Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Like the rest of the world I have been looking upon the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip with a great deal of concern.  War in any language is not so much an exertion of sovereign force, as it is an expression of social failure; a lesson that seems to have been long forgotten from the war that was supposed to end all wars!  Therefore, it troubles me deeply to read the polarized views, especially among Christians, about the Israeli Palestinian conflict on social media that seem to justify one cause over the other.

I don't pretend to understand the origins or complexities of the current crisis and I choose not to get into the history of this long standing conflict, not to remain ignorant, but as an attempt to remain impartial and indignant about war as a means to resolve any conflict by any nation. I do not want to allow the politics or ideology of one side or the other to distract me from the more fundamental issue of God's children - Jew and Arab - engaging in a conflict that has nothing to do with God's will or intended purpose for His most precious creation - human beings!  

Through Jesus Christ, God established a new kingdom order that redefined conflict by stating, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven"  (Matthew 5:43-45).

In Paul's letter to the Galatians he declares, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28).  While this was written for a different context, I believe it speaks a relevant truth into this conflict.

In Christ Jesus there is no such conflict!  In Christ Jesus there is no such division!  In Christ Jesus there is no such hatred!  The tragedy on both sides of this conflict is that they confess a faith that shares a common ancestry but devalues a common humanity!  They confess a faith that seeks to honour their god but dishonours God's people!  They confess a faith that calls upon a divine authority to justify a human agenda!  They seek to advance the fulfillment of a messianic prophesy but reject Christ Jesus as the promised and anticipated Messiah who has already come to restore kingdom order on earth...without taking up arms!

It seems to me that the elevation of one cause over the other misses the fact that the victory both sides ultimately struggle for has already been won through Jesus Christ by His death and resurrection.   To the Christian community, rather than seek to defend either cause, let us speak justification through Jesus Christ into this conflict instead of justification through war!

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