Saturday, June 15, 2013

Some Men Will Make Money While Some Men Will Die


The United States has decided to arm the Syrian rebels. Now there is a large contingent of Islamic extremists within the rebel army. Now there is a real possibility that the ogre you remove will be replaced with a greater ogre. You may be just trading ogres. But as in all wars, some men will make money while other men will die. It is the world’s way. Christ preached self denial and humility while the world demands power. And sweeping across the Arab landscape is the excitement of the power mirage. You see democracy is nothing more than a demand for power from the lower ranks.

Look as some of the liberals and conservatives in congress who just yesterday hated each other now join hands together. And just what was the tie that binds? Yes, it is war. If you accept war as a viable part of the Spirit’s ministry then I guess you can find nobility on one side or the other. And the mayhem that finds its expression within such violence must also be part and parcel of the way of Jesus in some circumstances which seem to be more often than not in America’s interests.

This is the nature of war and violence. It chooses sides and then it decides who shall die and who shall live. It creates a great economic atmosphere and those that already have much gain more. It is a rich man’s sport indeed. It kills adults and children alike. And it seeks power and submission and land. It creates hatred. It creates orphans. It creates casualties. It creates heroes. It creates villains. It scorches the landscape and it will use anything at its disposal to win. Death rains down from the sky and arrives from the sea and hides behind trees and is planted underneath the soil.

On any given sunny and crisp morning it sends bullets racing toward human forms. It removes arms from torsos and legs from bodies and heads from necks. Listen as men scream in unspeakable agony begging for someone to do something. Smell the burned flesh mingled with gunpowder and sweat. And when the dust settles and the corpses are buried and the wounded limp home and war rests until the next time, then those who managed the horror will stand behind a podium and a flag and accept the victory applause and medals. To say it is disgusting is to almost compliment it.

But to believe Jesus accepts and endorses war in certain circumstances when American interests are at stake is to believe in a different Jesus altogether. It is to ignore the overwhelming content of His life and teachings and create a Jesus who gets involved with politics and murders millions of people and even has His hand in creating larger and deadlier and more efficient weapons. It is to believe that Jesus trains snipers and bombers and special forces and orchestrates entire campaigns that injure and wound and maim and kill tens of thousands. And by the way, when women and children happen to get killed that Jesus says “Oops”. But oh well…that’s war.

What kind of lunacy has the church perpetrated upon its members? This isn’t just a difference of opinion. This is insane. The same people who castigate men like Rob Bell and Joel Osteen for shredding the Scriptures in order to make them fit their own desires are the same people who do the very same thing. But get this: In a stunning reality Rob Bell and Joel Osteen and John McArthur and most of the orthodox crowd all join hands when it comes to the “just” war position. You see they cannot agree about what Jesus taught except that He taught war. Doctrinal insanity on parade.

War is hatred revealed. It is power displayed. It is lifestyle idolatry. It is fallen man’s way to achieve either a takeover or a protection but both by aggression. There is no passivity in war. It is utter and profound aggression.

War is the complete devaluing of human life regardless of which side takes the hill of nobility. There are only losers in war regardless of what the fallen scorecards say. But to attach the name of Jesus to war is an astounding alteration and ignoring of all He taught. If violence on such a massive scale is part of the way of Jesus then dead children must be collateral damage but included in the way of Jesus. The human reasoning is that sometimes war is necessary to combat evil. Well where is that in the words of Jesus or any of the 27 books called the New Covenant? “But what if we just do nothing?” says the western church.

So now we arrive at truth not through His words but through our own philosophical questions? If we cannot see any other way to achieve what we want then we must incorporate additional measures not laid out in Scripture? We have prayer. We have fasting. We have love. We have the gospel. We have God’s Word. And we have martyrdom as well. Those are our allotted weapons. But since we have long since abandoned them it is understandable that we must do the world’s bidding with the world’s weapons. It comes down to this: Do we believe the words of Jesus without caveat and without amelioration or must we alter them in order to be reasonable and fit within our cultural and nationalistic understandings?

I challenge any believer. Read the gospels through in one sitting and then tell me that Jesus taught and approved of war in any circumstance. In this day of national allegiance the words of Jesus carry less weight than the words of Confucius.

But all wars have something in common:
Some men will make money while some men will die.


Lorena said...

Exactly, Rick.
Honestly, the thought of children, babies, old men and old women, mothers and fathers of those children and babies of any war, being obliterated, their lives blasted away is painful and sad. Many are not saved, maybe most, I don't know but at that moment Hell awaits. The world as a whole doesn't see that, and weigh the balances and in the end each country thinks the same's in our favour so to war we go.

But, if we are a part of the body of Christ Jesus we have no business cheering on a war, voting for a war, desiring a war or biting at the bit to get in on the action. We are supposed to be spreading the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ. The mercy, the grace of our God that we can be born again...and if we be hardening our hearts, and shouting 'Hooray for our side' then just how hypocritical and unloving we have become. In so doing we are bragging and cheering on men, women and children as they enter Hell.
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) why do some Christians? So sad.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

Anonymous said...

Very true Pastor Rick. Especially that democracy is merely the masses demanding power. As Satan sought to usurp power from God, as Adam and Eve sought to hd their own gods, so it is today. The 'atheist' who says there is no God is a liar - in fact he or she puts themselves in place of God.

As for the church perpetrating lunacy on it's members, I wonder about that. It seems just as it was in the old testament days - the people sought after prophets who told them exactly what they want to hear. We often refer to 'wolves in sheep's clothing' in leadership, but in my experience, there are just as many ferocious wolves
' occupying the pews'. They may not have the 'looks and the brains' to reach the top, but through their words and actions you can see the bullying and persecuting with full force. God in His compassion pleads with us, but now I realize that Armageddon is the only way that God can finally deal with the evil that humanity delights in.

Anonymous said...

Amen - this is so so true. And I can't believe more don't see this.

We do, and I do too, ignore this whole picture and don't see how the compromised church has lost it's first love.

All I hear on the news is how political christians don't want big government interfering in their lives. They want to pay lower taxes and let others fend for themselves. YET, these very same people, self-proclaimed christians, are all for their government going to war. They justify it by saying it's necessary - yet what they don't admit to themselves is that this IS interference in other people's lives. They justify it by saying it topples a rogue evil government; buy they don't care that it creates carnage and will hurt innocent civilians. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

These same christians love to let people know they have 'faith' like the Faith and Freedom Coalition conventions. Funny how they say they have faith, but it's not the faith in Jesus Christ, but faith in the god of forces.

Some self-proclaimed christian speakers may complain that the non-spiritual put their faith in government. Yet, they themselves also have faith in a form of government, especially a government who can protect their investments and resources and way of life. And they are willing to send their own sons and daughters in harm's way to keep those $$$ rolling in their pockets.

And if oppressed Syrians or others live under dictatorial rule, compromised christians here ease their consciences by wanting to send troops overseas to take care of business. I think they believe this is a form of "helping our neighbor". Of course there's no skin off their backs.

The best way to help their neighbor in that situation? Act the same way they'd act if these were precious souls that Jesus saved, or at the very least act like these are familly members. What would a christian do if his neighbor was openly abusing his children? He would do everything he could to get the parent help, whether by social services intervention, or go in himself and urge the parent to repent, or he could take those children in his home for a while, if the abusive parent was willing, and be a christian example in every situation.

On the international stage, we, as christians must have the same attitutde as we would if we were to help our own here. We have to love those children and families overseas, and a true christian conscience will not provoke or interfere in fights. If we can't physically help them, the only thing a true disciple and child of God is commanded to do, is pray. We're not commanded to engage in toppling governments.

I feel like the frog who just woke up and am in really hot water.


Kim said...

All I can say is, "forgive me, Father, for all the parts I have played in the sinfulness of this world. Have mercy upon me according to your great loving kindness." We have all at some point or in some way perpetrated the evil that is in the world. May we all see the truth in that and seek the Father's help in eradicating the things that are within each one of us that plays into this. More of Him, Less of me! And then, may God be gracious to us and let us have the same impact upon others. Just as you are doing here, Rick.