The Enemy’s Rules

I feel very sad today. The government of Syria used poison gas on its own people. Now we have bombed an air base in Syria. In terms of “just war” theory, killing children is far worse than bombing a military base. Still, violence is violence, and begets more violence. Bombing will not bring peace.

One of our prayers for Sunday includes these words: “Help us to put our faith not in the princes of this world, but only in the Prince of Peace.”

The use of military power can force a country or group to submit, but it cannot bring lasting peace. Only the hard work of changing hearts, seeking common ground, and recognizing our shared humanity under God can bring true peace.

Adopting the enemy’s rules might help one side to “win” by force, but it will not bring peace that lasts. The Enemy (the powers of evil, the devil, our pride, our fear) tempts us to think that we can win by beating others down. To the best of my ability, I won’t play by those rules.

Maybe those are the only rules earthly governments can live by, since they protect boundaries by force or threat of force. I hope those who follow the Prince of Peace can live by other rules, ones that show the way to the true peace of God’s Kingdom coming and will being done on earth.

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