Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jesus: Lord of War

If there is one thing that is most disturbing about Bob, it’s his unequivocal support for the Iraqi war.

On today’s “Best of” show, Bob once again stated his support for the war and Bush’s plan to place another 20,000 troops in Iraq. Bob supports the war because he believes that we need working democracies in the Middle East and it’s better to fight the terrorists there because it prevents them from executing terrorism here.

Regardless of what you think of George Bush or the Iraqi War, I want to ask a very simple question: How can Bob, a self-professed Christian, support this war in good conscience?

Violence was something Jesus frequently spoke about. He didn’t like it. In Matthew 5:39, Jesus stated, “When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” In Matthew 26:51-52, Jesus’ servant struck off the ear of the high priest’s servant. What was Christ’s reaction? Jesus told his servant to put the sword away because “all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” And, most importantly, in Matthew 5:9, Jesus told us who shall be called the Children of God: The peacemakers.

So Jesus abhorred violence. In fact, for Christ, violence was within the purview of God only. In Romans 12:19-20 Jesus says “…do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ Instead of seeking vengeance, Christ spoke on how we should treat our enemies: "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."

To support his idea that Jesus was pro-war, Bob uses Matthew 10:34. True, in this passage Jesus did claim to bring a sword. The purpose of the sword was to cleave man against his father and daughter against her mother. Reading the passage in context, it’s clear that it’s about separating the faithful form the non-believers. It isn’t a commandment to his followers, it's a description of the effect on those who take Jesus’ message to heart.

When Bob distorts the message of the Bible to support his bloodlust, he distorts Jesus. For Bob, Jesus is no longer a heavenly messenger, sent to heal the weak and infirm. He is a harsh patriarch sent to inflict wounds upon anyone who disagrees.

By doing this, Bob robs Jesus of the title of “Prince of Peace.” He does, however, grant Jesus a new title: “Lord of War.”

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