War and Peace <br>Vijai John, Cochin, India

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We live in happening times. There is no dearth of events, per se. Over the past many months, I have been reading, analyzing and trying to make sense out of the chaos and turmoil around the world- with limited success. It's difficult to remain cold an

I don't know about all of us, but I've painfully asked myself if a war may be right in some circumstances, particularly after 11 September, and to a lesser degree, now, in the aftermath of so many attacks in India and Pakistan. Most of us see only a side of these issues. People in sympathy with the Indian cause raise their voices against 'cross-border infiltration'; those on the other side tell India they have only themselves to blame. Some make a slight concession, saying the cross-border infiltration should stop, if only to kick the problem a little further down the road- where India would again come face to face with it, head on.

This is also a time some of us may be soul- searching, asking ourselves if any of this is worth the risk of a war. What's a Christian solution? I have no idea. Whatever our political inclinations may be, I think the one thing we must really do, is finding a perspective that is Christ-centric. If I said fighting a war was un-Biblical, I would be stepping on theological toes, and venturing into a territory that's clearly strange and alien to me.

There may be many points one could add to what may be a 'Christian perspective'. I have identified some. Briefly, they are as follows:

1. Understand that nothing can, or will, thwart God's plans.

2. Forgiveness is the greatest weapon against deep-rooted hatred.

3. When confused, pray.

I began thinking about the first point some days ago, when I chanced to hear of a 'Christian Zionist' group. This group holds that the Bible prophesies the formation of a state of Israel in the end-times, and they argue that Christians must support the Zionist movement to make all of Biblical Israel a Jewish state again (never mind that the Bible also prophesies the hardest of times for Jewish people in the end-times). If you feel this is a fringe group, think again. They have more numbers and support than one would imagine. We can't help God do his work in any way. Whatever happens in the world, political or scientific- nuclear wars, famines, earthquakes, advancements such as cloning, the race to find alien life forms, the quest to prove evolution- nothing is going to add to or take away from God's Word or his plans for us. I read some time ago of a Christian pastor's wife who remarked to her husband (when Darwin first proposed the theory of evolution) to the effect, 'Let's ho
pe none of this is true, or if it is, let it not come to light!'

It is mind-boggling to see the amount of hatred spewed by news networks, Internet forums and other media. In our own context, viz. that of India and Pakistan, the more I see the responses from either side, the more I am convinced that nothing will change for many hundreds of years to come. Hatred has only one antidote- forgiveness. It's a long and painful road, and necessarily involves being taken advantage of, but it's the only way. None suffered the wrath of hateful men more than the Lord Jesus. His forgiveness heals the world today. Forgiveness is the most potent weapon we can ever possess to defeat the real enemy (that both countries face).

I don't need to talk at length about the last point- it's a habit I'm struggling to get back to: a confused mind finds solace and strength in God's bosom- I know it from experience, and you know it too.

Here's some food for thought to chew on: lyrics from a Michael Card song I particularly admire:

Love Crucified Arose - Card, Michael

Long ago He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall the cross He saw
Through the first of many tears
A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow's way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life the price He paid

Throughout Your life You've felt the weight
Of what You'd come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live
At last the time to love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment when
Your Father turned His face away

Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah's sole Defender
Has won the victory
Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

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