My dad was in the military for however long it takes to get to Lieutenant Colonel. (yeah, that’s how I’m telling time). Ever since I can remember I have gone to very pro-military churches. Very supportive of, I think, any war America has been in. Every even remotely military holiday, they honor those who have served or are serving our country. I’m all for thanking soldiers for protecting us, as a country, as a people, but I serve a kingdom and a king. A king not of this world. A kingdom not of this world.
I’m still trying to learn what exactly that means. But I know it does not mean quotes like this from famous Christians,
“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities, we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.” –Ann Coulter
“You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I’m for the President to chase them all over the world. If it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” – Jerry Falwell
In Genesis right before the flood, it says that God was sorry for what He created. “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him to his heart…Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and the earth was filled with violence.” (Gen 6:5,6,11)
I don’t think God wants violence. But I also see in scripture where God tells them to fight. There’s Gideon’s story, there’s all the places the Israelites took over on their way to the Promised Land. But then you also see where David didn’t get to build God a temple because He had blood on his hands. If you look at the Gospel, it’s not a Gospel that has any sort of violence in it at all.
Love is the common theme throughout scripture. “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14) I guess it boils down to what love looks like. And where, as Christians, do we stand in love, on things when we’re working with a broken and sinful world? Have we chosen to go along because the US is a “Christian nation” so we see these things as ok, when in reality the Christian thing to do would be to resist and try the loving approach, which might not be what we’re doing?
There are times in history where I don’t know what else we would’ve done except fight back and I see it as things fully worth fighting for. I don’t think any people should be oppressed, and how else to stop the oppression than to fight if it’s a world power doing the oppressing. The book Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw says this,
“No doubt the strongest argument for the word is to use it to protect the innocent… But if ever there were a case for justified violence or a “just war,” Peter had it when he picked up the sword to protect Jesus from the Roman soldiers coming to kill him. Jesus was laying down his life not for a country or nation or even his closest companions; he was laying down his life for sinners, evildoers, and enemies. He loved his enemies so much he died for them.”
So what’s right? If you step away from the political titles of “conservative,” “liberal,” “Republican,” “Democrat,” and just say Christian, what’s right?