A Biblical sense of security in the aftermath of 9/11

Brian J. Auten

Garrett Sandeen
August 24, 2011

I respect this author's well informed opinion and contribution to the discussion. A quote near the very end of this piece got me to consider something: <br><br>"All in all, the Christian should support – and work for – the minimization of terrorist risk and harm, respecting, as far as Biblically informed conscience allows, the plans and strategies of civil authority, but always with the clear-eyed serenity that arises from faith."<br><br>Politically speaking, I am very much against the wars in the Middle Eastern and African regions; the reasons for which have changed over time. However, I have found myself getting away from the perspective of "limiting terror," or "justice." Which is the main reason I opposed the wars (outside of pursuing those responsible for 9-11). <br><br>It's easy to oppose the war for economic reasons; we can't afford to build nations or have over 100k ground troops in Afghanistan. This alone, however, is not enough to discount our military presence. The fact people die in war is not enough to oppose it as well. Even if I abhor war, the responsibility of our government to protect our liberties requires them to take some military actions. <br><br>However, my original reason for opposing the war was, and should be, that I believe 1. Everyone (the U.S. and the people in the Middle Eastern region) would be safer without an American presence in the region and 2. The main recruitment tool for terrorist organizations is the U.S. presence in the region. <br><br>I won't take the time to elaborate on the point as that's not the reason I wrote this. I just want to thank the author for reminding me why I opposed the war in the first place (I don't mean that sarcastically).<br><br>Garrett

August 24, 2011

When I want to know what Jesus thought on an issue I usually prefer the first four Gospels over Corinthians (Sorry). Matthew 5 says nothing about bombing our enemies or sending SEAL teams after those who hurt you. As much as you might really want to at times (Oh trust me I've been there!) and there are certainly individuals deserving a little Old Testament Justice. Matthew 5 says "Love your enemies..." among many other good pieces of wisdom for getting along with others.<br><br>Could he really mean Osama Bin Ladin? Gaddafi?  Yes I think he did but you can't go in at the front of a platoon of Marines and open your arms and shout "Hey Gaddafi... I love you MAN!" Yes you will get yourself shot! <br><br>If we want to help Jesus conquer death maybe we should set a good example for our children and stop killing people. Just a thought! The UN Security Council has a licence to kill basically with no accountability. <br><br>The way to stop terrorists is to be a better neighbour and offer more carrots and fewer sticks. Accept and acknowledge that The United States of America is part of the larger World community, and has no inherent right to tell other countries what to do. <br><br>From a Macrocosm - Microcosm point of view, I don't think it is any surprise when gangs mimic the kind of violence they see their country glorifying and declaring as "Just War". Even ordinary people get swept into riots these days. Anyone who thinks the war is overseas somewhere needs to wake up.<br><br>Security is a myth. Our hearts beat from one moment to the next only at the grace of God. God allows what I have chosen to call 'Course Corrections'. Sometimes they are very painful and we don't understand them in our blind human forms. The Israelites had many course corrections in their documented history where God tried to teach them humility, stewardship, loyalty, etc. As my favourite pastor is fond of saying. They were a stiff necked people. <br><br>Bending the stiff neck of a nation in pursuit of PEACE is a humbling process and not easy but it is the Christian message. It was a painful lesson for me in dealing with my own lessons and one I still struggle with. I still have my Motrin days.<br><br>It is true that David's hands were trained for war but he was also gifted by God as a poet and musician so the lessons to his people would be remembered. We can't change the past but we need to learn from the course corrections in our lives both privately and as a nation and act with conscience.<br><br>No Regrets... Only Course Corrections!<br><br>

August 24, 2011

If I want to know what Jesus thought on any issue I turn to Genesis, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs or Revelation plus the gospels. If Jesus is truly God, If as He says, “I and the Father are one” and “He that has seen the Father has seen me” then as a Trinitarian I can observe Jesus’ thoughts and actions all through the Bible. What did God instruct Joshua, what were His thoughts in Proverbs? If the Bible is “God-breathed”, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I can read 1st Corinthian to get his mind on a subject as well as the gospels. The gospels are not a more faithful record of history. They are equally as accurate a record of history as Hebrews, Acts, Jude or any other Biblical book. We get into trouble when we say, “I only follow Jesus’ teaching” as some of the Corinthian Church did in 1 Corinthians 1:12. <br><br>The subject of the correct treatment of enemies is a complex subject. Jesus destroys His unrepentant enemies in Hell “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” How do we treat our enemy the devil? How did Jesus treat the money changers? You can’t be simplistic and dismiss all the extensive scriptures supporting the concept of a just war based on “Love your enemies”. Would jesus have killed Osama Bin Laden? He certainly directly killed a lot of evil people in the Old Testament. Paul defends the power of the state to wield capital punishment. Jesus returns to earth trailed by the armies of heaven and wages a fierce just war in Revelation.

August 24, 2011

" it’s hard to garner the same level of revulsion towards the former <br>sheriff’s ostensibly unilateralist, preemptive and indiscriminate uses <br>of force when the current sheriff’s counterterrorism successes are built<br> largely on extraterritorial unmanned drone strikes and SEAL-team <br>insertions."<br><br>This statement betrays no Biblical foundation, but since it has been stated, it is worth responding to.<br><br>If from 2001 to 2009, we had focused on targeted strikes against identified targets, rather than going wholesale for several years into two different nations, we would be a lot better off, AND we would have adhered better to the just resort to necessary force in self-defense. It would have cost us trillions of dollars less (a good part of our national debt), and saved both American and Asian lives.<br><br>In Afghanistan, we had reason to invade. Direct physical attacks against our cities had been planned and prepared there, and the government had aligned itself with the perpetrators. Initially, things went well BECAUSE we had allies who knew the land and people, were hardened by thirty years of war, and just needed a nice superpower to provide them some weapons and tactical air support. We should have gone in, kicked butt, then let our allies sort it out with their fellow countrymen, rather than committing ourselves for the long haul to God knows what -- which turned out to be a corrupt and increasingly unpopular government propped up by our blood and treasure.<br><br>In the case of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and despised Osama bin Laden, we had no 9/11 case for going in at all. As I recall, the rationale was "Afghanistan doesn't have enough good targets. We should do Iraq." The new sheriff is exercising much better judgement, getting better results, at a much lower price, except that it takes years to wind down the mess we got ourselves into.<br>

Doyl Watson
August 29, 2011

I am rather disappointed in the utterly weak amount of Biblical support called on in these articles, and I have some to the conclusion that you put very little tho't n2 them.  I trust that you will take your Bible seriously enough to do a thorough search for God's will on matters and then present your findings to your readers, with a comprehensive amount of related Scripture. (=o)

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