Thursday, May 11, 2006

War and the Prince of Peace

Our president recently got a missive from the president of Iran and he asked a valid question, though his conduct is proving his question to Mr. Bush to be sheer hypocrisy.

One of the questions is how can a follower of the Prince of Peace declare war?

That is a good question and a valid one which Jesus Himself answered.

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10: 34 NASB)

And He said to them, "When I sent you out without a purse and bag and sandals you did not lack anything, did you?" and they said, "No, nothing." And He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it along, and likewise a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one." (Luke 22: 35-36 NASB)

Jesus WILL eventually bring peace to earth when He personally returns to reign on this planet, but He knew that the intervening time would be a time of violence and war. I believe that Jesus wants His people to be peaceful but not pacifists; what that means is we must not go looking for a war but, unlike a pacifist, we must be willing and able to fight when it comes to us.

This war was not started by Christians and it is not Christians who are seeking to wipe another nation off the map which Iran says it wants to do. (We do not wish to destroy any nation but civilize, and yes Christianize them -- Jesus wants all to become Christians, however while we may meet violent evil with violence, we must never use the sword to force another to convert and punish those who refuse. Militant Islam looks at that a little differently.)

Equally absurd is the claim that because America is not perfect it has no right to criticize other nations. I will answer that with an example from real life. My high school Algebra and Trig teacher was a brilliant man who really knew his math and yet one time, he was running through a problem on the blackboard and he added, I forget the exact numbers, but for some reason his 3+4 that day was a "6". It was a human error. Does mean that he did not have the right to mark our work wrong when it was simply because he too had made a mistake? The answer is obviously no. America does things wrong because we are human but the fact that there might be a difference between how blacks and whites live does not mean we cannot criticize genocide and slavery in other countries. Just because there are more men in positions of power in America than women does not mean we have to shrug our shoulders when women are treated as chattel. We have grown much as a nation in the last 200 years and have learned from many of our mistakes, and there is nothing arrogant about sharing the lessons we have learned with other nations.

War and peace share one thing and that is both must be honorable. A dishonorable peace is no better than a dishonorable war. A dishonorable peace means the good guys surrendered and the bad guys won (like Vietnam) and a dishonorable war means we are INTENTIONALLY TARGETING good and innocent people for no good reason.

9 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

"I believe that Jesus wants His people to be peaceful but not pacifists; what that means is we must not go looking for a war but, unlike a pacifist, we must be willing and able to fight when it comes to us"
We agree. We were attacked and we went to Afgahnistan to fight our attackers. Unfortunately, our short attention span president did not finish the job there before he went "looking for a war" in another country that did not.

Iran is not at war with anybody at the moment. If we ever go to war with Iran, it will probably be because we start it, not them. Iran's president sent Bush a long letter. I know that our countries disagree on almost everything, but he made the first move. If Bush is serious about diplomacy, it's time to stop threatening and at least try to talk to them. Maybe that will come to nothing, but he should at the very least try to do it. Cheney dumping on Russia is not helping our clout in the world, either. Now we are that much farther away from getting their support to do anything about Iran. The arrogance of these two boggles the mind.
The war in Iraq is dishonorable. We attacked a country that was not threatening us. We were lied to about WMD to get us to go along with it. When we do leave, Shi-ites in power there will continue to hate our guts and will not be a friend to our interests. We will have installed a regime that is anti-US. You call that victory?

I know that you think the Quran is not the word of God and that Muhamed is a false prophet, but I wondered what has your opinion of the Mormons. Do you think that they are a cult?

11:50 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

The Mormons are an odd case, and by the way I was a born in a Mormon household and, though I have rejected Mormonism, many members of my family are Mormons and we get along fine. Yes he was a false prophet, but judgement of his followers belongs to God. Mormonism is much closer to Christianity than Islam and it is quite possible, in my opinion - don't take this as infallible, for a member of that Church to be a true Christian, in spite of the problems with their odd doctrines as much of the doctrine in the Book of Mormon is lifted directly from the Bible. (Doctrines and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are a bit further out.)

As far as diplomacy with Iran goes, let's be diplomatic, but let's negotiate from a position of strength rather than weakness. Diplomacy works in two circumstances and that would be either when both truly want peace or when one, shall we say, holds most of the Aces. Secondly, the Middle-eastern culture respects a show of strength. I do not believe the president of Iran wants peace as his lunatic statements make clear, but maybe we can get somewhere if we can raise the price of victory to price he is not willing to pay.

As far as Bush goes, I think history will see him as a man whose vision was bigger than his abilities. Yes he has done some dumb things but you also have to consider the alternatives we had. I voted for Bush as the lesser of two evils and, given the choice of the same two men, would do so again. I would much rather of had a couple who did not make it through the primaries.

12:11 PM  
Blogger armed_and_christian said...

"Peace Through Superior Firepower." It's a godly concept.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

"we must be willing and able to fight when it comes to us." I think part of being a Christian is believing enough in what you believe in to keep yourself able to defend it.

The world knows that Iran is controlled by insane, evil, unstable people. They have already said that Isreal should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Nobody in the international community wants Iran to have nuclear weapons. We have the power to make the decision for them if they continue to choose the wrong one. I hope we have the guts to back up our beliefs.

Sometimes peace is found only on the other side of war. (I think I heard that in the movie Camelot.)

7:22 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

"we must be willing and able to fight when it comes to us." So how would attacking Iran first make it coming to us? I do not think the leaders of Iran are insane. Yes, they do desire the destruction of Israel. So does every other country in the middle east, they just don't say it in public. This is not 1938 Munich. They have not gone into Austria and the Sudetenland, and are not going to attack anybody. I would want a Bomb, too, if the US is always threatening me. You are all very free spending with the lives of other people's kids.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Excellent, excellent post and well said!!!!!

Our pastor did a sermon on "A Just War" when the war first started. He went through the different points and pointed out how we were in a just war. It was very good and I think he's right. I took notes on it, I'll have to dig them out.

Anti-war nuts don't realize that appeasement only ends up costing more innocent lives in the end.

4:07 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Excellent post Shoprat .. don't think I can add anymore to what A & C, LP, and LMC have already said. This was food for thought as well .... a bit of a stretch, but ya never know:
http://thefirebrand.blogspot.com/2006/05/stark-realities-in-age-of-empire.html

10:08 PM  
Blogger NEO, SOC said...

Excellent post Shoprat! Don't you find it interesting that with nothing else to say; he goes to the President's faith? Hmmmmm. Let's see; I've already declared war on Israel; I have already continued my nuclear programs despite admonishment; I've sent a letter showing a sign of cooperation (which they read through the lies. Darn! I'll try a more flowery one later!); next I'll do what the liberals in America do and attack his faith!

"our short attention span president" R: Comments like that, while your right, prove only one thing: He will always be wrong! No matter what he does right! Please don't align yourself with the camp that is so pessimistic! Ask yourself why people aren't hyping up the strength of the economy under Bush? Because that would require acknowledging he did something right! Mind you, I am not happy with many of the decisions he has made (as well as the Republican party); but I can acknowledge that he's done more for the country than Clinton.

"If we ever go to war with Iran, it will probably be because we start it, not them." R: In Israel's six-day war; were they wrong to be preemptive? They knew what was coming! Diplomacy was gone! Period! Should they have waited until their country was leveled to then strike back? Tim, I am troubled by people who can not see the reality of evil and shurk at the responsibility to respond (even preemptively).

"Iran's president sent Bush a long letter." R: Have you seen the letter? Have you seen the reports on the obvious sarcasm riddled through it and that it could not be weighed as a serious move towards cooperation?

"The war in Iraq is dishonorable. We attacked a country that was not threatening us. We were lied to about WMD to get us to go along with it. When we do leave, Shi-ites in power there will continue to hate our guts and will not be a friend to our interests. We will have installed a regime that is anti-US. You call that victory?" R: Dishonorable is you opinion; but has "your attention span" forgotten the millions of people happy to be free from Hussein? What about the Iraqis testifying against him? The millions of bodies found at the hand of this lunatic? What about even the chemicals compounded for the use of WMDs? Can you honestly use your avatar and in the same voice concede such anti-America sentiment? You are aware that even though the media doesn't report it; there are many Iraqis out there who actually love the American presence? What about the blogsites or plan sites that document pictures of "HAPPY" Iraqis playing with our troops? Anti-US? Be not so easily duped by the minions of mainstream media.

On the case of Mormonism; yes, as Shoprat stated; there are doctrinal inconsistencies. Mormonism alters the essence of God (just like Jehovah's Witnesses). That's the first underlying characteristic of a cult. Lucifer is the half-brother of Jesus and we become Gods. God procreates on other planets, though Jesus says there will be no marriage relationship in Heaven save that of Christ and His Church. The only kudos I could ever extend to cults like the Mormons and JWs is their effectiveness on family care (correct me if I am wrong, Shoprat). The make the true believers of Jesus Christ look like idiots because they have better practice at times with erroneous teachings. I am not saying that there aren't believers doing what they're supposed to; it's just that the freaks are in the forefront unfortunately. Sorry for such a long comment Shoprat.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Yes, I will continue to use my avatar. Just because I disagree with the Iraq war does not make me anti-American. Your boy's popularity rating is at 29%. That means that nearly 3/4 of the country is on my side. Rail away as much as you like, I'll still never change my mind. MSM. I guess if the facts are not to your liking, you can reject the source, but they are the facts. If things were going swimmingly, they would be the first ones to pat W on the back. Remember how they went after Clinton over ML? Fox news is MSM, and they have a rightwing slant, but I'm not questioning anything they say.
I'll say one thing, if we go to war with Iran, they better think about starting the draft again because we will not get ANY allies for this one. You are looking at this issue from your own ideological vacuume and not working with the realities of the situation. Do you think that the other countries in the region will do nothing? They will use the "oil weapon" and really stick it to us. Are you ready for gasoline rationing? Really, all of this talk is pointless lip flapping because Iran will get their bomb, and we will do nothing about it. There is little that we can do and only right wingers will really lose any sleep over it.

2:05 PM  

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