Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Onward Christian Soldiers: A Just War for Jesus

Onward Christian Soldiers: A Just War for Jesus I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me . . . I assure you, as often as you neglected to do it to one of those least ones, you neglected to do it to me. Matthew 25:40; 25:46. Here I go, reflecting on my writing for the past week and my direct opposition to war as a means of diplomacy. I have to admit that the definition of the word “war” can lead to several interpretations; of course, the meaning I referred to is that of a clash of armed forces with the intent of imposing the will of one side upon the other through violent and deadly means. We refer to a sporting event as a war between two sides. We have a card game that is called “War.” Other games, like chess, are thought of as strategy games bases on concepts of real war, but played, not waged. And we do speak of waging war when we go after a cause: you might say that I am waging war on war itself by what I say and how I try to act. So, as a Christmas wish or observation, I state the following: Christian, if you are not a hypocrite, look beyond your self interest to the truth: every three seconds, somewhere on this planet, a child dies. In the time it took me to get this far in my blog, 40 children have lost their lives. They died of disease and starvation, war and murder. Two more. I look into the eyes of my energetic grandchildren and try to imagine them sick or starving, with no hope of any end but Death, or living in an environment plagued by raiding maniacs or long distance bombs. I feel blessed that they are safe. But I ask myself: beheaded by ISIS, blown to pieces by a drone, expiring from lack of even simple food or clean water, killed by a disease like malaria that can be easily treated – what difference does it make? Dead is dead. Just because we do not see it, do not feel its impact directly, do not smell its stench, does not mean our responsibility to do something about it is less. The oil will play out. The stuivers and shekels and Euros and dollars and yuan will all remain behind when you leave this earth. So I propose to you all: if we must have a war to fight, wage your war on Poverty. It is a war that we can win; it is pragmatic to devote our resources it it; and the rewards go far beyond conquest. We all like to cite the evil of Adolph Hitler when supporting the concept of a just war. But we must recall the impoverished conditions of Germany in the 1920’s that allowed him to rise to power. He took power in 1933. He gave his people nearly full employment within five years. Prevention can be the cure. It is not enough to say: give a man a fish and he will be fed for a night; teach a man to fish and he will be fed to a lifetime. We must also stock the lakes with fish – continually. As for me: I do what I can when I can. I am fortunate in my own existence but the only power I have is a voice too few as yet are hearing. I am not as good as the widow who gave her last coin to Jesus, but I know my priorities. So did He.

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