Would Jesus support the war?

A friend and former client of mine, Jim, has been debating with me for some time about Bush, politics, the war and partisan perceptions. I enjoy dialoging with Jim when things remain civil. It has been a real builder in both patience and reason for both of us who care deeply about humanity, but have very different takes on the state of the world. I find that dialog really can break down barriers and bring parties to agree where labels and camps tend to divide.

Jim asked me this question after finally getting the point that I was never all that excited about us invading Iraq, but still supported our current efforts there now. i thought it would be an interesting blog post, as although my reply was a shot from the hip, it may be helpful to those who come along and read it.

here goes:

At 06:30 PM 11/11/2005, JIM wrote:
>Okay, fine. In your opinion, would Jesus support the
> war?

This really seems like a totally no-win to answer question.
let me try, but you might have to venture a bit into theology and history with me here…

Jesus is and will be the ultimate dispenser of justice, but he also is the prototype for establishing a new culture of mercy and reform to the way the world works. Gandhi credits the teachings of Christ as his inspiration for his passive resistance movement, which was a great model for how I feel many problems today should be addressed (and sometimes resolved). However, no one talks about the 1 million tragic deaths that took place from the partition shortly after Gandhi’s victory, which also showed forth signs of shortcomings in his idealism.

Our founding fathers exhausted every peaceful means possible in asserting their free rights before declaring independence, as they were very conscious of following the model of Christ.

It is clear that Jesus refused to get caught up in the politics of His day. He had a zealot or 2 within the 12, but He never advocated rebellion from Rome, but rather a transcendence of being that provides an internal freedom from tyranny and through love, has proven the ultimate way to transform culture.

One of the biggest themes of the Bible is the promise of God to provide justice in situations where there is tyranny. Justice is meted out through various examples, including through the mechanism of nations that bring it through war.

So in the end, for lack of time to elaborate further, I believe one of the greatest gifts we have from God is transcendent wisdom to decide which courses of action will work toward the best ends of justice, the ultimate prevention of the suffering of the victims of tyranny (isn’t that a primary justification for our entering into WWII?) and the security of our own nation. Wisdom has to be exercised, yet while we appeal to Christs example and principles, we remain flawed in character and in intention on a collective level.

So, looking back, was it wise to invade Iraq and free people both currently and potentially under extreme tyranny? It can be debated endlessly. The fact is that in 2002-03, we, as a nation, DID decide that it was. Now, we have to be responsible for what WE have to finish against the backdrop of the fact that the enemy of progress and freedom in Iraq has only one effective weapon against us.. the erosion of our will to establish freedom and justice in place of tyranny. Messy business? Yes, but mainly because we have such an injured self flaggelating conscience in America these days that undermines the win-win scenario that I am convinced Bush is genuinely trying to achieve.

To take a Gandhian approach now in the current paradigm where religious fanatics only see it as weakness and are sending suicide bombers into any city they can to bring civilization to it’s knees is ludicrous, dont you agree?

So with all that being said Jim, let me ask you this since you supported the invasion of Afghanistan… Was Jesus egging you on? Did Jesus shrug his shoulders when he saw the collateral damage created at the routing of the Taliban?

Back in your court bro.

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