The Hypocrisy of Christian Warmongers
by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
We must impose sanctions. We must attack. We must invade. We must launch a preemptive strike. This country has attacked one of our ships. This country has numerous weapons of mass destruction, including a sophisticated nuclear capability. This country is one of only four countries that have not ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This country has attacked the infrastructure of a sovereign country. This country has a government that is propped up by billions of dollars of foreign aid taken from U.S. taxpayers. This country has spied on the United States, and obtained classified information. This country has a powerful lobby in the United States that many feel exercises undue influence over the U.S. government. And now, this country has bombed civilians in Christian areas of a sovereign country.
We have no choice; it is inevitable: The U.S. government must go to war against Israel.
Now wait a minute, Mr. Vance, says the Christian warmonger. I thought you were an evangelical Christian? I thought you were a supporter of Israel? I thought you were one of those dispensationalists? I thought your theology was premillennialism?
I don't like it any more than you do, Mr. Christian warmonger, but if the U.S. government goes in that direction we must support the government. We must obey “the powers that be” (Romans 13:1). We must “obey magistrates” (Titus 3:1). We must submit “to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake” (1 Peter 2:13). So, if the U.S. government goes to war against Israel then we should support our president. We should support the troops. After all, they will be defending our freedoms. We should encourage every young person to join the military. What could be more honorable than to serve in the U.S. military and kill in the name of the U.S. government? How could it be anything but a just war since the goal would be to restore peace to the Middle East?
But Mr. Vance, you can't be serious. Even if all those things you say about Israel are true, the United States can't attack Israel. The Jews are God's chosen people. What about God's promises to Abraham? Don't Christians and Jews worship the same God? And what about Bible prophecy? There comes a point when we must “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Christian warmongers don't really believe their own mantras. When they chant “obey the powers that be,” “obey magistrates,” and “submit yourselves to every ordinance of man,” it doesn't actually mean anything. Since the war in Iraq began, Christian warmongers have turned these portions of Scripture into their mantras in order to justify the war. None of them actually believe that a Christian should always accept the latest government pronouncement, support the latest government program, or obey the government in every respect. It was all a ruse to justify an unjust war. If the government commands one of these Christians to shoot his neighbor and destroy his property, he will choose to disobey and suffer the consequences — just like if the government commands one of these Christians to shoot an Israeli and destroy his property.
So, if a Christian warmonger doesn't really believe that Christians should always obey the state, then why does he lie and say that they should? Christian warmongers hide behind their mantras because they are trying to defend a president, a party, and a movement that are undefendable. Should a Christian have served in Hitler's army? What about Stalin's? Why not? Should a Christian have participated in the Holocaust or in one of the Russian czar's pogroms? Why not? Christian warmongers are very selective about which governments they think Christians should obey. Despite their rhetoric, they really don't think that everyone should blindly follow whatever the president or the government says. The bottom line is that the command for the New Testament Christian to “be subject unto the higher powers” (Romans 13:1) is not absolute.
Evangelical Christians who support U.S. intervention in the Middle East and defend everything done by the government of Israel have been duped by neoconservatives who do not share their views of Bible prophecy. They need to realize that the government of Israel is not the people of Israel. And if the government of the “Christian” United States is corrupt from top to bottom, why would any Christian think that the government of Israel is any less corrupt?
Some evangelical Christians have departed so far from the faith that they need to drop the evangelical prefix. Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the brainchild of megachurch pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, recently held a “Washington/Israel summit” in Washington D.C. on July 18 & 19 “for the purpose of introducing the association to Senators and Congressmen, expressing our concerns for Israel's security and our support of Israel's right to the land by Biblical Mandate.” That is all well and good, but they are forgetting one thing — one very important thing. Christians in the Bible were involved in Jewish evangelism. According to the conservative Jew David Brog, the former chief of staff for Sen. Arlen Specter, and now executive director of CUFI:
All activities of CUFI are strictly non-conversionary. Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about conversion and talking about Jesus. So those who work with us tend not to talk about Jesus more, but talk about Jesus less. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do — building a bridge to the Jewish community to insure the survival of Judeo-Christian civilization.
Other evangelical Christians have likewise exchanged evangelism for dialogue. Another megachurch pastor, Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church in Southern California, spoke this past June 16 at Sinai Temple, a Jewish synagogue, during “Friday Night Live Shabbat services.” According to Rob Eshman, the editor-in-chief of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles: “Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring.” Warren also told Ron Wolfson, the Rabbi who invited him, that “his interest is in helping all houses of worship, not in converting Jews.”
And Hagee and Warren are supposed to be evangelicals?
A group of Baptists in Massachusetts who were impressed with his views on religious liberty once sent President Thomas Jefferson a 1,235-pound cheese measuring 4 feet in diameter and 17 inches in height. Painted on the red crust was the inscription: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” The Bible says to pray for those in authority, not to campaign for them, vote for them, bomb for them, or kill for them. Christians need to wake up and read the cheese.
Disclaimer: Although it should be quite obvious, for those dense Christian warmongers who are prone to smear as anti-Semitic the slightest criticism of Israel's government, I should say that much of this article was written tongue-in-cheek. I am not in favor of the United States attacking Israel (or any other country). But I am also not in favor of the United States propping up any government with foreign aid pilfered from the taxpayers.
August 11, 2006
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting and economics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. His new book is Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com