Thursday, August 27, 2009

The god of Peace aka Si vis pacem, para bellum

This summer I realized something. People want peace. This summer we talked about kings and expectations. One of the questions we asked was "If your country was being invaded by another nation what action would you want your king to take?" The over whelming response was some from of "peaceful" diplomacy ie non-violence. This...just didn't sit well inside me. I mean I'm all for diplomacy and peace but I'm also for protection and being defended, not that those things are opposite but some times it sure feels that way.
There is an old adage in Latin "Si vis pacem, para bellum" which means if want peace prepare for war. In our modern world it seems like we have removed all room for action for violence. These thoughts arose out of Eastern Europe a place with a history riddled with violence and protest, the resistance under the Nazis, the velvet revolution, secret police and public beatings. A place where no one wants to stand up. But it isn't just this place. Look at the Middle East, a bomb goes of on a public bus or rockets are shot into civilian housing and a government reacts with a swift counter strike and they're the bad guys because the terrorist hide in the midst of civilians.
We made this ideal that good man can't at times be a violent man or take a violent action. A good leader can't declare war, by today's standards, but if you look at History's greatest leaders Lincoln, Churchill, Alexander, Ceaser they were great because of how they handled war. Lincoln knew that sometimes you have destroy before you can rebuild. It seems like sometimes as Christians we are ashamed or embarrassed about God and the violent actions he takes. Think about how the Bible describes Jesus and how he returns and wins the final battle.Go ahead read Revelation and tell me Jesus is some non-violent hippie.
I'm glad that we have the God of peace and not the god of Peace. A king who wars over us and protects us. A God that isn't afraid to get his hands dirty for the ones he loves. And I'm not going to apologize for him.