Sometimes I think it would be easier if I was a Quaker or a Mennonite with the doctrine of pure pacifism. I would love to live in a world where conflict is resolved in meaningful dialogue. But we don’t live in a peaceful world.
I do adhere to Augustine’s just war theory that was further expanded by Thomas Aquinas. Two of the tenets of this theory is that war can never be just if it is waged out of selfish motives or an exercise in showing off military might. The other is that peace is the ultimate goal of war.
We haven’t had a just war since WW2. Heck, we haven’t had an actual war declared by congress since WW2. They had names like police action or peacekeeping mission or military operation. We have been fighting a “peacekeeping mission” for about 13 years. We are living in a state of perpetual war. This is very good for weapons manufacturers, military contractors, and factories that build tanks and bombers.
War should always be a last resort. Many politicians are hungry for a war with Iran. I don’t want a war. I want the fight against terrorism to be treated the best way as a criminal investigation. War has too much collateral damage. This collateral damage is great recruiting fodder for our enemies. Rhetoric full of hate is not Christian nor is it helpful.
Praising torture and threatening terrorists’ families is immoral. I didn’t like it when Jack Bauer did it and I really don’t like it when a major candidate for the presidency of the United States does it.
Sometimes I wonder if religious right politicians support this reckless foreign policy because they believe that it will lead to the last war. The war that will end in Meggido and will usher in the return of Christ.
In 2003 George W Bush was talking to President Jacques Chirac of France. He mentioned that he saw Gog and Magog when he looked at the Middle East. This lead the French president on a theological hunt to find out what Bush was talking about. He was mentioning an end time prophecy from Ezekiel 38.
Now I am an evangelical Christian and I long for Jesus to come back. I do believe that we may be living in the end times. But I don’t want to do something that will kill millions of people to bring it about. Jesus will come back on His own time. He doesn’t need help from us.
We are servants of the Prince of Peace. Yes he said in Matthew 10:34 that He came to bring a sword. That sword is the sword of truth. People don’t like their sin to be pointed out. They will fight back. They may call you names, they may imprison you,they may torture you, they may even kill you. But we do not return in kind.