The modern politically engaged conservative christian is almost overwhelmingly in favor of the warfare state. But, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it’s a most recent occurrence. You would only need to go back as far as the 1930′s to find a firmly anti-war christian mind in this country. Machen himself went over to Europe during WWI to help the YMCA with relief work. This gave him a close up view of what war is really like:
A few months after the war began, Machen wrote that “the enormous lists of casualties” impressed him, “as nothing else has, with the destructiveness of the war.”
In reviewing a book in 1915 by a noted pro-English author, Machen remarked that the book was “a glorification of imperialism.” The author “glorified war” and ridiculed “efforts at the production of mutual respect and confidence among equal nations.”
So, why the change in recent decades? Why do we hear christians say things like, “we should turn that whole place into a parking lot”, when speaking of the Middle East. Well, I think it’s at least partly because perpetual war has been so well funded by our inflationary central bank, the Federal Reserve, that it allows us to wage endless wars in far off lands without any consequences back here at home. After all, better to have the brown people’s children get their legs blown off by drone attacks than ours right? As long as it doesn’t interrupt my morning latte’ from Starbucks.
But, it wasn’t just Machen that opposed war in far off lands. Take this quote from Spurgeon:
War is at all times a most fearful scourge. The thought of slain bodies and of murdered men must always harrow up the soul; but because we hear of these things in the distance, there are few Englishmen who can truly enter into their horrors. If we should hear the booming of cannon on the deep which girdles this island; if we should see at our doors the marks of carnage and bloodshed; then should we more thoroughly appreciate what war means. But distance takes away the horror, and we therefore speak of war with too much levity, and even read of it with an interest not sufficiently linked with pain.
We should heed these recent pillars of our faith and return to a default anti-war stance. Just because someone is muslim doesn’t mean they aren’t God’s precious creation. We should be praying and sending missionaries to that land – not bombing and sending drones.