Wars and Rumors of War

???To the conqueror go the spoils???.

Does it not seem like when you boil it all down, the one who gets
???their way??? seems to be the conqueror?

They ???get to write the history??? from their own slanted perspective,
they and those with them become the heroes and get the props.

Have you ever noticed that in the American Revolution, the rebels were
the patriots and good guys (unless you were British or an American
loyalist who supported the crown) while the established order (rule by
England) were the tyrants and the bad guys? The core issue is who had
control. It???s always the core issue among people.

Flip that over when you think about Americans wiping out large
portions of native American tribes… unless you believe ???the savages???
needed conquering and of course the whites, mostly of European
descent, brought these heathen the Gospel of Christ… so does that
mean everything they did was automatically right, humane and done in
Christian love? Did the native Americans ever act inhumanely to the
whites or to other tribes around them? Same old stuff isn???t it?

Further back in history one might consider the Spanish or Portuguese
either wonderful business-like (and accompanied by Christian
missionaries much of the time) exploration teams who were extending
the kingdom of God along with good European commerce into the New
World (South, Central, North America and the Caribbean)- or as
conquering invaders who stole the local???s land, women and culture in
exchange for dominance and whatever spoils they could get from the
conquest. Shall we consider torture methods they used on the native
people?

This seems a near-endless pattern in history over and over again, does it not?

Micah 6.8 states: ???He has shown you humankind what is good. And what
does the Lord require of you? That you do justice, love mercy and walk
humbly with your God???.

How can one connect those words, in fact -commands- of God with so
much profane conquering which often was done with the stated intent or
complicit service of ???God and country????

Jesus was not and is not an American nor European -nor was he even a Caucasian.

I love Iceland and have toured there many wonderful times.

Their history of ???conversion??? to Christianity happened when a foreign
king gave them two options: repent of your pagan beliefs and publicly
convert to Christianity or face an invading army that will wipe you
completely out.

They thought about it for a bit and threw their idols into a waterfall.

The invasion didn???t happen -but this was more about dominance and
economic control than it ever was about the love of Jesus Christ for
Icelandic people!

Did any truly come to saving faith in Jesus? History seems to say some
did. So…??

Can we not- especially in the U.S.,- be honest that there are mixed
reasons as to WHY we allow, agree and/or even demand our politicians
send our military forces into violent conflicts around the world?

As in the past, as among many nations, tribes, cultures and with a
great many mixed rather than fully Christ-centered motives (!) we must
come to grips with the ???why??? and ???how??? of war and whether or not each
and every deployment should have taken or should now take place.

I am no pacifist. I shoot, hunt and fully understand the need- not
only desire- for weapons. I truly believe in a strong defense. I also
do not believe that everything ANY leader or nation or military
individual or force does is forever neat, pristine or righteous in the
Lord???s eyes.

I???ve a good many friends who now serve or who are veterans. There are
so many who are so debilitated by their experiences in war, who???ve
lost their minds, hearing, spouse, children, job opportunities and
have gained a world of hurt often including on-going issues with
trauma and addictions that largely took root as a result of their
service.

I beg the reader to take sober thought and prayer about what we as a
nation are actually doing or allowing leaders to do when conquest for
material gains are involved. I would further like us to consider if
our own ???standard of living??? and ???American way of life??? doesn???t at
times boil down to ???I LIKE what I have, want more of it and don???t you
try to mess my kingdom up by somehow getting in the way???.

Jesus Christ is (John 14.6) ???The Way???. He???s also ???the truth and the
life???. I suggest to you that material gain and prosperity, dominating
power and control have greatly promoted military conflicts from the
beginning of humankind.

Torture, death, innocent victims and plenty of misery have come
ultimately from decisions we make out of our own selfishness and
desire to dominate and live ???the good life??? which does not look much
like Matthew 6.31-33 and less like Micah 6.8 but rather over and over
again brings me to recall James 4.1-4

A great many people in this world are starving to death. They are
watching their sons, daughters, grandchildren die for lack of clean
water, nutritious food, basic hygiene, clothes that fit their climate
and useful shelter.

Meanwhile the U.S. is expected to spend over a trillion (with a ???T???) dollars in
2012 for military ???defense???. We know that ???defense??? is a misnomer as a
large portion of what this money goes to is offense.

I???m not saying scrap the military services entirely. I???m not
suggesting all service personnel are immoral, heinous war-mongers,
nothing of the sort! I am indeed questioning our ethics and morality
as well as common sense with regard to the way we spend our money,
cast our votes and live our lives, often in quite arrogant and harsh
judgment of other nations and systems of government throughout the
world.

Education is not THE solution, but I believe a great many otherwise
good-hearted Christians are not thinking very deeply about what we???re
doing and in fact, what we as Christians are supporting when it comes
to (as General/ President Eisenhower referred to it) ???the
military-industrial complex???.

Too many sheep live like goats. Too many Christ-followers focus only
on themselves, their family and their immediate church and
neighborhood. Too many who speak of faith live in fear, anger and
shallow thought about these things.

Are you a patriot or a terrorist? What???s the difference?

What does all this have to do with agape love and the Good News of Christ?

There are portions of verifiable history that all-too-clearly call we
Christians to account for our lack of love, compassion, mercy or grace
toward others.

At times, I think our lack of depth is staggering and in fact offers a
horrible and negative witness of the Gospel. What will you and I do
about all this?

Study, pray, think, repent where needed. Vote but do not consider
everything everyone does as pure and fully supported by The Bible!

What are your (and my) motives for living as we live, and who are we
willing to displace in order to live in relative comfort?!

How much is truly enough?? At what point ought we to share as opposed
to grasp for more?

Jesus, our neighbors, the Church and this world deserve better.

Things I???m thinking about on a Sunday afternoon. -Glenn

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