Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Darfur

There was an interesting opinion piece in the Telegraph this morning about Darfur. Basically, as is well known, it seems that a group of muslims is killing a group of Christians, and has killed about 180,000 so far.

Yes, I think it is in a way surprising how little the West is doing there. Yes, on one level I think it is sad. Who do I think is winning? The Christians.

What we have there is a conflict between two cultures. On one hand, militant Muslims who are happy to kill for their faith. On the other, Christians who are willing to die for theirs. What is victory in that situation? For the Christian, victory is to stay faithful and to die. Those 180,000 are following the way of their Saviour, who submitted himself even to death.

At some times in the past, Christians have got it wrong and have fought back, even occasionally fought offensively. But it is clear that in doing so, they were not following Jesus.

What happens if the war in England becomes violent? What happens if those who refuse to convert to Islam are one day lined up and killed? Then I sincerely hope and pray that I will have the courage to join those 180,000 in conquering by enduring, even to the point of death.

In the (complex and hugely symbolic) book of Revelation, there is a final battle, which is between God's people and everyone else.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog — to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves.
Revelation 20:7-9a, NIV

God's people are hopelessly overwhelmed and outnumbered. But God's people do not fight back. What happens? The description of the battle is brief:

But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
Revelation 20:9b, NIV

If any physical fighting for the faith needs to be done, leave it to God. The job of Christians is to stay faithful, to suffer and if needs be, to die.

Difficult question - would I have fought in WW2? Quite possibly. I think there's a difference between fighting to defend myself against attack for being a Christian and potentially laying down my life to defend my country, my family and others from evil.

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