What is the Christian Response when Powerful Retaliation is an Option in Syria?
In a New York Times article titled "U.S. Says Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons at Least 50 Times During War" The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley is quoted saying, "Our president has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria," Ms. Haley told the council. "But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree."
What is our responsibility toward people all over the world who live in turmoil and whose lives are threatened every day by their leaders? From a human perspective, I believe we are called to protect them from harm. However, the question remains, At what cost? Whether we strike or not is not cut and dry. The United States already seems to be quite fatigued by our military presence in the Middle East. Yet, if we take no action, are we pursuing justice for those in Syria who have no voice and can not take any meaningful action themselves?
I bring this article to your attention because it highlights a constant struggle. What does one do when bullies seem to respond only to violence? As a Psychological Behaviorist, I know that punishment does not solve behavior issues. Force may work in the short term, but not in the long term.
Is there another way to stop the inhumane behavior in Syria? As faithful followers of Jesus, we know that only God has the solution. What are the actions we are called to make in response? I do not pretend to know what actions the United Nations (and the United States) should take. Yet, I offer some suggestions as to what actions we might take. Pray. Pray for the people of Syria, those who have already lost loved ones and those who will struggle with health issues from the chemicals in which they were exposed. Pray for those responsible for the chemical attacks. Pray they have a change of heart and will seek God's wisdom. Also, pray for Hope, God's Hope. Pray for a solution and action on your part that you may not upon reading this are capable of imagining.
If God speaks to you in some way, advocate for the position God is calling you to take. The question I bring before God in my prayer on this topic is, "Is it ever ok to take one life to preserve another? Because their will be civilian casualties if the United States does choose to take military action.
I wonder what you all think?