History records: War, Peace and Freedom
April 8, 2003
"Since the Garden of Eden, history records for us that there has never been a time when man has not been in hostility with man. Jesus tells us that when we approach the last days of the earth, there will be wars (Matthew 24:6-7). This was not part of God’s original created order, but this condition came about the moment man introduced sin in the world (Genesis 3:8-19). Consequently, the whole earth will continue to tremble under this heavy curse of sin (Romans 8:19-22) until Jesus sets up the perfect, peaceable millennial kingdom on earth. In the mean time, how are we to relate and react to war?
Jesus came to this earth to set the captives free (Luke 4:18)! The Christian life is about the value of man to God and the freedoms that God has planned for man. Wherever the Bible and the Christian world-life view is foundational to the culture, there are great personal freedoms enjoyed by men. Today, great personal freedoms are enjoyed only in those countries that either have Christianity as their foundation … or have been heavily influenced by them, like the USA upon Japan following WWII.
Scripture also admonishes us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9). If we remain silent or turn our eyes and hearts away from oppressed peoples, we would not be acting to defend the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.
The Christian world-life view does not have as its core value the idea of conquering or dominating other peoples in conquered lands. We have had many opportunities to lay claim to lands that we have conquered on the battlefield and have not done so. Why? We believe in freedom, not serfdom. I believe General Colin Powell expressed well the heart of Christian America when he answered a question put to him by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, at the World Economic Forum in January of this year. Mr. Carey seemed to suggest that perhaps President Bush had aspirations of empire building. General Powell eloquently answered (in part),
"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works."
Proverbs 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
Ecclesiastes 3:8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Psalm 16:1 Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
Pray for our President, our troops who are deployed and for our country to turn to the Lord as its strength and protection.