Christians and war

Various people have emailed me to state that Jesus would not use violence to crush the Arabs waging war on Israel, or against the Islamic terrorists who have declared war on the USA. In response, I think it’s important to consider three things:

1) God has crushed invaders of Israel in the past.

2) He has promised to do it again in the Book of Revelations.

3) Ariel Sharon and George Bush are not Jesus Christ, nor is Sharon to the best of my knowledge, even a Christian. Why would either the Israeli or the American governments, both of which are avowedly secular, take a Christian perspective into account even for a second? Not being individuals, they can’t. It’s a nonsensical point.

A broader point is that anyone, even a Christian, can join in a reasonable discussion of which military tactics and strategies are likely to work or not. War is inherently worldly – Jesus said as much. We can either ignore it – which regular readers of my column will note that I generally do – or when we speak about it, speak about it from a worldly perspective. My opinion on the optimal way to wage war on Iraq should no more be considered a Christian position than is my opinion on the likelihood of the Minnesota Vikings finishing 8-8 this season. No one confuses things in the latter case, and it mystifies me that some people do in the case of the former.