|Question or Topic|
|Are Christadelphians for or against the bombing in Afghanistan?|
This is a very touchy question for us to answer, especially as this was asked by a person in the world. There is great need for Christadelphians today to be careful what they say when asked such questions either by people of the world, by our own children, or even other members.
There has been such fervor of patriotism being voiced by the American people since September 11th, that it is hard not to be caught up in it. We all witnessed the murders of so many of our countrymen in New York and the Pentagon as well as on the crashed aircraft that never reached its destination. Likewise we have to be careful what we say in support of Israel in their war with the Arabs around them.
God's Rules in the Kingdoms of Men
We have to remember that the world in general has no idea of what is going on and when we say it is God's doing many become instantly aroused sometimes almost to a fever pitch. We are tended to "root for the home team" at such times as this and can let ourselves become embroiled in this fervor that surrounds us. This we should not do. As hard as it is sometimes, we have to remember the words of Daniel 4:17. "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Daniel 4, verse 20 and 21 also applies here to this situation. "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Our mortal nature inclines us to forget that God is working to accomplish a certain purpose with the nations and many times he uses some of the most evil and ungodly men to accomplish what he sets out to do. The attacks on the WTC and Pentagon could have been punishment for the U.S. giving more support to the Palestinians since Bush's taking office.
Blessing or Curse?
God said he would bless those who bless Israel and will curse those who curse Israel. We all know that the U.S. has been putting lots of pressure on Israel trying to make them give up more territory and to ease off on the terrorists to bring peace to oil rich area of the Middle East. Now they have suffered great losses to terrorism and have been brought into direct conflict with the Muslim world that may bring serious troubles over the oil that the U.S. needs.
In addition this is bringing Israel into the world's attention that will probably further isolate them from the nations in preparation for their helplessness when the Lord returns.
Whatever the immediate results are it is another step toward the fulfillment of Joel 3:2. "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
Watch and pray and wait on the Lord
Not knowing the step by step procedure that God is using we must be content to watch, pray, and patiently await the outcome. We, being the servants of Christ, must keep in mind his words of John 18:36. "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
Christ's kingdom is still not here so we are to take no part in supporting or speaking against what is going on in Afghanistan or Israel. This is a hard thing for us to do as our mortal feelings make us "choose sides" and want to take part in some way toward becoming involved.
Paul speaking to Timothy gives us some excellent advice that we need to heed in times such as this: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." (2 Tim. 2:3-4)
We cannot be like Peter when he drew his sword in defense of the Lord. He did not understand that the Lord had to suffer and die in order that those believing into him might gain life everlasting. Our natural feelings would lead us to desire the destruction of both Arafat and Sadam Hussein, but we see how we would have been in error as it is obvious that God had further use for them; a use that is still not manifest fully to us yet. It may be the same with Ben Laden; he may have a further part to play in the latter day events. We will only know when the final results are known. If he is destroyed then we know that God is through with him but we cannot know ahead of time.
Maintain our Prospective
Taking all this into consideration the answer to the question at the head of this essay is still hard for our mortal minds but easy to answer if we heed the Bible. Our positions in such matters should be neutral, not taking either side in the matter but patiently waiting for God to give us the answer through his actions.
We may speak our minds in expressing our agreement as to the wickedness of men of the stripe of Ben Laden and the Taliban but this should be our limit of involvement. To express our desire for the deaths of them or of the Palestinian terrorist who are murdering the Jewish people daily would be wrong. We must remember that the Jews in Israel today are not the God fearing people that he desires. They have little knowledge of Him nor of his Son their Messiah, whom they have never recognized, therefore God is still punishing them with the continuing troubles being inflicted upon them.
In our finite minds we cannot comprehend the steps that God has set up to bring about His will. We need to hang on to the thoughts expressed in Psa. 37: 5-9: "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth."