1 Peter 2:11 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
When Iran and other nations or groups refers to America as the Great Satan they are not far off in their belief. We indeed are broken and evil and depraved just as they are. Christ is at work in America as he is in Iran and other places. But we have the distinction of “empire”. We have global reach, and we impose our dogma on other peoples and other places.
Fact: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence. From the article: America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776
Just Wars: Is there any such thing as a just War? “The “Just War” theory was originally developed by Augustine to defend the Empire’s actions of arresting and killing the Donatists, with whom Augustine was having a theological disagreement. He argued that in certain situations, a war is not wrong if it furthers the cause of Christ and advances the Kingdom of God on earth.” From the article: Is there such a thing as a Just War?
God rules over all life. He gives life and he takes life. Seems arbitrary to us be we are limited in understanding, we cannot see the beginning from the end, we are not omniscient.
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21)
Many times, God commands people to kill. He commanded Joshua to slaughter people for example. So human beings killing humans, and therefore a moral question arises.
The Bible says, "Thou shalt not murder," yet God says to Joshua, Kill everyone and everything, every animal, every child, woman, old man or old woman breathing. How do we understand that?
In the Church Age God Gives the Sword to Nations
We live in the age of the church. If you look back in history God allows times and seasons in which he shares his authority to take and give life. The church today in America is not Israel, and we are not a political entity even though many have attempted to make it so.
Romans 13:4 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
This allows for policing, defending our nation but it does not give approval to sinful destructive choices we make as a nation, as individuals. There is much sin that takes place in government decisions and in military conflicts. The reality is the early Church was completely against violence of any kind, turn the other cheek was what they practiced.
"Love your enemy. Pray for those who abuse you. Lay your life down for the world. Don't kill in order to spread the gospel but die to spread it."
We as Christians are the church, the Body of Christ. In our current circumstance as pilgrims passing through a basically hostile land, we as individuals and corporately are the light of the world. We do this by relationship with Christ since we are incapable of doing it on our own. That means every day we acknowledge our Lord, we pray, we confess our sin’s, and we repent. And it does not end there, our day is saturated with Christ as we remember him and pray to him often.
Jesus has made you and I ambassadors for God’s Kingdom in this worldly nation you live in as an exile and foreigner.
2 Corinthians 5:20 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
God regards Satan’s nations of the world as worthless, less than nothing. We also should regard all nations as such. That does not mean hating or disrespecting people.
Isaiah 40:17 7 All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
America serves Satan in many ways and has since its inception. American Christians continue to proclaim their patriotism for a nation that Satan is deeply involved in. This is a misplaced patriotism and taints the Gospel message. Make America Great Again is a recent example. When we are born again, we become citizens of the Kingdom of God and serve as Ambassadors while we live in this fallen world. Christian Nationalism often plays into Satan’s hands as we impose his evil designs over what God desires in our lives. We must save ourselves before we can save our nation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
As part of the Powers & Principalities America is Satan’s most powerful nation. America creates cultural myths about “fighting for freedom” in order to justify Satan’s influence. The killing and destruction continue even as we speak. Consider that America was developed through the largest genocide in world history.
“Thus, according to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, the reduction of the North American Indian population from an estimated 12 million in 1500 to barely 237,000 in 1900 represents a"vast genocide . . ., the most sustained on record." By the end of the 19th century, writes David E. Stannard, a historian at the University of Hawaii, native Americans had undergone the"worst human holocaust the world had ever witnessed, roaring across two continents non-stop for four centuries and consuming the lives of countless tens of millions of people." In the judgment of Lenore A. Stiffarm and Phil Lane, Jr.,"there can be no more monumental example of sustained genocide—certainly none involving a 'race' of people as broad and complex as this—anywhere in the annals of human history." From the article: Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?
Defending Yourself is Not a License to Kill
We in America live in a Gun Culture. Guns are as much a statement of defiance as they are a way to provide food for your family or protect yourself. So, the concern is not about if a Christian should ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. The issue becomes about the whole attitude, focus and demeanor of the Christian life. If you have the attitude, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, don’t mess with me”? your heart is not in alignment with Christ and the New Testament. God in this age reveals his justice in the common grace of police and military forces. Since these institutions are made up of sinful people, they must be constantly reformed.
As Christians our weapons are not material, but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:4). The focus of the New Testament is that Christians are sent into the world (religious/nonreligious) “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3). The Guns and God mentality does not advance the countercultural, self-sacrificing, soul-saving cause of Christ.
“When they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” Acts 5:40–41.
If we look closely at the dangers Paul faced in the book of Acts, there is no evidence that he ever planned to carry or use a weapon for his defense. He appealed to the authorities in Philippi (Acts 16:37) and Jerusalem (Acts 22:25). He never used a weapon to defend himself against persecution.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
Jesus said to [Peter], “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
The light we reveal in our nation/community/church/job is when God the Father shows the supreme value of his Son and his salvation by the special grace of a Christian people who exhibit the miraculous power to entrust themselves to him while suffering and being persecuted.
What do you and I do then? It is no mystery; we know that we must focus on Christ. Church really is a safe pasture if we will put in the effort.
We know we must strengthen our relationship with other people. More importantly, we need as Christians and citizens to present our understanding of God, man, and the common good. To be effective at that we need to repent of our sinful thinking that politicians and false prophets can save us. Our mission as disciples of Christ’s is to preach the Kingdom, as Jesus did to all who would listen. Jesus spoke frequently about the Kingdom of God and our citizenship in it. The same should be true of all of us (1 John 2:6). The Gospel message will only have power if we preach it as an alternative to America. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom as a rival to Rome just as the Gospel is a rival to America.