Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Violence, 911, and War: There's a Better Way
Since the beginning of time, wars have been fought in an effort to bring about peace. Have we accomplished that yet? Maybe violence isn't the answer.
I am a peace lover. Not only do I promote peaceful coexistence but I also live peacefully with others. I do not argue or fight; I do not promote or instigate dissension between family or friends; I am careful never to offend anyone and apologize quickly if I do. I have yet to meet anyone who loves brutality or war yet I continually encounter those who live violent lives.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, "It is not enough to say, 'We must not wage war.' It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace." But how is that possible in a world filled with terrorists determined to annihilate all those who oppose their radical ways? Lawfully, we have a right to defend ourselves against those who pose a threat to us. We may use reasonable force in the face of peril. Therefore, if someone endangers my life, I may have a legal right to take theirs.
But my religious beliefs tell me hurting and killing others is wrong. The Sixth Commandment clearly states "Thou shalt not kill." To the best of my knowledge, there is no amendment which states, "with the following exceptions." All human life is sacred and I firmly believe in the preservation of such. But do I have a moral right to extinguish the light of another in order to protect mine? Herein lies my quandary.
In my latest book, The Great Truth, I speak of a great Spiritual Truth which redefines the meaning of our existence. Life is not about my experiences nor my relationships nor being happy. I firmly believe that in each human encounter God expects us to respond in accordance with Divine Law. Do I make decisions that are in my best interest or do I obey my Heavenly Father? As in war, a soldier may be given a command by his/her superior but feels their way is a better one. Yet, the soldier is obligated to obey the commanding officer not only for the soldier's best interest but for the safety and benefit of the entire unit and ultimately their country as well. One arrogant act of disobedience can prove catastrophic.
So it is with God's Command. We may not always be privy to the bigger picture. Yet if we are true disciples of the Lord God, then we must obey each of His Laws without question, trusting that His Way is the right way. We do not hand-pick those teachings which momentarily suit our needs.
In a recent statement regarding the latest terrorist attacks in Seria, Pope Francis calls for a peaceful response: "Violence and war are never the way to peace... War always marks the failure of peace; it is always a defeat for humanity." Godly words, for sure.
The human side of me struggles with the dilemma of how I would respond should someone attack one of my children or grandchildren. Would I use deadly force to protect them or would I relinquish my human rights to Divine Decree?
Matthew 16:24 ~ Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
Maybe there is a higher purpose to not waging war or fighting back. After all, this world and all its events are but a moment in time. It's the next life that is eternal.I pray that I am a true disciple of the Lord and will faithfully follow His teachings. "Peace is the way, not a goal." ~ Janet Pfeiffer
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