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.