The following is a response to the question "Would Jesus Christ approve of the present war in Iraq posed by the editorial staff at The Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette. It's the best answer I've seen to that question. -- Sunnye
Would Jesus support the war in Iraq? This topic has been the subject of several editorials and both the Gazette editors and contributing writer Bill Mehle assert that Jesus would not endorse the war. Although I would never propose to know what Jesus would or would not do regarding this subject, I believe our Lord is anything but a pacifist. As Christians, we believe in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. In the Bible's Old Testament God the Father destroyed more humanity than any human ever could. People's cruel and disobedient behavior so incensed Him that once He even destroyed all humanity with a flood.
God's son Jesus came to earth, borne of a woman, and flesh though he was, remained sinless. Jesus speakes of those who belonged to Him as not belonging to the world. He prays for His disciples in John 17:9: "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." Jesus clearly separates those who love Him from those who love the world. Jesus saya in Matthew 10:21, 22: "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake."
In the Book of Revelation, we witness the greatest and last war the world will ever know. It's clearly a war where our good God is pitted against the evil Satan. If we search the Bible, God is clearly shown as being capable of destruction -- not only by committing it, but also by allowing it.
Mr. Mehle quotes Pope John Paul II as saying war, "is always a defeat for humanity." I respectfully say that perhaps war, while being a defeat for humanity, may be a triumph for good. Statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke stated, "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Whom do we stand with and more directly, what do we stand for, if we leave a dictator to destroy his own people? Mr. Mehle states that Catholic bishops remind Catholics that among other things, "a fundamental measure of our society is how we stand with and care for the poor and vulnerable." Mr. Mehle's quote refers to alms giving, but aren't we also standing with the poor and vulnerable in Iraq by relieving them of a brutal regime that destroyed the most vulnerable and defenseless of its society? We are giving people a chance. A chance they never dreamed of having.
Make no mistake that Iraq, not America, is now the venue for the war on terror and Americans are safer because our armed forces are stationed there. Thank God for every man and woman who is willing to fight so Americans don't daily live in fear. Thank God for a President who isn't afraid to "carry a big stick," as Theodore Roosevelt said we must do. There have been many miscalculations made throughout our brief history as a country, but the biggest miscalculation was avoided by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II, when he courageously led America into the other guy's war. Yes, Pearl Harbor was attacked! Well, so was the World Trade Center, where more people were killed than at Pearl Harbor.
Yes, Jesus is most certainly the originator of the Beatitudes, including the one quoted recently by Gazette editors: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God." But I propose that many of our armed forces personnel, many average Americans, many Iraqis and perhaps even Jesus consider our service men and women and the leaders who sent them off to Iraq, peacemakers. They stand courageous in and for a land that has rarely known peace.
Let us not forget that while Jesus Christ is the embodiment of what we are to become spiritually, he knows humanness. He also knows and understands evil. And, if Armageddon is the last great war, He knows what it takes to overcome evil.