Just so you’ll know where I stand on the issue:
- War is bad.
- War is never the best way to solve anything, though sometimes it may seem to turn out to be the only way.
- War is never just. Not when innocent civilians die or are butchered yet alive: old ones, young ones, men, women, children. Not when young and strong and brave people die or come home maimed beyond repair or psychologically scarred for life.
- War is never the choice of the strong, but of the weak wishing to appear strong.
- War should only be the consequence of all other alternatives having been exhaustively tried and miserably failed.
- War therefore admits defeat at its outset.
- War is not the way to deal with a terrorist, unless you are particularly successful at killing mosquitoes with a shotgun.
- War is never to be the pastime of kings in the springtime.
- War is not what Jesus had in mind when he advised his followers to get a sword. If you must quote that verse, don’t skip the next few when his followers present a certain number of swords they already have and He answers, “That’s enough.” Circle that number in blood-red in your Bible and refer to it frequently when you are tempted to quote only the first part of the story.
- War is never God’s will. It may be within God’s will, just as many other horrific consequences of sin and failure are, to remind us that sinleadstodeath sinleadstodeath sinleadstodeath. Sin is sufficient to lead to death. We do not need to help it along by having wars.
- There is more than enough warfare going on within the hearts of humankind, without spilling it out through our mouths and weapons grabbed by our hands.
- I could not willingly go to war without hate in my heart. It might masquerade as love for my country or my family or my God, but if I could ever be willing to go to someone else’s land in order to kill some of their people, there would have to be some form of hatred within that I cannot dispassionately dismiss. You can be thankful to God that I am not called to be a soldier. I am not a hateful person, but I know what it is like to hate and be hated and I want no atom of it.
- Hate is not the characteristic which defines God, His Son or His people. We may hate evil – but we had better be very blanking sure it is what God has called evil and not just what we’ve decided evil is. Because we have a tendency to label what we don’t like “evil,” without ever seeing it in the mirror.
- Going to war is never the same as defending your life or your loved ones in your home or your hometown. Don’t ever use that analogy to justify war. They are two different things. If you cannot understand the difference between them, there are no simpler words I can use to explain it to you.
- There may be wars that are justifiable by some, and actions within wars that are justifiable by some, but what counts is whether we try to avoid them in the first place and ask God to forgive us through Christ’s blood if they happen anyway. Then it’s justifiable if He says so. But, for God’s sake, don’t glorify it with regaling tales and paintings drenched in red and shoot-em-up-bang-bang blow-em-up-real-good movies that make my 12-year-old’s heart race and yearn for such “glory.” Glorify God instead.
- Stop acting as if war is always inevitable. There are always alternatives. Only a few times in modern history have people acted smart enough and brave enough to try. Ask yourself: Is it more important for the mission to succeed and to kill thousands of the uninvolved through open warfare, or to attempt the mission undermanned and underpowered, with stealth and courage, even when the odds are long against you?
I could say more, but that’s enough.
For those of you who read my blog, know my heart and are aware how infrequently I use words like “never” and “ever” and “always,” then you know I have posted this with passion.
You are free to comment – though I’ve started requiring verification on anonymous comments because of spoggers and spammenters – but you will not convince me otherwise; you will simply be wasting pixels.