<<Marc, could you expand on why this is not a just war. And when you say you could not be in the military in good conscience, do you mean you could not be in the military even if you were not required to fight Iraq?>>
Hoo-boy. As I was thinking about the best way to respond to this, I couldn't think of any other way than just to ramble on a bit. Some
of this ties into my thoughts regarding governments in general, how world events relate to the elect, and a bunch of other stuff. So
this is going to be a bit of a ramble, I think, and I hope it makes sense. And you know what they call the little ramble that takes place
before the main ramble? The preramble (get it?).
Okay, where do I start? I'll just start where my thoughts are now, I guess. In my belief that this isn't a just war, I'm not denying that this war is quite amazing, intriguing, and riveting. I'm quite impressed with U.S. military force. And I'm not surprised that it didn't take long to decimate the Iraqi army, in spite of the predictions of the mainstream press. I'm fascinated with how it all went and is going. And I'm also not denying that there is civil good that will come from this or from any war in which oppressed people are freed.
Next is my view of George Bush. Even though Bush is a God-hater, it's much better to have Bush in power than Clinton! Bush is a straightforward kind of guy, means what he says, politically honest. The administration is much more home-school friendly than a Democratic administration would be, and it is generally an anti-abortion administration, which is good. I'm not a member of the Republican party and don't think Christians should be members of any political party, because there is affiliation with much that is evil.But I certainly hold to values that are more in line with "conservative" ideology, for the most part. But I don't see how a true Christian could be the president of the U.S. There's so much one would have to tolerate and even embrace in order to be the president. It seems that a head of a country needs to be an unregenerate person! Does that sound weird? I pray for the salvation of our leaders, as commanded in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, since God will have all kinds of men to be saved, from those in high places to the common man. But I wonder -- if God saved a president, how then could he still govern in good conscience? He has to be tolerant! A society could not be a viable one without much tolerance! I certainly would NOT want this country to be run by a person who is intolerant of every form of religion except for his version of Christianity! What a nightmare that would be! I am also NOT with the conservatives in their attempt to legislate against private consensual immorality. It's not the business of a government to make laws about private consensual behavior. The government shouldn't be outlawing homosexuality, for example, as long as it is private and consensual. Saying that homosexuality is evil is the domain of the church, not the government. Yet there are some things in which what the church says and what the government says overlap, such as saying that murder is evil, rape is evil, etc.
More about government/nation. There is no such thing nowadays as a nation that is blessed by God. I hear all this stuff like "The nation needs to repent, and if it repents, then God will bless our nation." And how, pray tell, would an entire nation repent? A nation is not a person. A nation is not a church. The only time God had such a relationship with a nation is with Israel. That's all done. God will not bless the United States if the government made more laws banning immorality. God will not bless the United States if the majority of people pray during the "national day of prayer." It just doesn't work that way. God doesn't deal with nations that way. Nations are needed for an orderly society, and an orderly society is for the good of the elect.
That gets into how world events relate to the elect and reprobate. EVERYTHING that happens in the world -- the good, the bad, the wars, the famine, the plenty, etc. -- is a blessing to the elect and a curse to the reprobate. This war that is happening right now is a blessing to the elect and a curse to the reprobate. However, just because an event is a blessing to the elect does not make the event in and of itself justified. God causes wicked people do wicked things for the good of the elect.
Now for this particular war. What is a "just" war? It is a war that is justified, that is right (righteous), according to some standard of morality. The two main reasons people think this war is a just one is that it is freeing oppressed people and that it takes out a regime that was threatening our country's security. No doubt this war has and will do some civil good. If the United States were to invade Cuba and liberate the people of Cuba (the same for the Congo, Libya, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, etc., etc., etc., probably a majority of the countries in the world!), some civil good would result. There would be some people who would stop being oppressed. There would be some suffering alleviated. But does this fact justify the war? If so, why not go into all the other countries with oppressed people and liberate them? Is that the job of a country/government -- to go into another sovereign country and liberate the oppressed people in that country? Does this justify the killing of Iraqi military/government (who are admittedly evil and murderous and vicious)? I do not believe it does. And how about the threat to America's security? Is it justified to invade a sovereign nation because that nation possesses weapons that could be used against us? If so, America would be justified invading every other country that possesses such weapons. And what kind of precedent does this set? India and Pakistan do not like each other. Pakistan, a dictatorship, has threatened India and possesses nuclear weapons. Using the United States as an example, India could invade Pakistan and take out Pakistan's government and military, using the justification that Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons that could be used against India. So I do not believe war is justified because another country doesn't like us and possesses weapons that could be used against us.
Now for war in general. This is something I continue to think about, and I'll let you know my current convictions. I see that the only war that is justified is one that is commanded by God. So a "just war" is one that is sanctioned/commanded by God Himself. And the only war commanded by God is when God commanded Israel to make war against its enemies. And that has ceased. I cannot see any other justification for killing other human beings, no matter how wicked they are. Christians are to be people of peace. I could not be in the military in good conscience, because it is a training ground to kill other human beings. And when war happens, the military is the instrument by which human beings are killed. All this killing is not commanded or sanctioned by God.
And all of you who have read the past posts know what I think about rebelling against tyrants (that discussion was a painful one, if I recall). I do not believe that the American Revolution was justified, and I do not believe that any rebellion, even against despots, is justified. Yet when it happens, even though it is sinful, God has caused it for the good of the elect.
Well, there go some rambling comments. I don't know if I've said all this in a coherent way, and I'm sure I left out some things I would like to say that I'll remember later, but this is a start, anyway.
By the way, I'm all for defense systems that shoot missiles out of the air. Land-based or outer-spaced-based missile defense systems should be heavily invested in. With all the technology in the military, I think this would be a quite effective and accurate defense. Then, if a missile is on its way over, it can be blown up before it reaches us, and there would be no deaths on either side. Good deal! : - )
> I think your comparing apples and oranges here. The purpose of
> the government or the military is to defend or protect
> citizens of this country from other countries, not to protect
> citizens of other counties.
> And the U. S. did not attack Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi
> people. The U. S. military invaded Iraq to protect us from
> weapons of mass destruction. Although the U.S. government might
> try to give the impression they invaded Iraq to save the
> Iraqi's, because the U. S. public is more likely to support the
> invasion if they believe that was one of the reasons for
> it. I believe it had nothing to do with saving the Iraqi's from
> an oppressive government. Nor should it..
Fair enough. So you wouldn't think that invading a country to free oppressed citizens of that country would be the basis for a just war. That's reasonable. What if a country invaded another country? I guess, based on your view that the purpose of the military is to defend/protect citizens of this country from other countries, that you would also say that going to war to defend a country that has been invaded is also not a justification, right? So this would mean that the first Gulf War was not a just war in your mind? What about liberating France back in WWII?
The main purpose the U.S. military invaded Iraq was to protect us from WMDs (or is that WsMD?). Would it then have been just for
the U.S. to have invaded the Soviet Union when they had nuclear missiles pointed at us? Would it be just for India to invade Pakistan
because Pakistan has nuclear missiles pointed at India?
To close, here's something about which I have a very strong conviction: We do not allow our children to play with guns or pretend they are shooting at all. No "cops & robbers" or "cowboys & indians". It makes me cringe in horror to see little kids pretending to shoot at each other. We go even further in not allowing them to pretend that they are the "bad guys" in any situation.
The U.S. named the war "Operation Iraqi Freedom," implying that this military operation was for the purpose of freeing the Iraqis. Leading up to the war, we heard the justification for the war in terms of "Saddam is a ruthless dictator who has tortured and killed his own people." And after the fall of Baghdad, we heard, "How can you not support the war when there are all these Iraqi people who have finally been freed from the oppressive regime who are smiling and dancing in the street?" But, if I understand Tim correctly, if Iraq had no WMDs and we went in there to free the Iraqis from a ruthless dictator who has tortured and killed his own people, this would be an unjust (immoral?) war. And, according to Tim, free Iraqis dancing in the streets is not an indication that this is a just war. Correct?
When I think of freeing people from an oppressive dictator, I think of how easy it would be to annihilate Fidel Castro and his government and free the Cuban people who have been oppressed for decades. Yet America has a ruthless dictator right off of its own shores, with people being killed and jailed and tortured right off of its own shores, and chooses to do nothing significant about it.
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