via Len H.
"There are two dangers I want to address. The first is the aligning ourselves and God�fs call with the anti-war movement. As I look at many people who are involved in this movement today, the vast majority come from one side of the political spectrum. To illustrate, more bombs were dropped on Iraq in 1998 than during the entire Gulf War in the early �e90�fs. Yet we did not see and hear about massive peace marches and rallies. Much of the rhetoric against the war is situational: the US and the President are imperialistic, the danger is not as strong as is portrayed, the US is going alone. The danger for us as a peace church is that our stance against war is not situational. It is unconditional. When we begin picking up the anti-war rhetoric, we risk painting ourselves in a corner if proven wrong. What if the war starts, there are limited casualties, and convincing evidence of terrorist plans is uncovered? Does that then mean we were wrong to oppose the war? If the situation is why we oppose it, then the situation can prove us wrong. That is why it becomes key to clarify that our stance is not to oppose or support war, but rather to clear identify that the role of one who claims Christ�fs name is not to participate in it.
"The second danger is to align oneself and God�fs call with support of the war. God�fs agent and force of redemption in the world today is the local church. Jesus Christ, working through the church, is the most powerful force in the world, including smart bombs and terrorist acts. While God does sometimes use the violent acts of others to accomplish His purposes, the call to the church by Jesus Christ is clear and uncompromising. Our project here is not to garner safety and security for ourselves, our families, our communities and our nation. In fact, Jesus gives a clear and direct call to everyone who follows Him to abandon such notions and be willing to give everything up for His name.
"So what is our role? What does it mean to abandon all for the sake of Jesus? How is the church a powerful force of redemption? We can get some indications of our role by looking at the life of Jesus and the early church. Their political situation was even more treacherous than ours today. They had the Zealots who wanted to fight for independence from Rome. They had an imperialist Roman government that plundered and conquered other nations. Yet the focus of Jesus is clear: bring healing to sick, welcome the stranger, offer salvation to those who believe. These acts of service are acts of power, far more powerful in history than any bomb or weapon of mass destruction has ever been. Jesus calls us as Christians to reject the use of force and to reject participation in its implementation. He calls us to join up in His army, fighting with unconventional spiritual weapons to form communities that bring redemption and transformation to our townships, towns and cities.
"So I do not spend my time supporting or opposing the war. My attempts to influence the direction of war policy is of small political consequence compared to the political consequence of subordinating my natural desires and working in God�fs kingdom. And the truth is, when I write this I realize how little I�fve done, how little I�fve sacrifice. I am called to action."
John T Royer