Enough with the “war” metaphor

Charles Lane is sick of the “war” metaphor in political discourse, something all sides are doing:

The Democratic National Committee accuses the GOP of a “Republican War on Women,” to go along with its “war on working families” (according to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee) and “Paul Ryan’s war on seniors” (Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky).

Various Republicans accuse President Obama of waging “war on religious freedom” or even, in the words of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “a war on religion.” According to the Republican National Committee, the president is also waging “war on energy,” the sequel, apparently, to what the House Republican Leadership has called “Democrats’ war on American jobs.”

Progressive author Chris Mooney called his book “The Republican War on Science”; not to be outdone, conservatives Grover Norquist and John R. Lott Jr. have published “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth.”

A Washington Times editorial warned Wisconsin taxpayers that “President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have declared war on you.” “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau observes that “[Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh, et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate.”

And on and on and on — until you could almost lose sight of the fact that not one of these institutions or individuals is describing a physical conflict in which people fight, bleed and die.

There are, of course, plenty of real wars raging around the world; in some of them, Americans are dying. But the folks back home, busy with their election-year quarrels, have little interest in discussing such matters.

No, what the metaphor-mongers are referring to is political disagreement among citizens of the same democracy. And the last time I checked, most of those disagreements were being expressed through peaceful means — and neither side in any of these debates had a monopoly on the truth.

To be sure, we have been waging “war on” this or that for decades. America is such a diverse and disputatious country that war, actual or metaphorical, has been one of the few causes capable of bringing together its various factions, regions and races. That is why we had Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, Richard Nixon’s war on drugs and a series of presidents’ war on cancer. Heck, even Jimmy Carter tried to convince us that saving energy was “the moral equivalent of war.”

These metaphors attempted to recast an abstract threat as a particular enemy, thereby rallying the country to a common effort.

That is totally different from what the professional polarizers who dominate today’s politics, and their respective media allies, are trying to achieve. . . .

For both parties, the goal is to encourage Americans to think of one another as enemies and, eventually, to hate and fear one another. Today’s “wars on” are all civil wars. . . .

Multiplied across the entire electorate, however, the effect may be more corrosive. To the extent that sensible citizens tune out politics, they abandon the field to people who are receptive to constant cries of war, war, war — people who are prepared to think of their opponents as enemies.

When you think of someone as an enemy, it’s harder to contemplate trusting, respecting or cooperating with him or her. Indeed, those behaviors start to look like treason, instead of what they really are: the minimum requirements of democratic life.

via In the war of words, we are all losing – The Washington Post.

War imagery is a staple of today’s Christian discourse too.  We have “worship wars,” “the battle for the Bible,” and, of course, the “culture wars.”   I’ve sometimes used that kind of language myself.

Is it appropriate sometimes?  Or does it short-circuit thought, riling people up and creating “enemies” while doing more harm than good?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    I say we declare war on over-sensitive, metaphor-phobes like Charles Lane.

  • Pete

    I say we declare war on over-sensitive, metaphor-phobes like Charles Lane.

  • #4 Kitty

    Don’t forget the “weapon” metaphor. “Love”, we are told, is a powerful weapon. And so is prayer! Really? How does that work? Weapons are designed to give us a facility for killing.

  • #4 Kitty

    Don’t forget the “weapon” metaphor. “Love”, we are told, is a powerful weapon. And so is prayer! Really? How does that work? Weapons are designed to give us a facility for killing.

  • SKPeterson

    War! Huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

    Why Lane thinks the overuse of the war metaphor in modern discourse is unrelated to the use of the war metaphor in the various wars we have had on poverty, drugs, this, that, and the other thing for the last 80 years or so, is rather short-sighted.

    As the saying goes, “War is the health of the state.” And we’ve seen a massive increase in the state’s intrusions into every avenue of modern American life justified as wars on various social ills. It is not surprising that Lane’s “polarizers” of various stripes use the war metaphor when talking about various political aims. When everything is a war, there must be spoils, so the big government aficionados in both parties are scrambling to legitimize their own grasping for those spoils. We’re looking at nothing more than the political equivalent of rival gangs of Huns arguing over who has better war claims to the slaves, chattel and loot gleaned from the burning farms and towns of the surrounding countryside.

  • SKPeterson

    War! Huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

    Why Lane thinks the overuse of the war metaphor in modern discourse is unrelated to the use of the war metaphor in the various wars we have had on poverty, drugs, this, that, and the other thing for the last 80 years or so, is rather short-sighted.

    As the saying goes, “War is the health of the state.” And we’ve seen a massive increase in the state’s intrusions into every avenue of modern American life justified as wars on various social ills. It is not surprising that Lane’s “polarizers” of various stripes use the war metaphor when talking about various political aims. When everything is a war, there must be spoils, so the big government aficionados in both parties are scrambling to legitimize their own grasping for those spoils. We’re looking at nothing more than the political equivalent of rival gangs of Huns arguing over who has better war claims to the slaves, chattel and loot gleaned from the burning farms and towns of the surrounding countryside.

  • Kirk

    Let’s just start calling everyone we disagree with”Nazis.”

  • Kirk

    Let’s just start calling everyone we disagree with”Nazis.”

  • Abby

    Politics is war. Actually I agree with the use of the metaphor — both literally and figuratively. It makes one ask the question: “What does this mean?”

  • Abby

    Politics is war. Actually I agree with the use of the metaphor — both literally and figuratively. It makes one ask the question: “What does this mean?”

  • Abby

    It also reminds me of football — don’t tell me we don’t like it!

  • Abby

    It also reminds me of football — don’t tell me we don’t like it!

  • TE Schroeder

    In my opinion, too many words get over-used, and we have fallen short of finding the right words to say things because hyperbole has been over-used, too. Everyone emphasizes words 50,000 times more than they need to be!!!

  • TE Schroeder

    In my opinion, too many words get over-used, and we have fallen short of finding the right words to say things because hyperbole has been over-used, too. Everyone emphasizes words 50,000 times more than they need to be!!!

  • Jonathan

    Would that Lane was as worked up at the GOP candidates’ promise that, if elected, they will send US troops (but not their own sons and daughters) into yet a 3d bloody, non-methaphorical war in the Middle East, against Iran. Perhaps, if G-d wills, we Americans can destroy the Christian population there just as firmly as we did those in Iraq.

  • Jonathan

    Would that Lane was as worked up at the GOP candidates’ promise that, if elected, they will send US troops (but not their own sons and daughters) into yet a 3d bloody, non-methaphorical war in the Middle East, against Iran. Perhaps, if G-d wills, we Americans can destroy the Christian population there just as firmly as we did those in Iraq.

  • –helen

    The Saudi religious leaders are ahead of us. They have already declared that the entire Arabian peninsula should be “free of churches.” Saudi Arabia never had any, of course. [Ex-patriates live in compounds; if they are Christian, they smuggle their personal religious materials in with their furniture and are limited to private gatherings.]

  • –helen

    The Saudi religious leaders are ahead of us. They have already declared that the entire Arabian peninsula should be “free of churches.” Saudi Arabia never had any, of course. [Ex-patriates live in compounds; if they are Christian, they smuggle their personal religious materials in with their furniture and are limited to private gatherings.]

  • Abby

    ” . . .hyperbole has been over-used, too . . .”

    I think Jesus used hyperbole: “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” Lk 19:39-40 And the parables — and the O.T. — I don’t think we’re sure if Revelations is literal or figurative —

    Words/stories teach, and hopefully make us think. Otherwise there would be no blogs.

  • Abby

    ” . . .hyperbole has been over-used, too . . .”

    I think Jesus used hyperbole: “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” Lk 19:39-40 And the parables — and the O.T. — I don’t think we’re sure if Revelations is literal or figurative —

    Words/stories teach, and hopefully make us think. Otherwise there would be no blogs.

  • Abby

    War talk:

    “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not *–waging war–* according to the flesh. For the *–weapons of warfare–* are not of the flesh, but have *divine power to –destroy strongholds–*. We *–destroy arguments– and every lofty opinion* raised against the knowledge of God, and *–take– every thought –captive–* to obey Christ, *being –ready to punish– every disobedience*, when your obedience is complete.” 2 Cor 10:3-6

    “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them *you may wage the good –warfare–*, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejectiing this, some have made *shipwreck* of their faith . . .” 1 Tim 1:18-19

    “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that *your passions are at –war– within you*?” James 4:1

    We better be careful — we’ll have to strike the word from the whole Bible in order to make it p.c.!

  • Abby

    War talk:

    “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not *–waging war–* according to the flesh. For the *–weapons of warfare–* are not of the flesh, but have *divine power to –destroy strongholds–*. We *–destroy arguments– and every lofty opinion* raised against the knowledge of God, and *–take– every thought –captive–* to obey Christ, *being –ready to punish– every disobedience*, when your obedience is complete.” 2 Cor 10:3-6

    “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them *you may wage the good –warfare–*, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejectiing this, some have made *shipwreck* of their faith . . .” 1 Tim 1:18-19

    “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that *your passions are at –war– within you*?” James 4:1

    We better be careful — we’ll have to strike the word from the whole Bible in order to make it p.c.!

  • DonS

    II Timothy 2: 3-4 — “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. ”

    As Abby posted @ 11, there are many analogies to war in the Scriptures, even in the New Testament. We are called to be soldiers for Christ, and warned repeatedly that we are at war with the forces of darkness.

    So, to answer the question posted by Dr. Veith: “Is it appropriate sometimes?”, the answer is most definitively yes. Of course, the answer is also “yes” to the second question: “Or does it short-circuit thought, riling people up and creating “enemies” while doing more harm than good?” We are at war against the forces of darkness, and awareness of that fact is important when we are discussing among ourselves, within the Christian community. But, that kind of language is inflammatory in secular venues and generally unhelpful to the cause of Christ, in my opinion. We should be careful, as Christians, to be ambassadors for Christ, who most certainly did not approach most people (other than hypocritical religious leaders) on a warlike footing.

  • DonS

    II Timothy 2: 3-4 — “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. ”

    As Abby posted @ 11, there are many analogies to war in the Scriptures, even in the New Testament. We are called to be soldiers for Christ, and warned repeatedly that we are at war with the forces of darkness.

    So, to answer the question posted by Dr. Veith: “Is it appropriate sometimes?”, the answer is most definitively yes. Of course, the answer is also “yes” to the second question: “Or does it short-circuit thought, riling people up and creating “enemies” while doing more harm than good?” We are at war against the forces of darkness, and awareness of that fact is important when we are discussing among ourselves, within the Christian community. But, that kind of language is inflammatory in secular venues and generally unhelpful to the cause of Christ, in my opinion. We should be careful, as Christians, to be ambassadors for Christ, who most certainly did not approach most people (other than hypocritical religious leaders) on a warlike footing.

  • formerly just steve

    Abby raises an interesting point in my mind. Unless Lane’s issue is the overuse of hyperbole in general, it seems he’s under the false notion that war is always, necessarily an evil thing. But generations past have seen the good fruits of war. Aggressive, totalitarian states toppled and millions of lives spared is a good thing. It would be great if we could have meaningful “dialogue with the Third Reich” that lead to the end of aggression, but that was not possible. Certainly, it wasn’t possible in the time frame necessary to ensure they wouldn’t eliminate the entire non-Aryan population.

    So, does the war metaphor make a “war of cancer” a bad thing? Only if you think war is always a bad thing. But like the Nazis, cancer isn’t likely to listen to dialogue. It doesn’t make every weapon in the war beneficial or every battle in the war necessary, but this war, in my mind, is worthwhile.

  • formerly just steve

    Abby raises an interesting point in my mind. Unless Lane’s issue is the overuse of hyperbole in general, it seems he’s under the false notion that war is always, necessarily an evil thing. But generations past have seen the good fruits of war. Aggressive, totalitarian states toppled and millions of lives spared is a good thing. It would be great if we could have meaningful “dialogue with the Third Reich” that lead to the end of aggression, but that was not possible. Certainly, it wasn’t possible in the time frame necessary to ensure they wouldn’t eliminate the entire non-Aryan population.

    So, does the war metaphor make a “war of cancer” a bad thing? Only if you think war is always a bad thing. But like the Nazis, cancer isn’t likely to listen to dialogue. It doesn’t make every weapon in the war beneficial or every battle in the war necessary, but this war, in my mind, is worthwhile.

  • TE Schroeder

    Abby @10

    I don’t discourage the use of hyperbole. It can be very illustrative. But sometimes hyperbole, exagerration, et al. have been used to the point where there are no words left to describe something worse, better, greater, etc…. Words can be drained of meaning by overuse.

  • TE Schroeder

    Abby @10

    I don’t discourage the use of hyperbole. It can be very illustrative. But sometimes hyperbole, exagerration, et al. have been used to the point where there are no words left to describe something worse, better, greater, etc…. Words can be drained of meaning by overuse.

  • Abby

    TES @ 14

    Just like the current “war of words” in the news today — women are picketing Mitt Romney for his promise to defund Planned Parenthood (because too much federal money given to them is being used to fund abortions–and under that, abortions have increased.) and obliterate Obamacare. So the women are saying “Keep your Mitts off my contraception!” A huge “war” for this campaign cycle will now focus on “women’s *health* issues” (to garner the women’s votes) — which really means guarding the freedom to abort — which will also include the “war” on religious rights issues.

    I hope I made sense. Sometimes these words can become very convoluted. But I really believe we should engage in the war of words.

  • Abby

    TES @ 14

    Just like the current “war of words” in the news today — women are picketing Mitt Romney for his promise to defund Planned Parenthood (because too much federal money given to them is being used to fund abortions–and under that, abortions have increased.) and obliterate Obamacare. So the women are saying “Keep your Mitts off my contraception!” A huge “war” for this campaign cycle will now focus on “women’s *health* issues” (to garner the women’s votes) — which really means guarding the freedom to abort — which will also include the “war” on religious rights issues.

    I hope I made sense. Sometimes these words can become very convoluted. But I really believe we should engage in the war of words.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan said (@8):

    Would that Lane was as worked up at the GOP candidates’ promise … [blah blah blah]

    Good job staying on topic there, son. … For, what, seven or eight words at least, was it? World record?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan said (@8):

    Would that Lane was as worked up at the GOP candidates’ promise … [blah blah blah]

    Good job staying on topic there, son. … For, what, seven or eight words at least, was it? World record?

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    I think the problem with most people’s war language (“culture war,” “war on working families” etc) is that the implied enemies are always other people, especially the political examples. Scripture makes it pretty clear: if you can put a face on your enemy, you have the wrong guy.

    I think Mr Lane hit it on the head with:

    For both parties, the goal is to encourage Americans to think of one another as enemies and, eventually, to hate and fear one another. Today’s “wars on” are all civil wars. . . .

    Does this “short-circuit thought, riling people up and creating ‘enemies’ while doing more harm than good?” Yes.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    I think the problem with most people’s war language (“culture war,” “war on working families” etc) is that the implied enemies are always other people, especially the political examples. Scripture makes it pretty clear: if you can put a face on your enemy, you have the wrong guy.

    I think Mr Lane hit it on the head with:

    For both parties, the goal is to encourage Americans to think of one another as enemies and, eventually, to hate and fear one another. Today’s “wars on” are all civil wars. . . .

    Does this “short-circuit thought, riling people up and creating ‘enemies’ while doing more harm than good?” Yes.

  • Arfies

    Yes, I suppose “war” can be an appropriate word; but perhaps we should be careful about using it, because wars can be lost as well as won (as our war on drugs seems to be doing). I personally would like to hear candidates talk less (or not at all) about “fighting” for us, which would seem to lead very easily into the kind of intransigence we have witnessed in the Congress and between the President and the Congress in recent memory. Would more get done if we elected people who made it their business to build bridges, to work instead of fight, and to find creative ways to approach thorny problems? Maybe not, but we all could hope it might happen!

  • Arfies

    Yes, I suppose “war” can be an appropriate word; but perhaps we should be careful about using it, because wars can be lost as well as won (as our war on drugs seems to be doing). I personally would like to hear candidates talk less (or not at all) about “fighting” for us, which would seem to lead very easily into the kind of intransigence we have witnessed in the Congress and between the President and the Congress in recent memory. Would more get done if we elected people who made it their business to build bridges, to work instead of fight, and to find creative ways to approach thorny problems? Maybe not, but we all could hope it might happen!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Maybe we should worry more about spiritual warfare (True spiritual warfare, not the Frank Peretti fictionalization of it) and less about political warfare.

    You don’t see anywhere in the New Testament where Christians should be making engagement of the government a priority. That doesn’t mean we should be apathetic about it, but it does imply trusting God’s sovereignty in world affairs.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Maybe we should worry more about spiritual warfare (True spiritual warfare, not the Frank Peretti fictionalization of it) and less about political warfare.

    You don’t see anywhere in the New Testament where Christians should be making engagement of the government a priority. That doesn’t mean we should be apathetic about it, but it does imply trusting God’s sovereignty in world affairs.

  • fws

    there is a thinking among conservatives that if we can only get people to think the right way, to avoid post modernistic thinking for example, and resist changes to the language we dont agree with , the word gay for instance, that somehow we are powerful to improve things.

    This is something conservatives have in common with liberals I think. And it is something I frequently encounter here as a subtext.

    The doctrine of the Two Kingdoms leads us in another direction. God rules all through Law in all we can see and do in the earthly Kingdom and then…

    alone by faith in the Heavenly Kingdom.

    In Luke 18 God makes justice happen in spite of the fact that it is done by an Antinomian Judge! He nags that judge by a conscience even when the conscience of that judge is dead to love!

    STILL. God’s will gets done! nothing at all depends upon our doing that means!

  • fws

    there is a thinking among conservatives that if we can only get people to think the right way, to avoid post modernistic thinking for example, and resist changes to the language we dont agree with , the word gay for instance, that somehow we are powerful to improve things.

    This is something conservatives have in common with liberals I think. And it is something I frequently encounter here as a subtext.

    The doctrine of the Two Kingdoms leads us in another direction. God rules all through Law in all we can see and do in the earthly Kingdom and then…

    alone by faith in the Heavenly Kingdom.

    In Luke 18 God makes justice happen in spite of the fact that it is done by an Antinomian Judge! He nags that judge by a conscience even when the conscience of that judge is dead to love!

    STILL. God’s will gets done! nothing at all depends upon our doing that means!

  • fws

    Post 20 Lets review:

    The actor is:

    Antinomian.
    No faith in God.
    No love or respect for neighbor.
    Law? what Law?
    And Love? Nope. No love either.

    So Luther is right in the small catechism when he informs us how God makes all the First Second and Third article goodness and Mercy come to us exclusively through other Old Adams:

    It happens 1) from and to the unworthy 2) indeed to and from those who dont pray for it or ask for it. and 3) even to and from all the wicked who actively are trying to subvert Goodness and Mercy.

    Amazing isnt it?

    So place this post in that context. Please.

  • fws

    Post 20 Lets review:

    The actor is:

    Antinomian.
    No faith in God.
    No love or respect for neighbor.
    Law? what Law?
    And Love? Nope. No love either.

    So Luther is right in the small catechism when he informs us how God makes all the First Second and Third article goodness and Mercy come to us exclusively through other Old Adams:

    It happens 1) from and to the unworthy 2) indeed to and from those who dont pray for it or ask for it. and 3) even to and from all the wicked who actively are trying to subvert Goodness and Mercy.

    Amazing isnt it?

    So place this post in that context. Please.

  • Abby

    J Dean @ 19: That is true, but isn’t our call as Christians to “make” Christians wherever we are or whoever we are (vocation)? If a person is a Christian by being taught as a child by his parents, and then goes into public service — how will he behave in his office? As a Christian — with those thoughts and values? If a person already exists in public office and the Word reaches his heart (could think of Constantine) how does this faith affect their thinking and decisions? So, I don’t think it is possible that government officials will be unaffected by Christianity in its midst.

    The conversion of Saul shows this:

    When the Lord told Ananias to go to Saul (Paul) he said, “‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’” Acts 9

    For the rest of the Book of Acts, this was fulfilled for Paul. On trial before Felix, governor of Caesarea, Paul says, “It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.” (Acts 24:10-21)

    Later Paul said, ” I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done nothing wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar. . . To Caesar you have appealed, to Caesar you shall go.” Acts 25

    Jesus said: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. . . And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Lk 12:8-12

    Our “marching orders” are that God may intentionally put (some of us) before kings and rulers and authorities. And we are to speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us. On our part, the words should be given with gentleness, kindness, and respect and conviction. We should not be combative.

    Don @ 12 put it well: “We should be careful, as Christians, to be ambassadors for Christ, who most certainly did not approach most people (other than hypocritical religious leaders) on a warlike footing.” We know that our “war” is “against the forces of darkness. . . ”

    Our witness of Jesus Christ is still going to produce “war” — read the book of Acts. I don’t see any way around that. Except that, like Christ, we are to be “suffering servants.” And may even be called to “civil disobedience,” and the consequences of not disowning Christ.

    From the article above: “Today’s “wars on” are all civil wars. . . .”
    I don’t believe that. Some are, some definately are not. Maybe we will eventually lose religious freedom and end up in jail. No matter where we are or who we are, we still honor Christ by sharing Him with those around us.

    Paul: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Phil 1:12-14

  • Abby

    J Dean @ 19: That is true, but isn’t our call as Christians to “make” Christians wherever we are or whoever we are (vocation)? If a person is a Christian by being taught as a child by his parents, and then goes into public service — how will he behave in his office? As a Christian — with those thoughts and values? If a person already exists in public office and the Word reaches his heart (could think of Constantine) how does this faith affect their thinking and decisions? So, I don’t think it is possible that government officials will be unaffected by Christianity in its midst.

    The conversion of Saul shows this:

    When the Lord told Ananias to go to Saul (Paul) he said, “‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’” Acts 9

    For the rest of the Book of Acts, this was fulfilled for Paul. On trial before Felix, governor of Caesarea, Paul says, “It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.” (Acts 24:10-21)

    Later Paul said, ” I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done nothing wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar. . . To Caesar you have appealed, to Caesar you shall go.” Acts 25

    Jesus said: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. . . And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Lk 12:8-12

    Our “marching orders” are that God may intentionally put (some of us) before kings and rulers and authorities. And we are to speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us. On our part, the words should be given with gentleness, kindness, and respect and conviction. We should not be combative.

    Don @ 12 put it well: “We should be careful, as Christians, to be ambassadors for Christ, who most certainly did not approach most people (other than hypocritical religious leaders) on a warlike footing.” We know that our “war” is “against the forces of darkness. . . ”

    Our witness of Jesus Christ is still going to produce “war” — read the book of Acts. I don’t see any way around that. Except that, like Christ, we are to be “suffering servants.” And may even be called to “civil disobedience,” and the consequences of not disowning Christ.

    From the article above: “Today’s “wars on” are all civil wars. . . .”
    I don’t believe that. Some are, some definately are not. Maybe we will eventually lose religious freedom and end up in jail. No matter where we are or who we are, we still honor Christ by sharing Him with those around us.

    Paul: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Phil 1:12-14

  • #4 Kitty

    @fws

    It happens 1) from and to the unworthy 2) indeed to and from those who dont pray for it or ask for it. and 3) even to and from all the wicked who actively are trying to subvert Goodness and Mercy.

    I’ve come to despise calls to jihad from our Mujtahid religious leaders. I think I like your approach but am not sure I got it right.
    Pardon the simplification but are you saying that we should live out our Christian and secular vocations while letting God be God?
    But what happens when God gets it wrong like in Roe v Wade and the repeal of DADT?

  • #4 Kitty

    @fws

    It happens 1) from and to the unworthy 2) indeed to and from those who dont pray for it or ask for it. and 3) even to and from all the wicked who actively are trying to subvert Goodness and Mercy.

    I’ve come to despise calls to jihad from our Mujtahid religious leaders. I think I like your approach but am not sure I got it right.
    Pardon the simplification but are you saying that we should live out our Christian and secular vocations while letting God be God?
    But what happens when God gets it wrong like in Roe v Wade and the repeal of DADT?

  • Abby

    Kitty @ 23:

    God never, ever “gets it wrong.”
    God never, ever fails.

  • Abby

    Kitty @ 23:

    God never, ever “gets it wrong.”
    God never, ever fails.

  • Jana

    It’s time Americans stop wasting energy engaging in negative and derisive language. No wonder so many people do not participate in our democracy by voting. The war language is a turn off, it’s boring and it’s male dominated. How can we ever move ahead if can’t grow up? We need more women in politics- if men had babies they’d never send them off to be maimed and killed in stupid wars. If there is an evil dictator killing innocents, send in small well informed units of “Rambos” to take the offending ruler out. Quote the Bible all you like, America is a free country to practice your beliefs and say what you think.

  • Jana

    It’s time Americans stop wasting energy engaging in negative and derisive language. No wonder so many people do not participate in our democracy by voting. The war language is a turn off, it’s boring and it’s male dominated. How can we ever move ahead if can’t grow up? We need more women in politics- if men had babies they’d never send them off to be maimed and killed in stupid wars. If there is an evil dictator killing innocents, send in small well informed units of “Rambos” to take the offending ruler out. Quote the Bible all you like, America is a free country to practice your beliefs and say what you think.


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