Current Events - War

I’m struggling with defending my faith with family members when it comes to the war. They’re not believers and I am. They want to say “the Bible says, ‘Love your enemy.’” I want to talk about Jericho and the way that God used some of Israel’s enemies in the Old Testament and also talk about the book of Revelation and God’s wrath that will come down on us. I see the evilness in a dictator. Not only that, but I see the biblical parallels between Babylon and Baghdad and the neighbors of Israel and things like that. I start talking about that and people think that I’m out of my mind.

People that are not Christians don’t have a biblical worldview. You can’t use the Bible to explain your position when they don’t have a worldview of the Bible. There’s no use talking about it since they don’t believe it anyway.
Rather, I think the position on war needs to be that every country has the obligation and duty to its citizens to protect the values and the sovereignty of their country in order to perpetuate the lifestyle and the values that country believes. In this case, America believes in freedom. America believes in being able to walk the streets of our nation without fear, without terror, without people being a threat to the everyday American citizen. And therefore, for that reason, we have to sometimes take the battle outside of our country to protect the sovereignty of our country inside our borders. And I think that’s really where the argument needs to be. And really even that argument is not totally convincing in the case of Iraq because in some way, Iraq is not a threat to us. Saddam Hussein is out of power. And now we’re just trying to clean up the mess, finish the business at hand so that we can hand over Iraq to the national government where they can protect and defend themselves. But the reality is that a Christian argument could be made that going to Iraq in the time and the conditions in which we went was not in the best interests of this nation and an argument could be made that it was in the best interest.

I don’t think that God is judging Saddam Hussein or Iraq or I don’t think that God is doing that through America. America is not the tool by which God brings judgment to the world. God will judge the world a whole lot more effectively and efficiently than using fickle America to judge the rest of the world, so I don’t think you could use that argument. I think instead, you just have to say, “America has a responsibility to protect the sovereignty of our nation and the to protect the citizens in our nation. And whatever the leaders in our country believe to be in the best interest of protecting those things, then that’s what we need to support. And we need to pray for those in authority that they’ll make the right decisions.

When Jesus talks about loving your enemies, He’s talking about those who are your enemies because of personal reasons; that somebody is an enemy of you because they’re personally mad at you for preaching the gospel or mad at you for taking a stand for righteousness. If you made an enemy because you’re obnoxious, if you made an enemy because you mishandled a situation, that’s not where they’re supposed to love you because He’s talking about us loving our enemies, people who mistreat us though we have done right and though we have done good. We love the people who persecute us and we love the people who have mistreated us for the sake of the gospel.

He’s not talking about if somebody came to my house to intrude into my house to harm my wife or children. That person is my enemy and I’m not to love them by turning the other cheek because that is not in the best interest of the gospel. What’s in the best interest is for me to be a steward of my responsibility and protect those who I’m responsible for. And therefore, I have to attack that intruder and not turn the other cheek. I’m going to turn the other cheek when I’m being persecuted for preaching the gospel, not when somebody is trying to harm the people I am responsible for.

So from a biblical perspective, Iraq and Saddam Hussein were not our enemy, but we were coming to the aid of others. He’s an enemy of the innocent and we’re helping to protect the innocent. And that’s what we started doing in the nation of Iraq.

Now, were there other motives? Were there other reasons? That’s not for me to be responsible to evaluate. But I know this, being of Iraqi descent, I’m happy for the Iraqi people who have the opportunity to be free and that the innocent people were protected and that somebody came to their aid. And throughout the Bible you see God coming to the aid of the innocent, the fatherless, the widows, those who cannot defend themselves. Throughout the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, God sends people to protect the innocent. In that regard, I think that America acted as a Good Samaritan.

Current Events - War

I’ve heard it said that the military is ordained by God and that in certain circumstances, war is actually honored by God.

First of all, Romans chapter 13 says that “All authority is ordained by God.” Every position of authority was ordained by God. Now, not everyone in that position was put there by God, but the position itself, the office of that authority was ordained by God. God established authority. He desires for institutions and families and churches and governments to run by biblical authority. Somebody has to be in charge. So, God set up authority to be established and to be honored and to be respected by the people in that government, in that family, in that church, in that business or organization.

But your question specifically is “are there times when God ordains war?” Well, yes, when it’s for the defense of people. In other words, we need to be able to defend ourselves. God had Israel go to war in the Bible when a nation was either attacking Israel or when God desired Israel to possess that particular land and so, there is a biblical precedence for war being biblical. However, that does not give us the right to just declare war on anybody and take possession of any land just because we want to take possession of it.

Was there biblical precedence for us to go into Iraq? Well, the precedence that we had was to free a people. Me, being a Iraqi, of Iraqi descent, I’m glad that America went in to free the Iraqi people, but I’m not necessarily in agreement with the way in which everything took place or the process in which everything took place. War is messy. Nobody is going to agree about everything. Viet Nam is an example of a war that we shouldn’t have been involved in because we didn’t go in there to win. We went in there for political reasons and I don’t see biblical precedence to go into a war just to participate. If you’re going to go into war, you should go to win.

But, having said that, there’s no exact Scripture that says, “here’s a case where war is okay and here’s a case where war is not.” But in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, He says, “there’s a time for war, and there’s a time for peace.” And so, yes, it’s biblical if everything is in order and if we’re going in for the right reasons for there to be war.

Current Events - War

Do you believe that George W. Bush has been "anointed" by God? Do you believe that our war in Iraq is justified when Jesus told us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek when we were attacked?

First of all, it’s not George W. Bush that is anointed, but the office he stands in. What he represents, the presidency of the United States. That is anointed. That is a God-ordained position in this country because this country was founded upon Christian principles and the Word of God.

Having said that, I believe that anointing in that office comes upon the person who is in that office. Now does that mean I believe everything he does is anointed and everything he does is right? Absolutely not. But, I believe he is doing the best he can to be led by God and led by principles of the Word of God. No politician has ever been fully led by God because he has so much pressure from outside influences. So, we need to pray for him. That’s what our role is; not to try and identify if he is good or is he not good, but to pray for him as the Scripture teaches in 1 Timothy 1 and 2.

As far as the war in Iraq, I believe it is God’s will for there to be freedom. Having my descendency from that part of the world and that country itself, I do believe it is good to set a country like that free. But I don’t believe the tactical way we have gone about it is necessarily the perfect way. We are in it and we need to finish it now, get the job done and get out of there. I believe history will show it was successful. History may show that there may have been other ways to bring about success in that situation, but history will show, I believe, it was successful to bring freedom to a country that was under tyranny.

Now, should we be going around all over the world doing that? No, but there were specific interests there that America had in order to do that. It is a global war against terrorism. I think that is proper and appropriate. Could we have gone against global terrorism with out going to Iraq? Yes, we could have still conducted a war against global terrorism without going to Iraq. We are in it now and we need to pray for our country, president, leaders and soldiers, get the victory and get out of there.

Current Events - War

I was listening to the news and I heard that the Israelis are about to give back land to the Palestinians. Being a Jewish believer, number one, being in America, does this affect me? And number two, how can I pray for that situation because I understood that the Israelis would not be giving back this land. Could you help me with that?

First of all, I’m blessed to hear that you are a Jewish believer, that you put your faith in Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The way to respond to what you’re talking about is the same way that we’re to respond, according to the book of Psalms, the same way we’ve always been supposed to respond and that is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That’s how we pray; pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It matters not to you as an American, it matters not to you as a Jewish believer, it matters not to you as a person, period, whether the Palestinians get the Gaza strip or whether they don’t because really, God is going to have his way in Israel. Our job is to pray for peace in Jerusalem. Our job is to preach the gospel and God is going to take care of the rest of those matters and the rest of that business. But the Bible clearly teaches us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and we should never stop praying for that. And we should always do what God’s Word says to do.

Remember, God’s Word is timeless, so no matter what’s going on in this world, we should not be praying in response to what’s going on in the world, we should be praying out of obedience to the Word of God and in accordance with what the Word of God tells us to pray for. And then, that will begin to make an impact on the things that happen in this world. Too often, Christians are looking at what happens in the world, and then praying accordingly. And no, we need to pray according to what the Scripture tells us to pray for and then what will happen is God will work through our prayers in this world and in this earth. Rather than us being reactionary, rather than us reacting, we need to be proactive and take it to the devil with our prayer, take it to the world with our prayer by praying what the Scripture tells us to pray for.

Current Events - War

Does God look at soldiers and the killing they sometimes have to do in combat as sin?

No, it’s not a sin to take a life in a military battle when you’re protecting somebody else in that process. Really, what our soldiers are doing is protecting us. It’s really a form of self-defense; it’s preventative self-defense. But by all means, there’s nothing wrong with taking a life in battle when your effort and your nation’s goal is godly and biblical. Freedom is clearly godly and biblical.