Summary: Begin with central affirmation Christ is Life, wills for us to have life, however wars will be here, until we find Christ who can stop wars.
“What’s a Christian Response to War?”
By Andrew Chan, senior pastor, PBC Vancouver
“ The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
John 10:10 (NLT)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8“All these are the beginning of sorrows.
A defense attorney was cross-examining a police officer during a felony trial. It went like this:
Q. Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?
A. No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several blocks away.
Q. Officer, who provided this description?
A. The officer who responded to the scene.
Q. A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?
A. Yes sir, with my life.
Q. With your life? Let me ask you this then officer - do you have a locker room in the police station - a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?
A. Yes sir, we do.
Q. And do you have a locker in that room?
A. Yes sir, I do.
Q. And do you have a lock on your locker?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those same officers?
A. You see sir, we share the building with a court complex, and sometimes defense attorneys have been known to walk through that room.
With that, the courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.
In this story we see a war between the lawyer, a defense attorney and a police officer. See them squaring-off. War happens everyday here, on our highways, homes, schools, turf-wars with gangs, workplace, drugs, boyfriend and girlfriend, hockey rinks (10 game suspension of Canuck, Bertuzzi) not only in faraway Afghanistan. Wherever there are humans in close contact, potential for conflict is there! How many hear the phrase WW 3 started just because someone got mad? But now, since Sept 11th armed conflict with biological weapons has heightened our awareness of this term called “war.” How can we think about it? What will be Christ-like way to handle this topic of ‘war”? What does the Bible has to say about the topic? Just about a couple of weeks ago we heard Osama Bin Laden say in a speech these rather chilling words,
“I tell them that these events have divided the world into two camps, the camp of the faithful and the camp of infidels. May God shield us and you from them.
Every Muslim must rise to defend his religion. The wind of faith is blowing and the wind of change is blowing to remove evil from the Peninsula of Mohammad, peace be upon him.
As to America, I say to it and its people a few words: I swear to God that America will not live in peace before peace reigns in Palestine, and before all the army of infidels depart the land of Mohammad, peace be upon him.”
Bin Laden is clearly declaring war on anyone who is not of the Islamic faith… He is not gonna relent : “I swear to God that America will not live in peace”. He intends on wreaking havoc here on this continent where we make our homes. Yes, Canadians too are affected by this, not just Americans. Do we not see in the news as more than a few anthrax attack hoaxes being perpetrated throughout several Canadian cities? Do we not see in the demand for antibiotics, as they are being bought like never before in Canada and the US? Is there not a likelihood, however remote it is, we could be targets, since Canada is not an Islamic nation, and part of the “camp of the infidels”, according to Bin Laden? We may be thankful, cos for now, it seems, we have been spared. You can be sure the reality of war has not hit some Canadian families, as they waved goodbye this past week to some our military personnel leaving on their ships and now steaming towards the Persian Gulf.
Any discussion re: “war” must begin with a central affirmation of the Bible.
God is for LIFE:
a) See this in Jesus’ understanding:
1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:1-6 (NKJV)