Tag Archives: war

A discussion of means, not ends.

As Christians, the discussion of war and pacifism is not a discussion of ends. We are not to choose are course of action based on what we think the possible or hypothetical ends of an action are (there are probably situations where you can do this, but I don’t believe this is one of them). Certainly if I was not a Christian, not some one who believed in the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ who walked the earth, I would more then likely Primarily consider the ends to choose my course. This discussion though is amongst Christians.

We see numerous examples in the Bible where a choice was made based on means (as they saw God had called them to) rather then the ends that seemed likely. Daniel in the Lions den, Moses going to Pharaoh, Abraham venturing out, Stephen who was stoned, Jesus being crucified, and Paul going to prison. The most clear example probably is Rack, Shack and Benny (care of VeggieTales), when they refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s God. The ends seemed quite obvious even to them: They’d be burned up in the furnace. But they knew clearly they needed to follow what God had clearly called them to regardless of the outcome; and we were all quite surprised at the outcome.

This is my point: If pacifism is what God clearly calls us to in His word, then we must follow it, regardless of how irrational it might be from our worldly (and even historical) perspective. If you are going to dialog with me on this topic as a Christian, we are going to need to come to a consensus on this point. This is an important point to deal with before we move on.

For example, you are not going to convince me that pacifism is not what Christians are supposed to do by logically arguing that war was the only possible option to defeat Hitler. A political argument that war was the only option to oust Saddam is not what we are focusing on. If you show me that war is a Biblical Christian response to Hitler and Saddam then I’ll be happy to agree with you.

Are we in agreement that this is not to be a discussion of ends? (we can have that conversation later if you want).

Respect for the troops.

As I begin my thoughts on war I found myself needing to venture another disclaimer before beginning the discussion.
Not only did I have one of those yellow ribbon magnets on the back of my car (until the winter weather disintegrated it, I guess most folks have a garage), but I actually do love and care about the folks in uniform. I don’t feel like I’m more holy than thou when I say that I disagree with war, I’m simply sharing what I’ve come to see in the scriptures and through my thoughts about this topic.
Are those who fight in the war no longer Christians? By no means. As we discuss this I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I think those in the military have some how fallen away or anything. I don’t claim to have the absolute truth, though I do think what I’ve read in the scriptures is accurate.
Shortly before I started becoming a pacifist I read C.S. Lewis’ “Why I’m Not a Pacifist” Essay in Weight of Glory and let me tell you it had me convinced. I read it again a little while ago and I’ll tell you again that it is quite convincing. Much of what he says in there I still agree with, and maybe that will come out in our discussion. I share that simply to say that I am open to the fact that I might be wrong.

There are people who are close to me that are in the military and what I share in these entries does not change my love for them at all.

Beginning thoughts on war.

In some discussion with friends of differing views on the topic of war, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should start a small series of post related to that very topic.

My first thought and clarification is this: I am not a political pacifist. I guess you could call me a Biblical pacifist if you needed to define it. What I mean by that is simply that I did not come to my pacifist views by any political ideology or teachings. I did not grow up in a family that was anti-war or anything of that nature. My journey basically began a few years ago when I read: “love your enemies” in the sermon on the mount and start to think hard about what that might mean for me.

So, when you comment on my post, feel free to educate me about political ideas and issues. But any convincing or persuasion will need to be done from a Biblical standpoint. Hope that’s okay with you.

Bush appeals to citizens to give money

I just watched a video of Bush talking about the situation in New Orleans on the BBC.

At the end he encourages all the people who want to help that what is most needed right now is money to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. It struck me that in my conversation with a very conservative friend that this is exactly how he thinks this sort of thing should be done. No government forcing us to give our money, no forced benevolence.

I guess I just think maybe Bush should have done the same thing with the war in Iraq. You know, if there was a real need for more funds to support that effort, why didn’t Bush do a press conference and ask us to send our money?

To me it seems backwards. If we need to give money for the relief effort after Katrina then by all means take some of our tax dollars to do it. In my opinion, if you need money to relieve people in Sudan, SE Asia, Niger, and Iraq, please take billions and commit billions to care for the needs of those people. But please don’t take our money to buy bullets and missiles and land mines and kill people. Please don’t.

Where is the outrage?

Can somebody please explain this?

I’ll speak to my war supporting Christian brothers and sisters. I hear lot’s of “support our troops” from Christian organizations, and pulpits and the rest. Rarely do I hear a straight-forward acknowledgement of the fact that what we are “supporting” them in is often the killing of other human beings in the act of war.

That being said, I think there is also a proper and necessary place for a support of justice in regard to murderous abuses like the ones we know about here. Tell me please what your response is.

Dear Anonymous

To anonymous and others who have enlightening things to tell me about,

I would love to IM or email with you about the things that you obviously think I am un-informed about. My understanding of war does not come from a philosphizing political point of view.

Most of my thoughts on issues like this come strictly from what I see Christ said. My hope is that others like yourself would come to see that maybe war isn’t such a hot idea and then YOU can be the genius who comes up with the pacifist foreign policy that would work.

I concur to the blog world that Anonymous will likely be able to rip to shreds any thoughts or arguments I give on any sort of political grounds. I concur that Anonymous is likely far smart then me when it comes to these things, and if you would like to know more of Anonymous’ thoughts please go to Anonymous’ blog.

Now, anonymous, out of curiousity…
Say you were crazy like me and for some reason thought killing people was just a straight up bad idea. Say your right about the Iraq Body Count thing, but you still think the numbers of dead people is too high. What if you were President (or whatever position you would want to choose, except God), would you do to try to carry out the ethics of not going to war? No round about answers or arguing how it just won’t work. Just pretend your crazy and you have these crazy ethics. What would you do?