Ron Sider says,

For months, debate has raged in government circles about whether to extend the war against terrorism to Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Yemen - using military power to rid these countries of terrorist elements.

We can do so if we choose. We are so overwhelmingly superior militarily that for the next couple of decades, we can do pretty much what we please. But behind the intense debate about whether to invade Iraq, etc., lies a crucial question: What kind of world does America want to use its power to promote?

There are two options. We can use our power unilaterally to promote the shorter-term economic and political self-interest of America (always, of course, with a veneer of moral appeal to freedom, justice and democracy for all). Or we can seek genuinely to implement the moral principles we claim to embrace and take the lead in creating a better world for all.
Every day lately, I come across something that totally freaks me out. Today, it was an article from CNN. Dershowitz: Torture could be justified It is a very one-sided "debate" about whether the US should allow the FBI, CIA or whoever to get "torture warrants" if they feel that torture is necessary in a given case.

Hello?? What country is this again? Did I somehow stumble through a vortex into a parallel universe, or what?

"If the weapons are not identified and found then I think people will start to ask very, very serious questions about what the war was really all about," Richard Butler, former head of UN weapons inspections in Iraq said.

Hans Blix, Butler's successor who pulled his team out of Iraq before the US-led invasion, said his inspectors could be back in Iraq within two weeks. The US has said it prefers to do the job itself.

Does anyone see a conflict of interest there??


Look up the names of all the great men
And if you can't find mine then look it up again
I know it's in there under the tried and the failed...

(from Away by Greg Macpherson)

... ever have a day like that?


And the discussion that comes out of that article is also thought-provoking. One commenter says:

If the peacemakers had persistently marched on Baghdad months ago - demanding the end of Saddam's government (rather than the end of the Bush administration) - I would see them as a true force for peace. As it is I often see them as a part of the isolationist left that is antiwar regardless of the ongoing abuses of Saddam.

and Hartung responds:

I totally agree that pacifists should not be passive when there is opportunity to free people from oppression. However, I am not sure on the particulars or how far they should go. Marching peacefully on Baghdad sounds more like suicide than peaceful intervention to me. The martyrs did not march on Rome, but they did not resist when the oppressive regime sentenced them to death for their beliefs.
A close friend of mine claimed that if my beliefs were followed we would inevitably be controlled by an evil dictator. While I cannot deny that as a possible result of my pacifism, I must say it is not the only conclusion possible. Is it too far of a stretch to imagine that displays of God's grace even in the face of losing rights or even death just may cause a turn of events in and of itself? Do we have such little trust in God's sovereignty that we cannot trust what He says is the right way to live?

Jordon points to a great article at the Ooze.

Right next door to the Boutique de Small Intestine


Wal-Mart rejects racy worship CD

ANAHEIM � The latest Vineyard Music worship CD, "Intimacy, vol. 2," has raced to the top of the Christian sales charts, but Wal-Mart is refusing to stock the album without slapping on a parental warning sticker.
From Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi (taken from introduction to 411)-

"While the world has suffered acts of terrorism for many decades, we discovered the evils of terrorism on September 11, 2001. And now we are so incensed by this act of arrogance that we are willing to destroy all those who oppose us. Grandfather said anger is like electricity-- very useful if treated with respect, but very devastating when abused. Imagine if the rest of the world reacted to terrorism the way we have; this world would have been destroyed centuries ago.

"How then should we deal with terrorism? After September 11, we should have done some honest soul-searching to find out why so many people in the world hate us so much. Waging a war on terrorism and threatening the world with dire consequences if they did not support us is a reaction that is fraught with arrogance and designed to make more enemies than friends. We may not care what the world thinks right now but imagine what life would be like if we were far too scared to travel. Then try to imagine where we would be if half the world was destroyed.

"Life is not simply about how many millions of dollars one has accumulated or how rich a nation is. It is about friends and relations. Are we loved by people or despised? Do we have true friends or only those who want to bleed us? Does the world respect us for the love, respect and compassion that we project or because we are a super power with the capacity to blow the earth to pieces? The difference between the two is obvious. No one likes a bully."

via David Hopkins


I've been absent for a while due to a hard drive crash. But everything is reinstalled now, so I will try to find something to say. We have been doing a lot with music and that is acuseing a dilemma for me in trying to figure out what to so with this page. See, the band name is Fatblueman, and we need a webpage but as it is, type that into a search engine and it all points here. So I am thinking that sometime in the future, this page will be replaced by the band site, and I will put a blog page on the band website.

Working on it.


More really sharp thinking from John Campea...

This is the classic question that it ALWAYS boils down to

To me, the Bible is clear. I must do to that intruder as I would hope he would do to me. Since I don't want him to kill me, I can not kill him. It's as simple (and unbelievably hard) as that. The Bible gives me no "out" from this. Christ commands I turn the other check, it's as simple (and unbelievably hard) as that. Once again the Bible gives me no "out" from this.

The question for me is this "Do I trust God enough to obey his commands even when my human mind is telling me to do something different?" For instance, the Bible does not say "DO to others as you would have them do to you... UNLESS they're about to hurt you or your family". The Apostles had to watch their Lord and Master be taken away to be murdered... and yet Jesus told them not to fight because His kingdom is not of this world (John 1.

Do we trust Him? When all our "common sense" says we can't walk on water, it's impossible, will we get out of the boat anyway? WHen our "common sense" says we can't cross the Red Sea! Will we walk into the water anyway? When our "common sense" says we can't allow ourselves to be thrown into a fiery furnace, we'll surely die! Will we willingly go in? When our "common sense" says rubbing a bunch of mud in our eyes isn't going to cure our blindness, will we rub the mud in anyway? When our "common sense" says we can't get blessed by giving our things away, will we give anyway? And when our "common sense" says I can't turn the other cheek and love this enemy who is now harming me and my family... will we do it anyway?

Will we trust Jesus? Will we OBEY Jesus? Or, will we tell Jesus that there are worldly circumstances that do not permit us to follow him? Will we tell Him the world is greater than Him, and He must not have taken OUR situation into consideration when he taught us these lessons.

It's hard, very hard. But Jesus never said following Him would be easy. However, even though it's hard (almost impossible really) it's also very clear. It's not up for debate. This is what Jesus taught... the question now is, will we follow or default back to our human way of thinking?


Brian, I forgot to get back to you about the Old Testament War thing. I remembered today when I was reading this at John Campea's sight. He pretty much states it like I see it (OT part at the end):

My final thoughts on Christians and killing and war

Ok I've had a lot of people email me asking what I specifically think about war and killing. Here's an outline.

1) There are 2 separate kingdoms. The kingdom of the world, and the new Kingdom of God that Jesus instituted. Christians are to live by Kingdom principals and NOT worldly principals. (John 18:36)

2) Christians should not judge World leaders. They live in a different kingdom than we do. We should not expect them to live by Jesus' kingdom principals. (Romans 13)

3) The West (U.S., Canada, England, ect.) IS NOT the Kingdom of God.

4) The West (U.S., Canada, England, ect.) IS NOT a new version of the Old Testament Israel.

5) The Kingdom of God transcends all worldly boarders and transcends ethnicity.

6) As Christians, our citizenship is Heaven and not the U.S. or Canada. Therefore, our allegiance to God's Kingdom principals MUST take priority over our "national" loyalties.

7) Jesus taught that the second most important command in the entire Bible was to "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". (Mark 12:30-31)

8) Jesus taught that our enemies are our neighbors. (Luke 10:25-37)

9) Jesus commanded that we "Love our enemies" (Matthew 5:43-46)

10) Jesus taught that loving your enemies means being willing to lay down your life for them. (John 13:34), (Romans 5:8)

11) Jesus taught that loving your enemies mean doing good to them when they hate us, praying for them when they persecute us and blessing them when they curse us. (Luke 6:27-30)

12) Jesus commanded that we should do to our enemies, as we would have our enemies do to us. (Luke 6:31)

13) Since I can't imagine myself ever WANTING my enemy to kill me, I cannot kill him if I am to be obedient to the command of Christ. (Luke 6:31)

14) Jesus commanded that if someone strikes me, I should offer him my other cheek as well. This command takes away my "right" to retaliate. If I am to be obedient to the command of Christ, I cannot strike them back. (Matt 5:39)

15) The Bible commands us not to even curse any human beings, because all humans bear God's image. If I cannot even curse them, what makes me think its ok to kill them? (James 3:9-10)

16) There is evil in the world. The Bible commands us to overcome evil with GOOD, not with more evil. (Romans 12:19-21)

17) The Saddams of this world are evil. However, the Bible teaches that all human beings are evil. Yes, that includes you and me (It's a good thing Christ died for us!) (Mark 10:18)

18) God uses worldly secular leaders to carry out certain things, such as punishing lawbreakers. (Romans 13:4)

19) The Bible makes it CLEAR that this is not the responsibility of those who live in the Kingdom of God, nor do we have the right to. (Romans 12:19-21)

20) To summarize, If I (as a Christ follower) were to ever kill an enemy, I would be violating multiple CLEAR commands of Christ, my supposed King:
a) To love my neighbor
b) To love my enemy
c) To do to my enemy as I would have them do to me
d) To do good to them that hate me
etc? etc? etc?

Just a quick wrap up thought here. Some people understandably feel some confusion over all the war in the Old Testament. A few things to keep in mind: 1) Jesus brought the new Kingdom of God. He is now the ultimate and complete revelation of God. Jesus completes and supercedes the Old Testament. 2) Israel was a Theocracy literally ruled by God, unlike any nation on the earth today. 3) In all the wars, the Old Testament made it clear that God himself was the warrior. Always going into battle short handed so the glory would belong to God. I don't see any other nations utilizing this particular strategy anymore. I.E. if the West really thought God was on their side, why send 250,000 troops to fight instead of just 5,000?

Jesus followers don't kill people because Jesus CLEARLY taught that in the new Kingdom of God it isn't done.

I would add that part of the clarity that John is talking about comes when Christ goes into the bit about "you have heard it said 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" but I tell you love your enemies...". He is taking a command right out of the OT law and giving a new "rule". Pretty clear indicator of the new way that has come. It's echoed in Christ's opening statement at the beginning of Mark, "At last the time has come!" he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!". Oooh. Gives me chills.