With the topic of just cause in a war against Iraq, which the mere suggestion is fraught with error, we should ask is there such a thing as a “just cause” for war as Saint Augustine suggested? From a Christian perspective the only answer can be, is if God were waging it Himself! Yet this still does not deal with the modern mindset many believers have that there is cause for an altercation with Iraq and that we are just in considering it. What gives the modern believer the option for their mindset? It is the answers to this question that will help us deal with the more surfacy question of a just cause in war.
How can we as believers lump ourselves in with the body politic called The United States of America? On what basis can we still consider our destiny as one with this temporal entity, albeit a 225-year old country we happen to be born in? It is exactly this problem of identifying with America that even allows us to consider the matter of a just cause in a war with Iraq as a serious discussion. If we did not consider ourselves to be American what would it matter? We should discuss the validness of seeing our identity as still being “American” after we have chosen to follow Christ.
The first question we must ask is rhetorical, was Jesus an American? The answer is of course NO! If he was not and we are following Him how can we still be as we were before we came to Christ? See: Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 13:14 and John 18:36. With this rhetorical question and answer out of the way let’s look at other written authorization for what we say we believe, what does it say? More than 11 times in the New Testament there is a phrase repeated in one form or another that has gone unnoticed it would seem for nearly 1700 years. That phrase is, “There is no distinction between Greek or Jew” is either repeated or intimated in the following scriptures Acts 15:9, 26:23 Roman 1:14-16, 2:9-26, 3:22, 10:12, I Corinthians 1:24, 12:12-13, Galatians 3:28, Ephesians. 2:11-22 Colossians. 3:11.
The significance of these statements for us today is exactly the same as it was then. First of all, no nationality is preeminent over the others so as to subject all others to itself. Secondly, we as believers share a common bond with all other believers the world over as being one entity. Additional, it can be noted that the idea of only two types of people existing in this world was also fostered in the early church. There were only believers and non-believers. The reason was is that when a person chose Christ, they also chose to be an alien in this world. A cursory review of early church history would back this up.
So how does this tie into the topic of discussing a just cause? Basically it dissolves the need to quantify the justness of cause in war because we are not citizens of this world any longer. To act or think from the perspective of the world is to denigrate who and what we really are. It is also to walk off the path of being able to minister as God had intended. The world should be able to come to us and expect to find comfort, love, truth and a higher purpose. If all we can do is discuss their matters of existence from one of their sides of the argument or the other, we make it difficult to minister to all the people. We will only be able to minister to those who share the same side we have chosen of any issue, be it foreign policy, welfare, the death penalty or any such other. We will offend the detractors of the side we have chosen over that one issue. There is only one issue that we can be on one side of and that is Salvation!
Secondly, the commission of war is not a blessing. Yet those who do not take the sides of factions in war can bless both sides. We can see people like Richard Wurmbrand in his work doing this. Mabel Francis a missionary to Japan during the war did this… We need not to see whose right or wrong concerning a single issue and get behind the former. We need to see that God has a higher purpose than a worldly assessment of right and wrong in an issues atmosphere. God is not for America or Iraq. He is for His Kingdom and the only bearing concerning either one of these countries in regards to His Kingdom is our concern. What are we doing about that?
The world and its “god” seek to pull us in on things like taking sides on ever issue of life to the demise The Issue of life. If we do not see our position and identity correctly we will get down in the hog trough of the world’s playground and play with it at the demise of this issue. We need to be re-educated in who and what we are. We can no longer say, “for God and Country”. It can only be for God or for country, but not both. You must decide on whose side you are on and then begin to live out of those realities.