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continued convo…

February 8, 2009

Is war reconcilable with the teachings of Jesus?

I’ll say it again if you weren’t there yesterday – this sermon series is above me!  For clarity we flipped the question yesterday and ended up asking, “Is pacifism a legitimate Biblical response to war?”.  To summarize the 30 minute answer we gave yesterday (link to the mp3 below)…

War is horrible, inevitable, and sometimes justifiable.

The most important thing we said yesterday is that political or militaristic means are NOT powerful enough to establish peace.  A perfectly executed battle plan and withdraw in Iraq: nope.  A stronger military and more advanced weaponry: still no peace.  The leadership of George Bush or Barack Obama: struck out and will strike out, respectively, in the goal of bringing peace to the world.  The problem isn’t that these things are wrong; it’s that they’re all hopelessly insufficient for the Problem of Man.  There’s only one force in the world powerful enough to bring peace to even a single life:

The gospel.

Nations won’t be at peace until hearts are at peace.  When our hearts (or marriages, or friendships, or emotions, or _________) aren’t at peace we try everything – throwing ourselves into our jobs, losing weight, getting into shape, sex, counseling, or distracting ourselves with television, food, or a hobby.  All of them are straw compared to the power of the gospel unleashed into a life… or a nation… or a world.

So why do we spend so much more time focusing on insufficient things???

Sermon Audio

Critical Q’s – email invite

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 9, 2009 3:36 pm

    Why do we spend so much time focusing on insufficient things? Man, I wish I could answer that. I’m still baffled whenever I read the Old Testament how the Israelites time and time again spent so much time giving their energy to false gods in hopes of rescue or physical gain despite the overwhelming way that God rescued, lavished, and cared for his people. But I’m the same way, quick to run to outside promises to meet a momentary need instead of trusting God to do what He always does: “cause all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called, according to His purpose.” He is so gracious to not get fed up when I so frequently have these “duh” moments.

    Josh, I’m sure Dr. Gushee would have enjoyed this sermon. It felt like one if his classes, except we talked a lot more about the gospel Sunday, which is way more fun!

    This was such an interesting topic just because we are conflicted with a deep sense of responsibility to defend the defenseless – and rightly so – and oftentimes we don’t know what that looks like. It really helped to understand the use of pronouns here and that the government bears the sword, not individuals. It also made total sense when you said that pacifism has an optimism about the nature of man that just isn’t true. If we believe that man is capable of “being good”, then what use do we have for the gospel, for Christ!? But the truth is, we are all naturally born into sin, and we need a Savior to make us right with God. That was SO important to understanding pacifism in light of the Gospel.

    Really appreciated the sermon this Sunday. Thanks for working beyond your pay grade to bring us Biblical truth.

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