Warmongering, in the Christian Church

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This
past Sunday (June 22, 2003) the battle lines had been drawn for
my family and me. We attend what is considered one of the most conservative
Lutheran Churches, in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS).
Our Pastor speaks out regularly against the sins of State sponsored
Wars, through a newspaper that he publishes which is separate from
our Church and the LCMS.

One
week prior to this Sunday my wife told me that the Sunday school
was going to have the small children of our Church sing Patriotic
songs in support of our Government’s troops in Iraq, because so
many of them are being killed. Let me make it perfectly clear, that
we as family do not wish the death of one our soldiers, nor do we
rejoice in death of the innocents, brought on by our American Government
as they seek to reshape the Mid-East in their image.

The
songs that were chosen were “God Bless America," and a Lutheran
hymn, “God Bless Our Native Land.” God Bless Our Native Land” closes
the last stanza with the words “To Thee a – loud we cry, God save
the State!”

The
Sunday school teacher asked our oldest daughter Elise (8 years old),
“Why aren’t you singing these songs, don’t you know the them?” Elise
replied, “that she knew the songs, but since our government is invading
Iraq, and that it is against the Constitution, she and her two younger
sisters would not take part in the singing." Elise and sisters
were asked to sit down while the other children rehearsed their
lines.

As
the worship service began, the small children paraded to front of
the Church to sing, ours remained seated with us. No one spoke much
with us after the worship service, yet we knew that we had done
the right thing, in not participating. Maybe our small act will
cause others to think or not to think, of course that depends on
when the next St Louis Cardinals baseball game begins. Going against
popular opinion is not easy, I told Elise. I also told her how proud
I was of her for speaking the truth.

First
let me affirm that we as Americans need to be saved from our current
Government, and repent of the power we have given it (I was reminded
of the scene from Fiddler on the Roof, where the Jewish Elders asked
the Rabbi for a blessing for the Czar, he replied “May God Bless
the Czar and keep him far from us.”). What troubled me the most
about involving the children in singing these songs is that we are
demanding God’s blessings on our Nation, as we conquer country after
country in the expansion the messianic State, in the name of democracy
for all.

The problem with invoking God’s blessings is the fact that as a
Nation, we demand that God bless us, while at the same time we pursue
numerous injustices in the name of God across the globe. In other
words, God bless us as we do what we want to do, but don’t give
us your Commandments in how to deal fairly with our neighbors. We
need to be asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance as Christians,
rather than demanding that He bless our Government’s unholy wars
that span the globe, and a military that takes up residence in over
one hundred countries.

Gary
North said it aptly
:

“Just about
every national politician has called on God to bless America.
If Americans expect His blessing, they had better do it God’s
way: by the rule of law (Exodus 12:49). Otherwise, calling on
God is a misuse of God’s name. There is a commandment against
this.”

In
closing to quote the Reverend Robert Lewis Dabney who wrote these
words over a hundred years ago, during the time the Federal Government
had brutally invaded and conquered the Southern States, is fitting
in this current climate of Patriotic fervor:

“And
when the rash representatives in our halls of legislation and
our newspapers shall have sown the wind, who will reap the whirlwind?
When they have scattered the dragon’s teeth, who must meet that
horrent crop which they will produce? Not they alone, but you,
your sons, and your friends and their sons. So that these misleaders
of the people, while you so weakly connive at their indiscretions,
may indirectly be preparing the weapon which is to pierce the
bosom of fair-haired boy, and
summoning the birds of prey, which are to pick out those eyes
whose joy is now the light of your happy homes. For your own sakes,
for your children’s sake, arise, declare that from this day, no
money, no vote, no influence of yours shall go to the maintenance
of any other counsels than those of moderation, righteousness
and manly forbearance.”

June
25, 2003

Rick
Gibbs [send him mail] lives
with his wife and three home-schooled daughters in Villa Ridge,
Missouri.


     

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