Friday, November 19, 2004

History repeats itself

Last night I went to a 2-hour prayer vigil at my church in here in London. They are Anglican, but certainly certainly in the evangelical tradition (speaking in tongues, gifts, outreach, signs and wonders, etc)). A chaplain and a soldier both spoke and they had some amazing insight into the tension of the day to day life over there. We prayed for all kinds of things and in a few different ways. I feel very helpless in this conflict so praying did me some good and I hope the Lord will heed our calls for peace and full resolution.

It is with a heavy heart that I read the online websites today. We have history repeating itself. Colin Powell claiming that Iran, "is trying to fit missiles to carry nuclear weapons" based on an Iranian opposition group. This sounds a lot like the Bush administration's drum beats of war in late 2002. In fact, Colin Powell's testimony before the the United Nations in February, 2003. Let me grab the relevant section...
In 1995, as a result of another defector, we find out that, after his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash program to build a crude nuclear weapon, in violation of Iraq's UN obligations. Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three key components needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclear scientists with the expertise and he has a bomb design.

Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program have been focused on acquiring the third and last component: sufficient fissile material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissile material, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium. Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb.

We now know that the defectors were just giving the administration lines to help them overthrow Saddam and establish themselves in a new Iraq. I was for the war in Iraq based on humanitarian reasons. The people of Iraq were clearly dying because of the sanctions and Saddam was getting richer. I think that the civilians in charge of pulling off the war have done a horrible job, but that is neither here nor there for this post.

I understand that war may be a necessary evil in our world. It might be that the US is playing "good cop, bad cop" with the European Union to get Iran to stop pursuing Nukes. That is politics and world affairs, but I want to be clear on this...don't invoke Jesus in this conflict.

Check out this cross-denominational declaration about the place of the Church and war. This section rings so true,
Faithfully confessing Christ is the church's task, and never more so than when its confession is co-opted by militarism and nationalism.

- A "theology of war," emanating from the highest circles of American government, is seeping into our churches as well.

- The language of "righteous empire" is employed with growing frequency.

- The roles of God, church, and nation are confused by talk of an American "mission" and "divine appointment" to "rid the world of evil."

The security issues before our nation allow no easy solutions. No one has a monopoly on the truth. But a policy that rejects the wisdom of international consultation should not be baptized by religiosity. The danger today is political idolatry exacerbated by the politics of fear.

Back during the debates, my wife said, "We are going to war again." after something President Bush said. I didn't make that connection, but she might be right. Please join me in praying for peace; for blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.