“What would happen if we were to do away with our armed forces?
If that sounds foolish it’s probably because the idea of disarming would be as unwise today as it would have been in ancient Israel. It doesn’t make sense to lay down weapons in a world where God has often used them to protect His people.”
These words, from the 1997 edition of Our Daily Bread (yeah, I’m a bit behind in my reading . . . ) were jarring to me.
Perhaps because immediately after I read the first line, I was filled with a feeling of peace and excitement. What if we were to do away with our armed forces? What if everyone was to? What if there were no guns or projectile weapons? This sentence enabled me to envision a world which offered more peace to people than the world we live in today.
But then I read on. And apparently I am foolish, and am denying God’s blessing of violent weapons, as this article states.
I simply can’t find God within violent acts. Or violent weapons. Or violent toys, or violent words. I cannot reconcile the person of Jesus with my country’s commitment to violence overseas, and violence to its own people.
The idea of ancient Israel laying down its weapons doesn’t seem foolish to me. Instead, it seems radical. Loving. Countercultural and meaningful. It seems embracive of a different way of living, a way in which all God’s children are respected and nurtured.
Unwise? Most certainly. Radical? Yes. Affirming of God’s life, creation, peoples, words of peace? Most definitely.