Saturday, February 08, 2003

Gospel of Peace?-I found this United Methodist document on the war with Iraq interesting, found via Methodist pastor Richard Hall
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of peace," Christopher wrote to President Bush. "It calls us to transcend political ideology and national interests to act on behalf of the welfare of the whole human family." She commended him for his "careful work within the processes of the United Nations" and urged him "to stay the course, seeking every opportunity to disarm Iraq without resorting to war and looking for every peaceful way of protecting the world and our nation against the tyranny manifest around the globe."
Is the the Gospel of Peace of the Gospel of One World Government? The Gospel calls us to work not for the welfare of the whole human family but to expand God's kingdom. That will frequently include making lives better for people. However, the idea of the Gospel of Peace is a bit of a misnomer-look at Luke 12:49-53(NIV)
49"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
There will be division on this earth and to assume we can all agree and have one united world government is folly. Also, there are some times where war is better than peace, if the status quo is unacceptable and the damage from the war is outweighed by the good that will come from victory. If you drop the "peaceful" part, her phrase of "looking for every ... way of protecting the world and our nation against the tyranny manifest around the globe" is a keeper and one that the Bush administration would support. However, sometimes, you have people who are evil and don't respond to diplomacy. That's why you have policemen, that's why you have militaries and that's why you have wars. Liberal theologians underestimate the presence of evil and thus overestimate the power of diplomacy.

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