make mistakes. (3) If we are working with a government and military who are not following Jesus and if the foreign policy is formed by people who are not following Jesus, how likely is it that Right Intention in war will bring about results that follow the intentions of Jesus?

Is Last Resort a justifiable reason? “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Jesus holds the future, we can wait. We do not know when the last resort occurs.

Pax Romana lasted from the time of Jesus until 200 AD. Was this a result of praying Christians or brutal tactics of a brutal Roman government? 30 years after Christians began openly entering the military in 170 AD, Pax Romana ended. A few years after Augustine as theologians continued to justify Christian participation in the military Rome fell apart. Are the two circumstances related?

Do St. Augustine’s teachings on war conform to the teaching of Jesus? I have been unable to find anything that legitimately allows Christians to participate in violence in the teachings of Jesus. Many of Jesus’ teaching can be used to demonstrate that violence is unacceptable for a Christian.

St. Augustine, Ambrose, Cicero and Plato were all smarter than I am. They have been admired for centuries. Many followers of Jesus have agreed with their teachings. That certainly gives their teaching respectability.  But do the teachings of Augustine, Ambrose, Plato, and Cicero have the authority to trump the teaching of Jesus?

Cicero said, “In times of War, the law falls silent.”

Compare Cicero to Jesus:

Jesus said, “18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18.

Both of these statements are true. If Jesus is suggesting that we are responsible for our actions when we break God’s law and if Cicero is suggesting that in war we will ignore the law to participate, how can such a situation contribute to a “Just War”? Should we participate in “Just War” if we must reject the teachings of Jesus to do so?

In 408 AD Augustine wrote, “The earlier time of that king represented the former age of emperors who did not believe in Christ, at whose hands the Christians suffered because of the wicked; but the later time of that king represented the age of the successors to the imperial throne, now believing in Christ, at whose hands the wicked suffer because of the Christians.” Augustine, Letter 93, Chapter 3, Vs 9, 408 AD. To Vincentius.

I find little similarity between Jesus and his command to love our enemies and Augustine’s statement in Letter 93.

Because of Augustine’s mistake in giving Christian’s “justification” to fight, maim and kill, he set the world up for constant war.

In the Magnificat in Luke 1, Mary says, “51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 2 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

When the US military bombed villages in Laos because the Laotians would not send their 13-year-old sons to fight against North Vietnam, were the US pilots fighting for the “rulers on their thrones” or the “humble”?

Where do we fit in when we join the US military? Where do we fit in when we sit in our fancy homes and enjoy the cheap oil brought about partly by US foreign policy and military action in the Middle East or enjoy cheap bananas and cheap coffee brought to us by the Central American poor, kept cheap partly by our foreign policy and military action?

Will we be the rich that he has sent away empty?

When we support American soldiers killing defenseless women and children with drones are we like the Rich Ruler?

The Rich Ruler came to Jesus seeking to inherit eternal life. “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21.

Do we have the talent to be like a camel squeezing through the eye of the needle? If we are fighting to increase and protect our material wealth and are willing to kill the weak and downtrodden to do so, are we endangering our souls?

If St Augustine was intending to help the Church and political rulers retain political power, he was successful.

Was St Augustine successful in calling people to build the Kingdom of God by calling them to fight with violence? Refusing to fight and and as result dying like sheep worked very well for Christians to build the Kingdom of God during the first 3 centuries. If the Church had continued to be non-violent, perhaps the church would have been much more successful in building the Kingdom of God in the following centuries?

Some Christians do not even limit their wars to the Just Wars described by Augustine. These Christians blindly follow their political leaders and indiscriminately kill in any war the state desires to wage.

(1) Does Romans 13 Justify Christian Participation in Violence?

2) God Is Not Violent: Korah’s Rebellion

3) What About Hitler.

Reasons why other Christians participate in violence: Reasons Christians Give to Say Violence by Christians is Legitimate

Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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