Thursday, September 04, 2014

God's Military Tactics

So what does God think of militarism?  Does God think, with Hal Lindsey, that the moral downfall of America is due to a "crisis of military weakness"?  Does "the Bible" really "support building a powerful military force" as Wayne Grudem says?  Should we consider a strong national defense to be a biblical virtue?

Not at all.
Quite the opposite, in fact.

However, America's excessive militarism is inconceivable apart from "the support offered by several tens of millions of evangelicals."  This is unbelievable.  Most of all, it's unbiblical.

If America, for instance, used the Bible to shape its warfare policy, that policy would look like this.  Enlistment would be by volunteer only (which it is), and the military would not be funded by taxation.  America would not stockpile superior weapons--no tanks, drones, F-22s, and of course no nuclear weapons--and it would make sure its victories were determined by God's miraculous intervention, not by military might.  Rather than outnumbering the enemy, America would deliberately fight outmanned and under-gunned.  Perhaps soldiers would use muskets, or maybe just swords.  There would be no training, no boot camp, no preparation other than fasting, praying, and singing worship songs.  If America really is the "new Israel," God's holy nation as some believe, then it needs to take its cue from God and His inspired manual for military tactics.  But as it stands, many Christians will be content to cut and paste selected verses that align with America's worldview to give the military some religious backing.  Some call this bad hermeneutics; others call it syncretism.  The Israelite prophets called it idolatry.

--Preston Sprinkle, Fight: A Case for Christian Non-Violence, chapter 3
Ouch.  That stings.  But Amen, brother.

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