Christian Patriotism and the War Machine

There's got to be a better way 
What is it good for?

. . .

War, I despise 'cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War, means tears to thousands of mothers how
When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives

. . .

War, it ain't nothing
But a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
It's an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die

War, what is it good for?
Absolutely nothing

Edwin Starr, War

Regardless of one’s eschatology or opinions of political policy, categorizing any political state as though it is the legitimate recipient of God’s favor before all others is a gross mistake with detrimental ethical repercussions.


The allegiance of members within the community of God to a "nation state," as though God were taking a particular side, is troubling. There are many who are convinced that God is with the United States, including its perpetual military endeavors. For some, this is rooted in the mistaken notion that this nation was founded upon and still is an inherently "Christian" nation, blessed by God. What about those who serve God in territories we have invaded and afflicted? If they cry to God against us, who is God obliged to answer? 


“For it is not right that a worshipper of God should be injured by another worshipper of God.” - Lactantius, A Treatise on the Anger of God (ANF 7.271). 

Far too often, theology has been poured into an ideological mold for the purpose of casting a nationalized image of God to fit worshiped, political agendas. 

"Believing that God accompanies one’s army is always comforting, and a people can perhaps be braver the more inclined they are to view God as able and willing to come out in their defense.” Patricia M. McDonald, God and Violence: Biblical Resources for Living in a Small World (Scottdale, PA.: Herald Press, 2004), 77.

When did Christianity become so inseparably intertwined with political agendas and identities? Why is it that a "conservative" Christian will question the faith of someone they deem as "liberal" or who identifies with another political party?

The history of humanity, including Christianity, is strewn with a trail of blood where imperialistic aspirations have been religiously justified as though they were God’s own desires. See David A. Leiter, Neglected Voices: Peace in the Old Testament (Scottsdale, PA.: Herald Press, 2007), 10.

“You kill one person, they lock you up and throw away the key. You kill three-hundred thousand and they give you a knighthood.” PBS Masterpiece, Endeavor, S1E1, 48:46 (In the context of what happened to Hiroshima).

What does Jesus have to do with Caesar?


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