Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Worship and War

Hey Steve,

How are you? I am doing well. God is good. At jpusa, Thursday nights, I am part a group called, Discipleship Ministries. At this group we basically sit around in a circle to pray and sing worship songs. Its a very cool seen and I look forward to it. The leaders, of D.M. have ask every one on the group to come with other ideas for worship that we can all do together. For example, a prayer walk. So, my question to you is, what would do with 50 people, who wanted to worship the God of the universe(within a two hour time frame)?

Okay, now for a more serious question, what is the Christians stance on on war and violence? Is it okay to protect some one else? We may have gone over this before(i am not sure).


I'm doing okay, but really busy now. Please pray for me that I truly worship God and not just get caught up in busy-ness.

What would I do with 50 people? First of all, I would teach them to recite the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5) and the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) daily.

But that's not really answering your question. I guess, if it was just a one-time thing, I would do a Taize thing-- repetative, worshipful singing leading to silent prayer. For instance, I would teach the song, "speak to me" by Rebecca St. James, sing that for five minutes and then encourage people to listen to the Lord for another ten minutes. For people who are not used to listening to the Lord ten or fifteen minutes is the outermost limit.

As far as war and violence, I'll give you the short answer:
Jesus said, "Love your enemies" He also opposed love and destroying another (so you can't destroy a person and say, "But I loved them in my heart as I was torturing them for my country").

Does this mean you can't protect others? Of course you can. The problem is thinking that destroying another is the only, or even close to the best way of protecting.

Let's look at the war in Iraq. It was started to protect the West against terrorists and against Sadaam's "weapons". Not only was it later discovered that Sadaam wasn't supporting terrorists, nor did he have the weapons we feared, but it is now a rallying cry for Muslims around the world-- another example of the oppression of the West. Thus, violence is shown again to be a bad answer to a bad problem.

This is the same in the personal example. Are you really protecting your family by attacking an attacker in your home? All you are probably doing is killing yourself. But even that is okay, if you do not destroy your enemy. You can keep your enemy at bay, restrain him, even put him unconcious and still love him, even as you can spank your children and love them. So the problem isn't violence (even surgery is violence!), but the intent. Are you intending to destroy-- no matter what the reason-- or are you intending to help. And your actions will demonstrate that.

War is always an attempt to destroy, to kill. No Christian should participate in it. We should participate in prayer, and call God to our defense, Who will do a much better job at defending us than George Bush's strategy could ever do.

No comments: