peace is stupid

UPDATE: I'm changing a few words in this post that seem to be creating an impression that it's about either being "for peace" or "for war." Which is really not at all what I'm getting at. I'm not changing the scriptures, though. They say what they say.

Blanco posted a rant on his blog, some of which is thoughtful and some of which is, well, wrong and some of which is just a tad reductionist. If you'd like to read it, go ahead and form your own thoughts about it.

What got me fired up was this, because I'd heard it before:

anyways, there we are (my wife and i), driving around austin, killing some time before our concert, when i spied in a yard a placard that read, "american for peace." after thinking about it for a second i began to get a quizzical feeling brewing in my mind (and probably on my face), then a feeling of frustration and finally one of outright resentment and anger.

you see, the very premise of that placard was falsely come to by this "american for peace," as though he/she were somehow taking a noble high road by choosing non-violent coexistence with, well, whomever they felt we were at war with. certainly that included iraq, flaming "war" that it is, but could also mean afghanistan or kosovo or darfur, or basically anywhere arms are being used to either make or keep peace.

the notion that being "for peace" somehow makes peace a reality is, flatly, stupid.

As I said, I'd heard this before, though Blanco doesn't go as far as the first person I heard articulate this sentiment. Now, I can't remember who said it but I remember where and when I heard it. It was on the Mars Hill Audio Journal and it was the last issue of that usually fine and thoughtful publication that I received. The subject of the particular interview was the theory of "just war." The statement was (and this is not an exact quote) simply that anyone who advocates pacifism is stupid, that anyone who doesn't subscribe to the concept of a "just war" is stupid.

I'm not even going to bother with disagreeing with such a statement since it is patent nonsense and not even worth the space I'm taking up now talking about it.

There are lots of arguments to be advanced to justify war; the war(s) we are currently engaged in and all others besides. Some of them do make sense, I can see where the people who voice them are coming from, but honestly I've yet to hear a single argument for war that is in the least bit compelling as far as I'm concerned. War is failure, miserable failure on all sides. It may in the end be necessary (though this word doesn't describe the current one, in my opinion) but it is still failure.

Certainly thoughtful people can be "Americans for peace," --and do you know anyone who isn't? Though I don't know what to say about anyone of any stripe (red, or blue) who puts glibness on a sign and sticks it in their front yard; whether that glibness shouts "American for Peace" or "Support Our Troops."

Now, Mars Hill Audio Journal claimed to come at their issues from a biblical point of view. With that in mind, I'd like to offer a few scriptures to close this post. Believe me, I'm well aware that God is a God of wrath and that under the command of this God, actions were taken and statements made in the scriptures that would at the very least have to be called 'violent' and 'warlike,' anything but 'peaceful.' And Jesus is the one after all who said "I do not come to bring peace but division," (or, in another place, "but a sword"). Notwithstanding this, and so we don't forget, here is a small sample of what a person with a biblical worldview must contend with when thinking about the arguments for peace versus war:

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. -- Psalm 34:14

Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech, that I must live among the tents of Kedar. Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.-- Psalm 120:5-7

Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.--Proverbs 12:20

When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.--Proverbs 16:7

Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." --Jesus, in Mark 9:50

"There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, there is not even one." "Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of vipers is under their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." -- Paul quoting from a couple of Psalms in Romans 3

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.--Romans 12:18

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.--Paul from 2 Corintnthians 13:11

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. -- Paul describing the Gospel of Peace in Ephesians 6

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. --Hebrews 12:14

As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.-- Jesus, weeping over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-42

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