A few years back I remember thinking about the possible war in Iraq. I remember thinking about our war in Afghanistan. Looking back on those situations I remember hoping for war. Like it was an exciting adventure, but more importantly a righteous cause.
Let me first explain, I do think that our cause and purpose was righteous. This isn’t a critique about the war but a critique of my attitude towards it.
We needed to go into Iraq and liberate its people. They were oppressed and tortured. I think that the men and women who have gone to fight for our country and for these people are fighting a noble effort. I respect them and their cause deeply.
With that said, as a Christian I think my opinion of war has matured. In a world absent of Christ’s absolute reign there will continue to be war. Those of us who are free will need to continue to pay a costly price for our freedom. This is where I disagree with pacifists. Time and time again has shown that Satan is not a pacifist and that evil men do come to power and can not be stopped without force.
But to me the idea of a war is not so black and white anymore. War is a terrible, dirty, demeaning thing. There is no positive aspect to killing other human beings. Its effect on the people who fight it are wearing and damaging. But where I believe the grey really comes in is when an enemy falls. We’re taught that the bad guy is always the bad guy and gets what he deserves. But I think that God mourns the deaths of all mankind. I think it saddens Him even when it is He who carries out that judgment. Enemy soldiers have families, friends, children, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Their decision to be a force of evil is their own choosing and for that they bring judgment on themselves. But at some empathic level I can’t help but feel a sadness where I once felt victory.
War will continue to be a necessary part of this world until Jesus returns. War should not be welcomed, but observed and remembered for the terrible horror it is. There is nothing glorious in war. Just death. A sober realization.