The Peacemaker and The Warmonger
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The myth of peace on Earth

The President has been derided for being both too religious and not religious enough, even, unbelievably, when it comes to the conflict in Iraq. War is an action of government, not of private citizens. And as head of state, the President has the right to declare war (with the approval of Congress) without regard to his personal belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I find it ironic that those who insist there must be a separation of church and state, also find it convenient to accuse the President of not exercising his personal Christian beliefs in the conduct of government!

But suppose it was granted by all that the President's actions were inseparable from his faith. Would he be violating the principles of Jesus' teachings if he was not a "peacemaker," but declared war on another nation? No, and the premise that Jesus was a pacifist, against all conflict, is in error.

  • Jesus never, ever, taught "peace on earth" apart from His Kingdom.
  • Jesus said that His peace is not the peace of the world [John 14:27]. It is peace between God and man [Romans 5:1].
  • Jesus said His message would be divisive--even inciting violence, but not unifying and peaceful [Matthew 10:33-35].
  • Jesus used illustrations of war when He taught His followers [Luke 14:31]
  • Jesus said there would be many more wars to come [Matthew 24 and others]
Finally, consider this: Jesus said there would be no real peace on earth until He returns to establish His kingdom and reign with His saints. Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. But before He reigns, He will be a militarist king, leading the mightiest army ever, into a battle so devastating, that blood will flow like rivers and the earth as we know it will be destroyed [Revelation 19].

Jesus is the ultimate warmonger!

posted by K. Geffert | 7:51 PM  


Carmen said...

Wow, here’s a strange one… a president makes decisions that are on contrast to his faith? What’s wrong with this picture? Don’t we elect a person of faith exactly with the hope that they will make decisions according to their faith rather than in contrast to it?

Point by point:
Jesus never taught peace on earth apart from his kingdom – yeah – that’s cause the only way to peace is through said kingdom.

The warfare of Jesus is also not of this world either – 2 Co 10:4 And we have been given a ministry of reconciliation – not just between God and humanity – but between individuals as well. 2 Co 5:18.

Yes, the message is divisive, but the spirit needs to be very loving… love is patient, kind… 1 Co 13 Not to mention the little verse about loving your enemies… Lu 6:35 – and as the bumper sticker says “I don’t think that means kill them.”

Jesus used examples of warfare – in teaching about counting the cost and not jumping into things one isn’t prepared to handle – directly this parable is about counting the cost of following Jesus and what this could mean you might be called upon to give up. It’s a parable about counting the cost, not a suggestion that we should go out and obliterate our enemies.

Revelation’s end times warfare between good and evil is hardly a part of the current administrations purview.

It’s always interesting to me when people say Jesus wasn’t a pacifist – I suppose that’s why he said the word and all the Roman oppressors released the Jewish oppressed people of his time and made Jesus king of the Jews and he lived a long life of reigning over Israel in a time of great prosperity. No, if salvation could have come through military power – it would have – and it still would. But it can’t. So in the process of death and resurrection the blood of Jesus takes the battlefield of the Old Testament which was in the physical realm – and the death on the cross moved that battlefield into the spiritual realm where the battle was no longer against the pagan peoples of the earth. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

“Jesus is the ultimate warmonger” I dare say you might find him to be much different than you imagine. The Prince of Peace is not about killing people but battling against his fallen angel betrayer, the people are the treasure that hang in the balance. He’s not willing that any should perish. In addition – one final note: When the Bible suggests that Thou shalt not kill – it’s because God alone has the right and authority to take a human life. Other humans do not have this authority – I dare say even nations should take this sort of thing especially seriously. But when individuals and nations wrest this authority out of the hands of God and begin the blood letting – then they reap as they sow for there is justice with God. God takes the loss of human life very seriously, and it’s my personal opinion that when those are lives dispatched into hell – well – it’s even more grieving to a loving God. Especially when individuals say God told them to start this war – and this is contrary to the very nature of God. How grievous.

4:49 PM, February 19, 2006  
Anonymous said...

I think Jesus never preached peace on earth because he knew it was inherently impossible given man's fallen state. He certainly encourages us to rise above it, but knows that falls largely on deaf ears. We have the promise of a future peace, but as mention in the original post, that comes only after the real "Mother of all Battles."

While Revelation may not be the administration's purview, this President certainly views this as a battle of good vs. evil, and I think also views the Middle East as strategic for more than just oil. The real question is whether pre-emptive war is justified? We can look back on World War II and say that we wish the Allies had stopped Hitler when he went into Czechoslovakia proper. By contrast, would a pre-emptive war on Saddam in 1990 been well received? Certainly God blessed Israel's 1967 attacks which were pre-emptive in nature as well. But I don't take that to mean that God 'approves' of our current effort in Iraq.

And as for Jesus, " I dare say you might find him to be much different than you imagine." I couldn't concur more. He is beyond any of our comprehension. And no effort to characterize him being for or against a particular action is likely to be completely accurate.

God has certainly had man start wars before and blessed their outcome. Is that the case here? I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say one way or the other. (It's not that I'm not arrogant, I certainly am. It's just that in this rare case I find the strength to resist it.)

God Bless,
Dan Antonio

12:25 AM, March 09, 2006  
K.Geffert said...

Dan- Bravo! I concur wholeheartedly!

5:42 PM, March 09, 2006  
Dan said...

Amen! Just a note to the other people leaving comments, - when you write to much nobody reads it.

1:31 AM, March 12, 2006  
Ron Smith said...

The bible is clear; where do wars come from? Our own to desire to have things our way, and our failure to get them through God given means. I won't debate your comments, but neither can you debate this comment; the President lied and decived us into war. No amount of spin can make that lie truth or right.

1:25 PM, March 23, 2006  
Theo said...

High comedy, thanks.

I've posted a response here.

11:29 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous said...

What about WWII? Was the US involvement in that wrong? Think of all of the millions of people who would not be free today had not the US sent troops to liberate the rest of the world. The real key is that God is hostile to those governments that dont let the light of the Gospel in. Look at North Korea compared to South Korea. God's battles are not capitolism vs communism or anything other than as in the US Civil War........His Truth is marching on. Lindberg was against WWII and so were many others. Had someone had some resolve early the world would have been spared from the tremendous waste of that war.

12:44 PM, May 02, 2006  
Anonymous said...

You say that Jesus never taught peace on earth.

1 Cor. 7:15 "God has called us to live in peace"

Hebrews 12:14 "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. "

Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, PEACE"

There are plenty more verses in the bible which promote peace.
This seems to me plenty of evidence that God wants us to be peaceful and to live at peace on earth.

7:29 AM, May 03, 2006  
Anonymous said...

Would it have been the will of God to allow a country attack the US during the time it enslaved humans from Africa?

4:42 PM, May 04, 2006  
Anonymous said...

I had to read “The Peacemaker and the Warmonger” more than once to decide whether or not you were joking. Jesus the ultimate warmonger? Jesus, the One who said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”? Jesus, who said “If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” and “Love your enemies,” and “Do good to those who hate you”? Jesus, who refused to let his disciples defend him violently when he was arrested, and told the disciple who cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave, “No more of this!” (Luke 22:51)?

Are we to think that if Jesus predicts war, it means that he is in favor of it? The military imagery in the New Testament is turned toward the gospel of faith, hope, and love, as we see in Ephesians 6:13-17:

“Therefore take the whole armor of God, … the breastplate of righteousness, … having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; …the shield of faith, … the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

As for Revelation 19, which pictures the victory of Christ and the heavenly army over the beast — it is quite a stretch to see this apocalyptic passage as a call to Christians to make earthly war.

I am grateful to Carmen for her comment — and to you, too, Karen Geffert, for encouraging us to think about our faith.

Peace to all of you,

6:04 PM, May 11, 2006  
David said...

I like your view on how we should not evluate a president on how closely his policy is related to his Christian values, and how these are two different things, that at some point may be in conflict.

As for Jesus, I'd rather thing of Him as the most peaceful leader of all who does not want anyone on earth to be hurt, even those who are against Him.

12:04 PM, June 23, 2006  
Hagios said...

While the point is well taken that we fight NOT against flesh and blood, it should also be taken that the aforementioned statement refers to ORIGINS of the conflict. The spiritual conflict between righteousness and wickedness has its ORIGINS in spiritual matters, but often manifests in physical ways. Demons may incite human passions and desires through temptation, but the sin manifests physically in the world because we become sgents (wittingly or unwittingly) of whatever spirit started the matter. So Jesus is both a peacemaker and a warrior, desiring the higher way of peace, but more than able to fight (and win) the war when it comes.

3:16 PM, June 29, 2006  
Anonymous said...

we become AGENTS...not sgents, LOL

3:18 PM, June 29, 2006  
Anonymous said...

This is clearly just a bunch of nonsense designed to allow a fundamentalist Christian maintain the hypocrisy of her political beliefs. If you have to vote Republican because you like tax cuts, go right ahead, but please leave Jesus' name out of your support for a President who has acted with such brazen callousness of human life. His Christianity is either a cynical facade or else so ill-considered and incorporated into his political life that it is irrelevant. Don't let the same thing happen to yourself!

9:24 PM, August 05, 2006  
Igor said...

Inasmuch as his message went completely against everything taught and practiced in our world, Jesus caused much social and religious upheaval. That's the meaning of his words about not bringing peace but a sword. He could no more have endorsed violence than he could endorse devil-worship--it is contrary to everything he taught and practiced.

Hagios, again I disagree with you. A warrior? The Christ could have called a legion of angels--or even only one angel--and wiped out all of Satan's agents, human and otherwise. Why didn't he? The answer lies in the answer to this question--what effect would that have on those He came to save? You can't change people by dominating them!

And can we please stop blaming Satan for our sins? None of us have any need of help with temptations--we can sin of our own free will. Let's mature enough to take responsibility for our own actions.

As for "just wars", there're no such things. To kill is a sin, regardless of circumstance. So while some wars are more beneficial than others, we disciples of Christ must realize that He taught us a better way to change our world than violence--love and personal sacrifice. Instead of lamenting the fact that Christians weren't strident enough in opposition to Hitler, or slavery, or whatever, we must lament the fact that self-so-called Christians participated and perpetuated them!

5:03 PM, August 21, 2006  
Anonymous said...

To state that Jesus was the ultimate warmonger is to take things out of context; not understanding that Jesus is to fight a spiritual warfare. He has the power and authority to rule as He see fit because He is the son of God the creator. But the bible clearly states that (we) war not against flesh and blood, but against principalitites in high places. In other words, our fight should not be against flesh and blood of human beings, but it is a spiritual warfare that we are to fight.

4:47 PM, August 23, 2006  

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