A former soldier, a Christian, continues the conversation on waterboarding and the Christian conscience:
For me, there are some fundamental challenges that national security issues present to a Christian world-view. Being a former citizen soldier, I have already been forced to reconcile my personal belief system with the implications of Just War Theory in order to, in good conscience, participate in the mechanics of war. However, my reconciliation was not a blending of Caesar and Christ – it was, in fact, the clear separation of the two. Natural law drove me to participate in our military while spiritual law has brought me closer to God in the midst of living in this world. Here are some the radical sayings of Christ:
* Matt 5:21-22 – Harboring angry against another is on par with murder
* 1 Jn 3:15 – Hatred is on par with murder
* Matt 5:38–39 — Don’t resist evil-doers and even turn the other cheek
* Matt 5:43-44 — Love your enemies which includes doing good to them
* Rom 12:19-21 — Don’t avenge yourselves, leave that up to God
* 1Pe 2:21-23 — Remember Christ’s example – He did not revile his torturers
* Matt 18:21-22 – Forgive multiple offenses from the same person (70 times 7)
Try writing the Sermon on the Mount into the National Defense plan. Clear enough, right? One of the provisions of natural law is the protection men from each other, but the ultimate aim is for mankind to reconcile with the entirety of the spiritual laws which Christ promised to put in our hearts. In my pragmatic view, the day the lion and lamb are led by a child will be the first day I will be willing to abolish the provisions of natural law and trust the universal goodness of mankind. Yet personally, I am responsible to implement the spiritual laws where possible.
To be clear on my position though, both Christ’s radical sayings as well as the principles of natural law are incongruous with any policies of fear or implemented by the civilized West.