Saturday, July 03, 2010

Position on militarism

Apparently I am in agreement with our denomination concerning the use of military force. Who knew? Our denominational website lists our "beliefs and values" at the bottom of the main page, and under "Resolution 1" is the following statement concerning "militarism":

MILITARISM

Whereas the Old Testament prophets warned Israel that national security did not rest in kingship (1 Samuel 8:10-17), nor in the force of arms (Judges 7), but in the righteousness of the nation (Proverbs 14:34, Jeremiah 11) and the defenses of the Lord God (II Kings 7);

Whereas Jesus commanded his disciples, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword (Matthew 26:52), and to Pilate the Master stated, "My kingdom is not of this world: if it were my servants would fight..." (John 19:36);

Whereas the Churches of God throughout history speaks forcefully against war/military solutions as an acceptable way to solve national problems, whether between nations or within a nation (General Conference Journal 1933, p. 174);

WE CONCLUDE

that the rising tide of militarism runs contrary to the apostolic witness of the Holy Scriptures. Christianity is founded on the principle of love, not so militarism. It exalts military virtue and ideals, and manifests itself in a policy of aggressive military preparedness. Our present situation is unique in history. Never has there been a time when so many have depended so much upon the force and power of arms and armament. The use of force of arms has become the prevailing option in settling disputes. In no way can such thinking be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus. Our Lord is called the Prince of Peace, and we His followers are to be peacemakers.

THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT WE, the Churches of God, General Conference, pledge ourselves to work diligently for peace and justice.

FURTHERMORE,

We propose that we work for peace

- By placing our first allegiance in the King of Kings and His rule, disavowing the militarism of national sovereignty.
- By praying for all men, especially for national rulers and all in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-3). We suggest the church designate a day of prayer and fasting for world peace concerns.
- By influencing the political process where and whenever possible in the cause of peace consistent with the teachings of Scripture.

I won't go so far as to say that Independence Day in the USA is a celebration of a bunch of Europeans coming over and killing and stealing the land of the Native Americans and then defending it so we can do whatever we damn well please (though that's true). It is a bit more complicated than that. I do like our country though; and I don't even mind celebrating on the 4th of July. However, I don't understand why it always has to be about the military. Because I hate killing in any way, shape or form; and I especially hate war, because it involves not only killing, but comes at the expense of so many innocent lives. So... Peace out; and in.