“End This Unjust War!” This has been the call from those in opposition to every war in our nations history.
War is ugly, and any sane person would prefer peace.
Yet, war continues throughout history; Just wars. Unjust wars. Wars to protect others, and wars to oppress others. The bible tells us that as long as we live on this planet, war will continue. People will divide over race, religion, and politics. We will turn on our own countrymen and those of our own faith. Make no mistake, there will be war.
As I think about the theme of PEACE this Christmas season, I can’t help but think of those who stand daily, affected by the results of war; our troops, their families, and all who live in nations impacted by war. Combatants or civilians, “good guys” and “bad guys”, war affects the lives of everyone in the nations involved.
We all want war to end, and it is our sincere hope that peace, lasting peace, is the end result. Unfortunately, as long as we live, war will continue, and at times evil will temporarily prevail. In short, the good guys don’t always win like they do in the movies; sometimes might does make right…. For now.
We’ve all seen the iconic photographs of the brokenness, fear, and despair of war:
But have you stopped to consider these images of war?
Yes, we fight many fights and the term “war” has been spread pretty thin in our culture: Far removed from the horrors of actual combat, we have applied the term to the “war” on drugs, the “war” on poverty, and even the “war” on obesity. Yet, the greatest war, the most singularly unjust war continues:
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.(Romans 8:5-8)
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.(Phillipians 3:18-19)
The greatest, most unjust war continues. It’s a global war of unimaginable scale and of inconceivable evil: Man is in rebellion against God. There are no neutral parties here, as we see above. The entire landscape is spelled out: Flesh and Spirit, Enmity and Peace. You are in the body of Christ, or an enemy of the Cross. It’s a hard thing to hear, and it has cost many a man his life to speak. Scripture is clear here; Man, in his natural state, is at war, at enmity, with God.
As Charles Spurgeon said:
“This is a very solemn indictment which the Apostle Paul here prefers against the carnal mind. He declares it to be enmity against God. When we consider what man once was, only second to the angels, the companion of God, who walked with him in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day; when we think of him as being made in the very image of his Creator, pure, spotless, and unblemished, we cannot but feel bitterly grieved to find such an accusation as this preferred against us as a race. We may well hang our harps upon the willows, while we listen to the voice of Jehovah solemnly speaking to his rebellious creature. “How art thou fallen from heaven, thou son of the morning!” “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering—the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee, and thou hast sinned; therefore, I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”
There is much to sadden us in a view of the ruins of our race. As the Carthaginian, who might tread the desolate site of his much-loved city, would shed many tears when he saw it laid in heaps by the Romans; or as the Jew, wandering through the deserted streets of Jerusalelm, would lament that the ploughshare had marred the beauty and the glory of that city which was the joy of the whole earth; so ought we to mourn for ourselves and our race, when we behold the ruins of that goodly structure which God had piled, that creature, matchless in symmetry, second only to angelic intellect, that mighty being, man—when we behold how he is “fallen, fallen, fallen, from his high estate,” and lies in a mass of destruction.”
So, we mark another holiday season, another year amidst the brokenness of a war-torn land. But it is my great pleasure to give you “GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY”!
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
(Luke 2:8-14 ESV)
A savior. The God against whom we have openly rebelled is now sent as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. Peace. At long last, peace to those with whom He is pleased.
God with us. Emmanuel. The Prince of Peace. A savior.
For there to be saviour, there must be those who need to be saved. Saved from what? Saved by God, from God. This Jesus who came as helpless babe will return as conquering King. He who came once as savior is coming again as judge. There is peace for you, friend, if you are in Christ. The battle is over, and He has been victorious over sin, death, and the grave. Until then, we walk through the rubble of this fallen world with the hope, the knowledge, and the PEACE in knowing that though we may be weary from battle, that the victory has ultimately been won.
So, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, go out this season into the battle-weary world to declare the good news of great joy to all mankind… that a savior is born in the city of Bethlehem.
Enjoy the video below, It’s a beautiful song to call your heart to Peace.
Note: While all men prefer peace over war, we understand that there are times when men must defend themselves and others. Please do not mistake my sentiment here as being against a particular conflict or in any way not supporting my fellow veterans.