Wars, Rumors of Wars, and Christians
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.” (Mark 13:7-10)
If we are truly followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we must be willing to let him inform our views and behavior even over our own nation and culture. You may agree with that statement, but when we talk about the actual issues, that is where the feathers get ruffled!
With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, it may be a good time to review where we stand on things, how we would respond should a situation like this comes closer to home, and if a few adjustments need to be made. What is your view of military service when you are fighting to protect the freedom of citizens, or your homeland? What is your view of service when you believe the cause being fought for is corrupted and appears to be more about a leader’s/party’s glory or personal gain? What is your view on service when the enemy has already “infiltrated” and taken things in a frightfully “woke” direction? Will any means justify the ends?
The world-issues are already whizzing by us at alarming speeds, and I shouldn’t wait until my daughter gets the call from the selective service before I start thinking about it! The aggressors and victims in the Ukraine invasion are pretty obvious, and we should also include in our prayers, those arrested in Russia for protesting Putin’s actions. Christians should be loving enough to move past “it’s a shame” to letting the conflict hit our own wallets, and financially supporting refugees when possible! (our denomination allows for one such way)
Keeping in mind that corruption extends into our own government as well, we must be wary and prepared to weigh any news we receive against others. This includes whatever “worthy-sounding” cause that our children may be eager to fight for! Do we trust the ever-rising waters of diplomacy, when our heralds have spoken with increasing duplicity? No nation, it appears, seems to have their hands clean, even by their non-involvement, or promises of “mighty sanctions”. Is it about oil & gas prices that we’re most concerned? Or are we most interested about God’s Kingdom, and our role to play in it? “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) John 18:36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."
We don’t know exactly, what role Putin plays in God’s reign on earth (Yes, He is reigning now!) Is this the last gasp stubbornness of a cruel despot before God humbles the proud? Is this one of His ways to waken an intoxicated world as to the preciousness of true freedom? I think both are addressed in the following passage in Philippians 3:19, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”. The Ukrainian churches are positioned in the most prominent places to shine the light, and we should pray for them at this time. May all Christians be given the grace to “love our enemies”! (Matthew 5:44)
The US draft has been based upon the biblical parameters for enlisting in the military in 2 Samuel 8:11-12, and there were many allowed reasons for refraining. There were also times in biblical reasons for refusing the unjust rule of the king: “To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So the Israelites went home” (1 Kings 12:16). I believe it is biblically loathsome for women to be drafted into combat roles (as recognized by the late justice Scalia), let alone the more recent happenings in our military such as mandatory teaching of Marxist ideology and the vaccine mandates. Women were created by God to be givers of life, not dealers of death!
It has become increasingly difficult for Christians to join the military without compromising core convictions, and perhaps some of the decisions made by the military authorities were to squeeze out and put down dissenting Christian voices. Christians these days (not limited to the military service), in an increasingly secularized culture, must be waking up prepared to “wreck their career” if necessary in staying true to Christ! It may be a refusal to hoist the “rainbow flag”, or a refusal to shoot a surrendered prisoner in the back of the head! Our actions are to be consistent with “Christ over Caesar”, and “there is no other God but the Lord”. Perhaps we will soon see how much corruption in America added to all this evil in Ukraine, as governmental corruptions have global consequences.
In the meantime, considering where our primary citizenship lies, we are to constantly “be on our guard” until “the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) When will the End come? Read on: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” In the meantime, we have been given our marching orders!