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FIRST-PERSON: What kind of peace?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–In Louisville, Ky., pacifism is all the rage.

It began this summer, when a family on Cannons Lane put a large wooden sign in their yard that reads “No More War” in big, red letters.

Then this fall, a house across the street from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary put up a small sign that reads “Another Family for Peace.”

Before long, the entire east end of Louisville was filled with yard signs and window decorations proclaiming that they too are “Another Family for Peace.”

The implication is, of course, that those who favor military action against nations like Iraq and North Korea are not in favor of peace. I find this type of pacifism somewhat less noble than the pacifists themselves assume it is. They believe they are taking the moral high ground. Perhaps, but I doubt it.

First of all, their assumption is faulty. I doubt that very many Americans (especially evangelicals) are in favor of war for the sake of war. The war against terrorism is no war of conquest. It is not an exercise in American imperialism, no matter what spin the liberal media may put on it. It is a war to secure peace. Peace for a western civilization that refuses to cower to the terror tactics of militant Islam. Most American soldiers will tell you they do not go into battle against terrorism to wage war, but to wage peace. This is a peace that will be lasting, or at least as lasting as a peace brought about by human means can be.

As I was walking around an east Louisville neighborhood the other day, I found myself wondering what type of peace these pacifists want. It surely cannot be the type of peace I have already discussed, because sometimes that type of peace has to be secured through war.

Perhaps the type of peace they desire is the peace before a storm. We have all felt that eerie sort of peace that comes when the sky is dark, the wind is still, and the air smells just a little bit funny. Soon, the skies open up and the deluge comes. Is that the type of peace they want? I doubt it. Unfortunately, the type of peaceful measures that pacifists are calling for (negotiations, etc.) may only be enough to secure this kind of peace.

As I am typing this morning, the news has recently been released that a group of alleged terrorists have been arrested in London. They were making the chemical agent Ricin in a home laboratory. Ricin is a toxin that could be used in chemical warfare. Things seem to be peaceful now, but is there a storm on the horizon? Few experts doubt that Iraq has nuclear and biological weapons of some kind, and it is a known fact that North Korea possesses these types of weapons. Things sure are peaceful, but the wind is still and the air smells funny.

Like all Christians, I pray for peace. I genuinely pray on a regular basis that the war on terrorism, and specifically the ominous situation we find ourselves in with Iraq and North Korea, can be resolved through negotiations. I pray that the diplomatic process would prevail, and that war would be averted. I pray for the conversion of Saddam Hussein and key leaders in North Korea to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

But I am not so naive as to believe that war will not become necessary. It will not be entered into lightly, and certainly not with any sort of lust for power or dominance. It will be entered into with fear and trembling, knowing that it has (at that time) become the only worldly means through which to secure peace. I pray that day never comes, but if it does, I pray the coalition of America and her allies will be victorious and that there will be a lasting peace.

The cost of the other kind of peace is too high a price to pay.
Finn is a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

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  • Nathan Finn