Sunday, November 9, 2008

Veterans Day Held Up to the Light

Veterans Day (also called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day)is November 11th, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I--so in a sense it is a day for celebrating peace or originally was meant to be so, but now, in the United States at least, it has become more of a promotion justifying unjust wars of the present and the past.

Religious people, who claim to follow Christ (the who loved his enemies and calls us to do the same), instead use their worship time to glory in their own nation and its wars, even current conflicts (from their own side, of course).

Yet James of the N.T. had it right when he said "Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn't it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own fight to get your way by force." JB

Have you noticed that almost invariably each nation thinks its cause is right and just and that it is the other nation who is the evil one?

From the Faith and Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting of Friends:

We utterly deny all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world...The spirit of Christ which leads us into all Truth will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for kingdoms of this world. George Fox

The Kingdom of God is both present in each of us and a goal yet to be fulfilled. The task may never be done but sustained by God's love we are called to pursue it.

When I lived in the Middle East (worked on an Israeli kibbutz and stayed with a Palestinian family, too, in Nablus), I found loving people on both sides of the conflict, yet both peoples were prepared to kill each other for ideology and for land, even for God! And they are still doing so this week.

And I remember during the Vietnam War when I was encouraged by my Christian youth leader to go to Vietnam and kill communists for Christ. It was God's will, he said.

How tragic!

Such thinking is not from the Light of God.

On this Veterans Day, let us who are committed to peace, seek to spread the good news of Jesus, "Love your enemies..Blessed are the peacemakers."

When thinking of Muslims who oppose us, we ought to remember Brother Andrew's insightful acronym--He says, "ISLAM, for Christians, means I Sincerely Love All Muslims."

God bless all countries, all people's--no exceptions!
from the recent bumper sticker

1 comment:

Katya5 said...

When it comes to conflicts, I remember an old song by one of the Russian bards called "Raven." It speaks of the raven being the omen of war, so, to prevent the war, someone has to kill the raven. People start loading their rifles. Next thing you know, they start shooting at each other. In the end, there is no one left; no one but the raven that is still flying in the skies. How ironic...

When I see all the justifying that our government does on TV in regards to the war in Iraq, I remember the saying from "The Cradle Will Rock":

Of course it's Peace we're for -
This is war to end the war...

Thank you,