Before it began, many evangelicals were strong supporters of a war with Iraq. As the death and destruction have continued, some are rethinking that view and coming to oppose the war. David Gushee, professor at Mercer University, has an important piece – Our Teachable Moment – on Christianity Today online. Gushee writes:
Such deep public distress about the war makes this a teachable moment for all of us, as Christians and as Americans. It’s not enough to find a way out of this war honorably and soon. We have an opportunity to learn some deeper lessons so that we won’t repeat our mistakes.
For evangelicals, one of the groups that strongly supported the war initially, one lesson is clear: We must become more discerning when our nation’s leaders advocate a military solution. We have biblical resources for doing so, if we will draw upon them.
For me, the next time I am asked to support a war, my default setting will be no rather than yes. As a follower of Christ, I will have to be persuaded that the particular confluence of circumstances is so grave as to require a military solution. Before Christians sign off on another war, we must do our best to figure out whether the government has done everything possible to make peace.