Thursday, July 06, 2006
Catching up on Old Correspondence II: Joe, on the question of Just War
I don’t have this blog set up to email me when something comes in, so every once in a while I miss a post that came in late.
Here’s one of note that came in on this thread from my friend and “right arm”, Joseph:
Crystal says it so succinctly: Christian just war = oxymoron. Thanks Crystal. If you don't mind I will use that. I've been banging the stump on this one for years. I suppose that deep down I do it with the hope that people will actually listen and be convinced (there's likely an "ego factor" at play here as well, I'll have to admit it...) But mostly it reverts back to Christ and His definition of Love. He defined it, not in terms of mushy hugs and kisses for our friends and family, but in terms of how we deal with our ENEMIES. If we asked ourselves if Christ could ever justify war, the answer is a no brainer (and no, we cannot equate Christ's "violent" temper tantrum in the temple market to war.) As a follower of Christ I would have to say that there was no greater or more noble cause to fight (and die?) for than for Christ Himself that night in the garden. Yet He was very clear in His example and in his instruction. Have Faith! Have Faith especially in those moments of greatest injustice when all seems lost! Have Faith, though logic tells you to act otherwise. Among His last battles was the urge to give in, to let the cup pass Him by when all seemed lost. What MAN would not feel it?! Yet ultimately He peacefully (not passively) opened His arms to embrace Faith in His Father in the form of death on the cross, pehaps not fully knowing what it would lead to a few days later. It was only through His hideous and unfair death (no doubt perceived as a moment of failure in the eyes of many that witnessed His life and death), that the resurrection could occur.
There's no satisfying answer for us in this life to the injustices inherent in the killing of the innocent (either through abortion or through the pornography of war), yet Christ showed us that killing is not the answer. Killing is an act completely void of Love albeit a logical human reaction in certain circumstances. Sometimes we are lured away from Faith by our emotions and our desire to SEE justice done (yes, see it with our own eyes, in this life, before death.) This is the case with the "Just War": we are hoping to see justice done, with our own eyes by own own hand. But for all its noble intention, it too is an act that lacks Faith. Having said that, turning our backs is not the peaceful alternative here. We need to pursue other active options that don't include killing, but may in the end include laying down our lives.
Clearly Love is the answer. Hope is the answer. Faith, which is illogical by definition is the answer. But Faith requires enormous patience. So much so that we might not SEE the payoff in our lifetimes. But then again, neither did Christ! (Though big dividends came in just a few days later.)
In short War has all of the logic that Faith lacks. I'm confident that I know what Christ would choose (its what He chose!). I only pray to find the strength and courage to do the same.