Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blessed Are the Peace-Makers: Against Christendom and "Just War"

The world is drowning in chicken-hawks. This has always been the case, but the specialization of the Modern Military (i.e. not everyone is involved in actual fighting, like infantry but can boast being a "warrior" on account of the uniform) along with the many media options of the internet have made this more so. More people can pontificate their vile opinions upon this or that war, proclaiming righteousness and wickedness, salvation and damnation, civilization and barbarism, with the tap of a key.

Of course, I am vulnerable to this criticism, but so it is.

I am not going to advocate a limp-wristed pacifism. In fact, I eschew the word and I am not ideologically captive to a doctrine of non-violence. However, I am convinced that violence begets violence, in an everlasting cycle began by its founder Lamech. For every man who calls down bloodshed, 7-fold is his destiny. Christ put it poignantly: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

Violence is the harbinger of spirits, a veritable sorcery to possess one's mind with demonic influence to assault God's good creation and assume God's prerogative of life and death. It is seeking an ecstatic experience in the drunkenness of bloodlust. And the easiest way to accomplish this is to be ignorant, historically and philosophically, and removed from combat. It is easy to wax poetic about the necessity of this-or-that war when one never has to bloody his/her hands. For this reason, and this alone, I believe many preachers will suffer the fate of the Devil. So it was written: Not many of you should be teachers, my brothers, for you will be judged more severely.

Christ has called us to a life of peace-making, quenching the flames of war and inviting the flames of the Spirit of Peace. This no kum-ba-ya prospect of sitting around the camp-fire singing John Lennon songs. This is the hard work of settling conflicts, being willing to suffer pain, the work of standing in the hurricane of hatred and stand tall. It is a willingness to die on behalf of Life. It is seeking redress in the hope of mutual, and reciprocated, repentance and fining restitution in mercy and love for the other as one loves himself.

Western theologians have justified the institution of other visions and other means by appeals to warped and deformed doctrine. We hear that we are full of sins and vileness, therefore the whip must be raised. We participate as magistrates and soldiers willing to crush our enemies because, so we say, we live in a penultimate time-between-times. We justify murder because men are murderers. We squelch Christ because we need to be "realistic". These social orders will murder God's prophets, when the voice of truth shines forth. This kind of social order, Christ tells us, has murdered every prophet. It is the self-confident Christian government that enslaves and crushes beneath its heel in the name of progress, civilization, religion, etc.

I am not advocating a different Christian government, in fact I have no hope or expectations of the Nation-State or the Empire, wherever they may be. But I am not advocating a passivity in one's social arenas. A politics of the Spirit, one that lives in the growth of His fruits, requires us to break-down the evils foisted upon us. We ought to work towards a community of shared goods, a corporate identity that neither destroys the individual person, nor eradicates the good of the whole for the lusts of an alienated individualism. Yes, in this form, Christians should be mistaken for rank-and-file socialists.

War works against this. War shatters the bonds of peace and mankind. It's not that this should never be done, but no man, but the GodMan, can declare it so. Christ, as God in Flesh, declared war, but it was not a war on flesh or blood. The Apostles, most notably St. Paul, could say this quite strongly. We wage war by waging peace, we work against the Evil One by seeking reconciliation and justice. This is the essence of preaching repentance.

But instead of St. Paul, we receive disgusting cretins like a Bernard of Clairvaux, seeking to androgynate himself spiritually, while giving justifying arguments on behalf of murdering Arabs in a horrid crusade. The world is filled with such vile monsters, who belch forth words of grace while their mouth overflows with the blood of the innocent. Their sermons are worthless and they are enemies of the Gospel (yet even St. Paul believes they inadvertently work for the Good c.f. Phil. 1). May they have been reconciled with the Prince of Peace before their demise.

Just War is not a completely non-sensical concept, but one that has only been deployed as a cover for immoral and vicious wars. Thomas Aquinas' summation was useless, and only provided additional context, though abused, to provoke war. No philosophic treatise is capable of preventing the lust of the eyes. Now, in our nuclear and industrialized age, Just War surfaces as something completely insane. The criteria is both impossible and inert, yet it is a conveniently rhetorical device to cloak violence in benign form.

If you are a Christian, think before you sign up with the Empire. I am not saying men and women in the military are damned. Never. But there is nothing positive being accomplished there. You are not serving anything other than Molech. You are not to be revered, but pitied. Put down your arms, and take up a cross. Become a Peace-Maker, and you will be blessed with adoption into the Family of God, in the Spirit, through the Son, to the Father, the Light in Whom there is no Shadow. Death is vanquished, seek the age-to-come.

1 comment:

  1. The fact that even a big name such as John Piper would receive such vitriolic reactions after suggesting that Christians not arm themselves shows just what American Christians really worship: flag and gun. It's really depressing to say the least.

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