"Let everyone who is Godly pray to you while you may be found" (Psalm 32:6)
WAR WITH IRAQ: Part #4
Praying for Victory in a "Just War"
The LORD is a man of war... Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces... You have overthrown those who rose against You... Your wrath...consumed them... (Ex 15:1-18).
France, Germany, Russia and many other nations are vocally opposed to a war against Iraq. But what does God say? Our understanding of Scripture will shape the nature of our prayers in the coming weeks and months.
·Ambrose, the 4th Century scholar (Augustine's pastor and mentor), was a student of Scripture and the early Church fathers. He taught that military service is a high calling and that Biblical love is the motivation for using military force. Failure to use force when required is a clear failure to love, e.g., a person who stands by while his neighbor is attacked is not acting as a Christian. He taught, too that the Emperor had a Divine mandate to maintain civil order so that the Church might carry on its work. Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and others built upon these principles.
·The Reformers held firmly to a "Just War" doctrine. Military warfare, at times, is the only righteous option for leaders and nations to take. Derived from Old and New Testament principles, the doctrine is held by most conservative, Protestant Bible scholars today.
·Biblical tradition set forth five criteria to adjudge
a war as a "Just war":
God's love compels us to physically defend our neighbors. When it is in their power to stop tyrants, can God-fearing nations stand idly by and watch godless tyrants murder, rape and pillage their own citizens and neighbors, and feverishly pursue the construction of weapons that will extend their tyranny to the entire world? We are in a very dangerous period of World History (there are other tyrants, e.g., in North Korea, China & elsewhere). We must pray without ceasing.
Please Join Us in Ceaseless Prayer:
--Heavenly Father, we are a sinful People. Please forgive us, cleanse us, REVIVE us, & make us fit to fight a JUST WAR.
--Be with our Troops! Protect our young men & women. Make them Instruments of Righteousness, Justice & Liberation!
--Limit the harm to innocent non-combatant Iraqis.
--Shorten this war & Cause your overarching purposes to be accomplished. In Jesus' Name, Amen (Gen 9:5-6; Ps 18:34-43; 25:19; 51:1-5; 66:7; 119:126; Pr 24:11-12; 28:4; Is 61:1-2; Jer 51:29-64; Dan 4:17ff; Mt 24:21-22; Rev 6:2).
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