Is National Defense and Self Defense Biblical?
History continues to be punctuated by fits of lawlessness and warfare. From the first recorded war in Mesopotamia in 2700 BC between Sumer and Elam to today's rumors of war in the Middle East and threats of domestic lawlessness at home, armed conflict has been a human constant. This is "how the course of the world goes (and) this course is irresistible." 1
Picking sides in the current conflict between the liberal Western democracies and Islamic Jihadism, Christians must be cautious about choosing between losers. On January 7, masked gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" - the "God is great!" victory taunt of militaristic Islam – murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the French satire/cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo. In the days following, Paris suffered additional hostage-taking that cost additional lives, gripping France in fear and terrifying all other potential targets of Jihadist terror.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report (1/2/15), hundreds of church buildings are for sale across Western Europe. The now-empty buildings, many of them masterpieces of religious structural design, have closed due to "plunging membership." Western Europe was once ground zero for the Protestant Reformation. Now this cultural first cousin of the U.S. is rapidly becoming "de-Christianized;" some say "re-paganized."
"This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel" said Peter (Acts 2:14)
"No it isn't" say Premillennialists.
For some, the end is now and has been with us for a while. For others, the end is still in the
future. This is a fundamental failing of Premillenialism, failing to understand that the Bible's "last days" refer to the Church Age.
Participatory Democracy in an open society is messy. Unlike tidy authoritarian systems, “Government by the people and for the people” is rough around the edges. Many different chapters of American History record the ragged edges of our civil unrest (Shays’ Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, the Haymarket Affair, Jaybird-Woodpecker War, Pullman Strike, Columbine Mine Massacre, Bonus Army March, Zoot Suit Riots, Long Hot Summer of 1967, end etc.).
Recent events seem to be opening another rough chapter of civil unrest. With passions flaring and rhetoric blaring, what should Christians do? The New Testament teaches us to stand aside from the unrest and stand beside law and order.