Lesley Stahl discussing U.S. sanctions against Iraq on 60 Minutes in 1996: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” (May 1996)
“F**k Saddam, we’re taking him out.” –President George W. Bush (Said to three U.S. Senators a full year before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.)
“God is pro-war.” -Jerry Falwell (January 2004)
You would be hard pressed to find a subject more misunderstood in modern society, and especially in the church, than foreign policy and war. Christians and non-Christians alike will argue their position with fervent passion with most having never grasped the New Testament teachings of peace and grace or even read a book on the subject of foreign policy. Most could not even find the countries on a map they are arguing to invade! When the calls from Christians to bomb, invade, and occupy foreign lands is greater than the call to reach a nation for Christ there is serious error.
Your foreign policy is wrong when it does not line up with what the New Testament teaches. There are many times in the Old Testament that God directed His people to war but to say this is how God operates in the New Testament age of grace is the opposite of Jesus’ teachings. It also implies that modern governments are hearing from, and are being directed by God on matters of foreign policy. But the United States, Israel, or any other nation’s military is not God’s Army and their leaders are not God’s priests. Furthermore, to say God is on any one nation’s side is ludicrous. God does not look down upon the Earth and see a map with border lines and nation states. There are Christians on both sides of every conflict regardless of what nation they are citizen of or what their government represents. Christians perish, and have perished, on both sides of every bombing raid or invasion in all of history. See Here. But every knee-jerk argument invoked by well meaning Christians seem to follow the belief of what they claim as divine favor and to be in disagreement with the majority of government’s decisions, according to them, is sinful. The Book of Romans is usually the “smoking gun” to end all debate. For example… “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (Romans 13:1-2 KJV) If this is a valid argument of what this scripture really means, or a worthy excuse to follow government’s every whim, then the Germans under the Nazi regime would be justified by following this misinterpretation and supporting every atrocity perpetrated by their government during the second world war. In actuality Christians are very selective as to which commands they will follow. Most of them would never travel abroad and preemptively kill in mass but let them be ordered by the government to do so and they will because they fail to correctly distinguish between Old and New Testament.
It seems today if you are a Christian you are automatically expected to believe that God is pro-war and blesses every skirmish, war or invasion. But being pro-war is not a traditional Christian position, nor is it a traditional conservative position. American Christians should study the Word without the dark cloud of political bias hanging ominously above their heads. They should also study the hatred and disgust of war by the early church fathers. For example, Justin Martyr said this of the peaceful nature and heart of early Christians: “And we who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness have each one all the world over changed the instruments of war, the swords into plows and the spears into farming instruments, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for all men, faith and the hope which is from the Father Himself through the Crucified One. We who hated and slew one another, and because of differences in customs would not share a common hearth with those who are not of our tribe, now after the appearance of Christ have become sociable, and pray for our enemies, and try to persuade those who hate us unjustly in order that they, living according to the good suggestions of Christ, may share our hope of obtaining the same reward from God, Who is master of all.” Contrast Martyr’s quote, which WAS mainstream thought, with a Methodist’s minister’s quote during the war hysteria at the beginning of World War I: “I would have gone over the top with other Americans. I would have driven my bayonet into the throat or the eye or stomach of the Huns without the slightest hesitation, and my conscience would not have bothered me in the least.” This quote represents the heart of modern Christianity that was birthed during the dreaded Century of War. Also, seeing that the majority of American Christians are Republican, they should study the early conservatives and realize that before William F. Buckley, Jr. (ex-CIA man), and the publication of his magazine National Review, the Republican Party was the anti-war party. The founding fathers were also vehemently opposed to foreign entanglements of every kind. Thomas Jefferson said: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” The answer for modern theorists seems to be the more foreign entanglements the U.S. Involves itself in then the safer the world will be. If they would study blow black as suggested by the CIA and made mainstream by Dr. Ron Paul, they would realize the folly of their beliefs. Their answer to fix the problems started by dropping bombs is strangely enough, to drop more bombs.
Foreign invasions in modern time and throughout history have been done under the guise of humanitarian missions with the U.S. media being the most vocal supporters. Years ago there was a defector from the Soviet Union who said the biggest difference between the people of the Soviet Union and the United States is people in the U.S. actually believe what the media reports. No modern U.S. invasion has been a humanitarian mission. One example is Iraq. The entire Christian population has been driven out or ethnically cleansed of their communities where they have worshiped since the days of Christ and this is a direct result of the U.S. invasion. The same is true for Libya. It is true that Saddam and Gaddafi were horrible men and even more horrible leaders but the U.S. has no right to invade any sovereign nation, especially without congressional approval. Even with congressional approval it does not make pre-emptive war moral or just. If the U.S. military industrial complex was in the business of humanitarian mission then they would have liberated thousands of people in Africa who have been slaughtered by radical regimes for years.
Most modern Christians are unapologetically militant and ready to bomb any nation for almost any reason. Their hearts are so full of vengeance and blood-lust. Remember, sprinkled in amongst the bomb’s targets are children, women, and Christians dying a death they do not deserve. If there is one thing any U.S. president can count on, it is the support of American Christians and the dumbed down masses for any and all military action. This is in spite years of blow-back and terrorism started by illegal, unjust, and immoral offensive wars. Your foreign policy is wrong.
As for me and my house, we will serve The Prince of Peace…not the God of War.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18 (KJV)