Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 19, 2013

Some Christians quiet on war

— We are appalled at the violence in our society. I fear though that as Christians we too often condone institutionalized violence.

One of these is war. We believe it necessary for defense, especially since the Bible condones war — true pacifists have to struggle with the stories of violence contained in the Old Testament.

However, there are exceptions that makes one ponder. In II Kings 6:8-22, Elisha leads a blinded Syrian army straight to the Israelite king. The king eagerly asks, “Shall I kill them?” Elisha’s response? He tells the king to feed them and send them home.

In the most famous battle named in song, the Israelites march around the town of Jericho. The seventh day they worship God — Joshua 6. Certainly absurd military tactics.

David, the most famous king in Israel’s history, wanted to build a temple to worship God. But God wouldn’t allow this because David had shed blood — I Chronicles 28:3.

I Samuel 8 tells of the Israelites turning away from God. They wanted to be like other countries and have a king rule over them. Samuel warns of the abuses this king would do. He would tax the people for his chariots — i.e., his military might.

God spoke through his prophets. They discerned from God what Israel should do. I wonder what our prophets are saying about Syria and North Korea today?

It’s interesting. Those who say they don’t want the government telling us what to do say nothing when the politicians send our young people to war.

Another area involves the abuse of the “too big to fail” banks who helped cause our recession/depression. Isn’t this a sin that people have lost homes, jobs, etc? Yet where is the voice of the church condemning this?

— Brian Hartman