Today in my word politics class I said something about how terrorists primarily attack the United States out of retaliation against the imperial foreign policy of that country, and not simply because we are free. So, he asked, “What do you propose doing? Letting them continue to flog their women…”
This is a somewhat emotion-based argument, and logic is a weapon that can be used against state-power. Rarely do I see emotional arguments against government intervention made, or logical arguments for doing so. This is another example of an emotion-based argument.
I didn’t get to answer this student in class, but I do have an answer for him. He is not a Christian, nor does he have any interest in God, so I do not think he will accept my answer. Nonetheless, many Christians would agree with what he says about intervention in the Middle East, whether to help the people who live under tyrannies in the Middle East, or to help Israel. It is primarily to these people that this post is addressed.
Now, here I will not get into how war is fundamentally opposed to the family, because I just did so in my “Open letter to pro-family conservatives” post. I will, however, address a couple of points.
First of all, the Muslim nations do not even want democracy, so how on earth do you intend to impose it on them?
We found this out in Iraq, when Saddam Hussein was overthrown. The Iraqi people elected a Muslim theocracy based on Sharia Law. Our invasion actually made things worse.
There’s something ironic about imposing a “Majority rules” system on people who don’t want it.
Now, quite frankly, as bad as the system that they want instead of democracy is, I agree with the Muslims on this point. Democracy is terrible. The Founders agreed with this too. They supported a strictly limited constitutional Republic. Although I respect this view, I disagree and support a purely free market voluntarist society instead (“Anarcho-Capitalist” and “Voluntarist” mean essentially the same thing, look either term up, or just read my “Biblical view of Earthly Kings” page to get exactly where I stand.) Unfortunately, rather than either of these things, Muslims do indeed want an Islamic theocracy based on Sharia Law. This includes, among other things, harsh punishments for those who engage in certain vices, cutting people’s hand off for theft, and yes… an absolute lack of women’s rights.
Yet I oppose using weapons against the Middle East. First of all, it is impossible to do so, as I mentioned. You can’t impose a system of majority rule on a people who don’t want majority rule, that doesn’t even make any sense. And it certainly isn’t practical or reasonable to make United States citizens pay for an indefinite occupation of those countries (Quite frankly, to make anyone pay for anything other than restitution to those they have harmed is quite perverse in and of itself. I’ll let the taxation advocates justify that one. But… moving along.)
More importantly, however, for an Islamic nation to refuse to give equal rights to all of its citizens, to the extent that this is true, is a mere symptom of its real problem. The fact of the matter is, these people do not have the gospel of Jesus Christ! The vast majority of people in Muslim nations are on the path to Hell! To kill them only sends them there on the express lane! Why would we want to do that?
Now, it is not my conviction that it is wrong to kill someone if they are a threat to one’s family. 1 Timothy 5:8 says- But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. While I don’t believe that pacifists who don’t fight under any conditions are the primary target audience of this verse, I do think that defense and protection is part of “providing.” Nor do I necessarily believe that it is wrong to use the death penalty against someone justly convicted of murder, the Bible says that to do so is in fact to uphold the sanctity of human life. Genesis 9:6 says-“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
So, I don’t necessarily think all killing is wrong. But there is a huge difference between killing someone who is trying to attack you or your family, or as judgment from the community for the crime of murder, and trying to force another nation to change its form of government: which involves killing civilians as well as others who were never a threat to anyone in your family or country. This, I believe, is clearly wrong.
A pastor I was talking to one time, despite not completely seeing eye to eye with me on politics, had a sound insight with regards to this. He said something along the lines of “What Afghanistan needs is Bibles, not bombs.” This, I believe, is wise counsel. I pointed out that if Christians would spend as much money trying to get Bibles into Afghanistan as they do trying to get politicians elected who use the weapons of this world against those people, maybe God would use that to save that nation.
The Great Commission comes to mind here. And if God chose to use such work to regenerate the hearts of those people, I believe that among the fruit of such a revival would be the reduction of much of the government tyranny that occurs in that country and other countries like it, particularly if the government leaders themselves forsook Islam and accepted Jesus Christ.
It is important to remember, however, that Muslims are not the only people in the Middle East who need Christ. Many Evangelicals seem to forget that Israel, too, is lost without Jesus Christ. Instead of being Muslims, they are Jews. In some respects, their country looks “better” from an external perspective. They are seen as “The only democratic nation in the Middle East” (Personally this means nothing to me, the United States grows more and more fascistic despite being a “democracy”, Hitler was democratically elected, etc.) or worse, some see them as “God’s Chosen Nation.”
Paul seems to see election differently than those who say this:
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9: 7-13)
God’s choice is not based on any particular lineage that we are from. It is based solely on his promise and his choice. Ephesians 2:8-9 is very clear that this promise is received by grace through faith. It has nothing to do with being of a particular people group or lineage. John 14:6 further shows us that none can come to the Father except through Christ. If a man is not professing that he was saved through Christ, and Christ alone, he is not saved. It does not matter how externally moral he may be.
Most people in Israel do not accept this truth, they do not believe what the Bible says about Christ. Thus, they are just as lost as Islam. Thus, it is my conviction that the Christian should take no sides in religious wars between Judaism and Islam. If Israel goes to war with Iran, as it likely will, the Christian should not take sides. The bottom line is that both nations are lost, and both need the gospel. Neither nation is deserving of any special relationship with the United States, or with the people of God. True Israel is found in the church, the body of believers, not an apostate nation.
In the United States, I believe that our Christian foundation has kept us from full-fledged tyranny, but we are seeing our government grow more and more tyrannical every day. While some Christians will be deceived into supporting this, it is not Biblical. And it seems clear to me that it is unbelievers that are doing the deceiving. Not only is the tyranny of Islamic theocracy a symptom of the lack of the gospel, but the growing tyranny in the United States is also a symptom of unbelief in the gospel. Keep this in mind.
Note that I am not saying that the gospel itself is a political message, or that believing one political message over another one is a sign of being saved. The gospel is the message of how Christ came to redeem his people by dying on the cross for them to pay for their sins (John 10:15.) Those who believe in Christ and trust in his sacrifice are saved, while those who do not are not saved, no matter what else they believe (John 3:18.) What I am pointing out, however, is that false religions such as Islam and humanism teach certain things about the role of government, and that it is likely that when one accepts such a religion, he will also accept the governmental views of these systems. If a Muslim comes to Christ, they will no longer feel the desire to impose the Qu’ran on those around him, because he will no longer believe it. And I am saying that ultimately, the problem in countries where Islamic tyranny, or humanistic tyranny exists is not a lack of external force to make them change, but a lack of Truth about the nature of God.
God bless you all, especially my brothers in Christ.