With the war drums beating loud in Washington, America is on the verge of seeing yet another Middle East conflict emerging. As the Syrian government has been indicted to using Chemical weapons against it's own people, it seems like we must do something to stop the bloodshed.
Nearly 100K people have been killed in this conflict, and the strategic balance of power seems to be with the current regime. Beheld to the surrounding Arab Spring uprisings, it's no doubt why leaders in the Syrian government are worried they may not hold to power much longer.
But what of a Christian Worldview in all this?
How should people who claim to follow the Prince of Peace address the cries for war and justice?
Is it fair enough to say, "God allowed war in the Bible, and thus we have a cart blanche card to use the military He's given to affect 'good' to others?"
Another argument emerges, "Protect those who can't protect themselves" that drives the American Judeo/Christian value system to rush to help.
I must admit, am torn.
I've spent a fair amount of my life now working with teenagers in the Middle East. I've made it a point to learn the factions, and understand how a culture might view people in the 'other' parts of the globe. I've committed much time, energy, meditation, study, and prayer to wondering weather the role of force in a global conflict is effective after living my 20's and early 30's through a decade of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I have friends who have lost much.
I love my dear brothers who serve in the military.
I have a deep reverence for the people who sacrifice their lives for the good of America.
But so many questions cloud my own thinking when it comes to war.
1.) As a believer, Jesus calls me to Love My Enemy. There really aren't any places where Jesus calls us to take up the cause of someone elses war. In fact, when given the chance to respond to the Occupying Empire of His day, Jesus took a coin with Caesar's picture on it and said, 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what it God's.' In other words, the King of the Universe, while here on the earth, gave no right to plow through rebellion for the sake of justice.
2.) How well do we really know what's going on? I was in my early 20's when the argument for dismantling chemical weapons was the war cry to invade Iraq. After visiting Baghdad in December 2012, I'm sure the system we longed to help create is at the brink of violence at any given moment. Car bombings have sky rocketed in recent weeks, and Iraq is no place of peace and democracy as seemed to be promised by the last administration. Over 800 people have been killed in violent bombings in August 2013. Do we really know what we're talking about? Is the End Game America so desperately wants to see across the world even possible?
3.) Do we know the 'who's' in the game? It seems to me, the Arab spring was a cry out for Freedom from our friends in the Middle East. And now upon further understanding, it was merely a cry for America to come and use its military to unseat the dictatorial rulers who were holding to another kind of power inhibiting the grass roots extremists from legitimizing themselves on the global stage.
And with these three, I begin to wonder my position. I know I'm not in any place of power when it comes to geo political decision making, but it's interesting to look deep in my own heart and ask, What if?
As a follower of Jesus is there a place to bomb Syria?
How to we teach and train our young people to think about a Kingdom not of this world, when time and time again we are dragged back in?
Does the observation of evil allow for us to engage in a violent way?
What is my responsibility as a follower of Jesus?