San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It Is Time For Another Crusade To The Middle East

A reader of this blog sent me a link, found here, to a story in National Review about a man calling for a modern crusade against Islam in the Middle East.  The article, written by David French, is entitled "It Is Time for the Church to Speak with One Voice:  Destroy ISIS."  French begins by quoting a verse from the book of James which says, "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."  French rather obviously believes that Christians in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika are behaving hatefully against Christians in the Middle East by not coming to their aid via an act of holy war against Islam.
French continues as he writes, "The American church — the strongest, wealthiest, most powerful body of Christians in the world — has failed. We’ve not only failed to stop the slow-motion religious cleansing of Christians from the Middle East and other Muslim lands, we’ve often failed even to speak about it. We’ve persisted in the bizarre belief that if we don’t join in a religious war, then a religious war isn’t being fought. And we’ve done worse than forget the martial valor of the medieval and Renaissance church, we’re actually ashamed of its defensive struggle against Islam — a struggle that saved our civilization."  This is an interesting take on current circumstances, as well as an interesting bit of historical revisionism.  Clearly David believes that the crusades during the Middle Ages were a good idea and that in the absence of those crusades western civilization would have been overrun by hoards of heathen Islamists, pretty much like what he also believes is happening today.
Like all socialists David adopts the "we" when speaking about those he believes are responsible to do something about the current state of affairs revolving around Christians in the Middle East.  I am a Christian and a Welsh-Amerikan.  As such I am a member of the "strongest, wealthiest, most powerful body of Christians in the world."  And, according to David, I have somehow "failed" to protect the lives of fellow believers living in various countries throughout the Middle East.  Simply put, David believes that I am guilty of murder because I have done nothing to prevent the murder of Christians in Syria.  David, I have news for you.  I am not guilty of murder and I vehemently reject your charge of sin.  Furthermore, I reject the notion that as an Amerikan Christian I am responsible to wage a holy war against Islamists in the Middle East.
David has a solution to his perceived problem.  He believes Christians should enlist in the military of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika and, with God's blessing, march off to Syria and kill whoever their commanding officers order them to kill.  He writes, "Talk to virtually any politically aware Evangelical, and he’ll mention the plight of the persecuted church. They may know a few facts about the Christian flight from Mosul or the burning of churches in Egypt, or about the American Christian hostage in Iran, but few will take the long, necessary look in the mirror and ask if there’s anything the American church could have done to help save their brethren from unspeakable anguish. Few will rethink long-held assumptions that the church cannot — must not — demand decisive military action. And fewer still will think to enlist in the military as part of a holy calling....and it’s time for American Christians to lead, to demand a response and — crucially — to participate in the conflict. Andrew White is correct. Destroy ISIS. Not just for America, but also for the church. There is a time for peace, and there is a time for war. Now is the time for war."  Well there you have it.  David has called for a crusade against ISIS forces in Syria and surrounding environs and a crusade we shall have, if only enough Christians join the SDA military.  Let's consider his argument for a moment, shall we?
David does not bother to ask the question about how the world has come to be like it is today, particularly in the Middle East, so I will ask that question for him.  Or, more accurately, I will answer that question for him.  David, hear this clearly as you work on completing your enlistment papers, the reason Christians are being killed in Syria today is because an SDA military, stuffed to the gills with Evangelical, Republican, Dispensational, Neo-conservative Christians has been engaging in wars of imperial expansion throughout the region.  When the Soviet Union ceased to be a world power several decades ago the political rulers of the empire in which we live decided it was high time to expand the empire.  They envisioned a world in which the SDA ruled even more people than ancient Rome or Great Britain were able to subjugate.  Some observers called SDA foreign policy "nation building" but that is not accurate.  SDA foreign policy can unquestionably best be called imperial expansion.  The goal of our rulers was to destroy established governments in the Middle East and replace them with pro-SDA democracies.  A more mindbogglingly stupid endeavor could not have been conceived, thus proving that those who rule over us are some of the dumbest people ever to roam the surface of the earth.
False charges were made, phantoms were turned into enemies and sovereign governments that had ruled over the various countries in the Middle East for decades and longer were suddenly being bombed into oblivion by SDA warplanes.  Then, to the shock and dismay of the SDA military commanders and career politicians, the very people that we claimed to be liberating decided that they had had quite enough of SDA imperialism.  Imagine that!  People actually wanting to not be vassals of the SDA!  How outrageous of them to want to be free.   It did not take long for the various factions, which had been held under control by the now non-existent government, to begin warring with one another.  And then it did not take long for the most violent and vicious of those groups to ascend.  Hello ISIS, welcome to power courtesy of the armed forces of the SDA.
David bemoans the fact that Christians are being killed by the thousands and Christian refugees are fleeing the area by the hundreds of thousands.  This is no doubt all true.  But how did it come to be that all of those Christians were able to live in relative safety until just recently?  The answer to that question is simple.  The Islamic governments that ruled those people were stable enough to protect their lives and allow them to co-exist with Islam.  The destruction of those governments by Amerikan Christian imperial warriors is what brought about the current carnage.  We, or, more accurately, the career politicians of the SDA, are the ones responsible for the fact that Christians are dying in Syria today.
I cannot begin to write how much is wrong with David's idea that Christian men have a duty to enlist in the SDA military and march off to Syria and engage ISIS forces operating there.  Let me just briefly state that no Christian should ever swear the oath that is required to be sworn when enlisting.  No Christian should bind his conscience to obey immoral laws, orders and commands.  No Christian should subject himself to a mind-controlling process called basic training in order to desensitize him to the killing he is going to be ordered to do.  No Christian should kill someone that is not a direct threat to his own life and property.  By extrapolation, no Christian should engage in a war against a group that is not a direct threat to the lives and property of the geo-political zone in which he lives.  And there's the rub.
It is a sad and tragic fact that Christians are being killed by the group known as ISIS.  But it does not follow that because Christians are being killed in Syria by members of ISIS that the government of the SDA has a moral duty to wage holy war against ISIS in their defense.  Indeed, just the opposite is the case.  The God of the Bible has clearly limited the coercive power of government to the region over which it has sovereignty.  Government's are ordained by God to protect the people under their authority, not all of the citizens of the world.  The rulers of the SDA have no obligation or moral right to defend people who are residents or citizens of sovereign foreign nations, no matter what their plight may be.  In fact, just the opposite is the case.  It would be an immoral act for the SDA military to invade Syria in defense of Christians.  It is simply not the business of the SDA to be there.
So am I saying that there is nothing Amerikan Christians can do about the Christian genocide taking place under ISIS?  No, I am not.  Although David believes it is a weak and ineffective strategy, I believe Christians can and should pray imprecatory prayers against ISIS and anyone who persecutes the Church of Jesus Christ.  Unlike David I believe God honors the imprecatory prayers of His people, and I also believe they are effective.  I believe God will take great pleasure in destroying the enemies of His Church, by His own means and in His own providential plan.
There is also something the SDA rulers could do to help the persecuted Christians in Syria.  The SDA could have a policy of open borders for all those who are fleeing the region.  Interestingly enough David does not mention this option.  He is more than happy to go to Syria and kill Muslims but he is a bit less enthusiastic about having all of those crazy foreigners coming to live in his neighborhood.  Anyone who is a Christian of record in Syria should be permitted to come to Amerika to escape persecution.  These Christians could and should be integrated into SDA society by the evangelical churches of this wealthy and powerful country, thus fulfilling the requirement to love our fellow believers as described in the book of James. 

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