Are pre-emptive strikes ethical?

I was just reading from 1 Corinthians and St. Paul the Apostle kept saying stuff about the our bodies and the earth eventually coming to an end (1 Cor. 6:13); and in 1 Cor. 7:31, “For the present form of this world is passing away.”  Yes, the world as we know will end one day, but when?

Recently, President Kim fired a missile past Japan into the Pacific Ocean.  We certainly have more reason to fear an apocalyptic end-of-the-world scenario with the likes of Kim Jung Un of North Korea.  Add to the list of dangerous influences the Islamic Jihadists around the world who take their scriptural directives out of context to kill innocent people around the world to build Allah’s caliphate/kingdom.  This is nothing else but a violent and irresponsible use of power to intimidate.  We can call this bullying.  These types of bullies have come from underdog positions and now they have a “gun”.  The challenge is to ethically discern what to do with their gun, and/or the persons in possession of the weapon.

From my previous post about strength in weakness, might we move into a dialog about strength through power? Would it be ethical that our western political operatives and South Korea consider a pre-emptive strike by taking out Kim Jung Un? Whoops, did I say, “take out,” or shall we say, “remove him from power”?  (You may interpret this how you wish).

These days, political and military operatives are seriously considering the options of the above. See Washington Posts article here (via National Post):

Will it be safe to say that many of us would feel safer without Emperor Kim, or aka, “Kim Fatty the Third” (as people in China endearingly refer)? What are the alternatives? Might it hurt the feelings of North Koreans who would stand to lose a beloved dictator? But do they truly love him, despite his loving ways of stealing food from civilians in order to feed his obedient army? Shall we first take a poll of North Koreans to see what they think? That would be extremely democratic and considerate of us to do so. No? Okay, too slow; then shall offer to take a poll of South Koreans?

If a poll result were to actually return with an affirmative “Yes” to “take him out”, then shall we do it? Would there be less guilt, or none at all?  I sure some may consider some of the biblical and ethical implications before implementing the defense policy.

What does the bible have to say about pre-emptive strikes? Is there such as pre-emptive strikes in Scripture? I find it difficult to find some solid evidence myself. We can take all sorts of verses out of context like the Islamic Jihadist do in order to “take out” Kim Jung Un. If we can, then why not? It would feel more convenient to do so. Commit the deed, then think and repent later for our consequences.  We’ve done it before so it’s nothing too serious, right (e.g., Saddam Hussein)?

I wish Scripture were more clear about violent commitments of war but there isn’t. Sure, there are many examples of war and battle in the Old Testament/Hebrew scripture, but are there clear biblical rules and statutes about this issue? Tell me if there is and I will thank you. I do not offer any certain opinion of what is biblical or ethical but I do have an opinion of what I would like to see happen and it might not sound very spiritual.


Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

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