Futility of Wars

The Lord said that we must not go up to fight against our kindred (2 Chr. 11:4).  “Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.  I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Ps. 120:6-7).  He however silenced the roaring of the seas and waves, also the tumult of peoples (Ps. 65:7).

President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” 

Gary Zukav (b. 1942), a spiritual teacher wrote, “We are becoming able to see the pursuit of external power for what it is and the futility of trying to escape the pain of powerlessness by changing the world.  When we look inward, not outward, we can dismantle the parts of our personalities that have controlled us for so long – such as anger, jealousy, vindictiveness, superiority, inferiority.”  Finding answers to war should start with self-examination.  People have to know their strengths and weaknesses to have a balanced life.  This is true not only for ordinary people, but for presidents and prime ministers that governs nations.

People’s conflicts show the presence of our sinful nature.  A founder and teacher of desiringgod.org and Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota John Piper (b. 1946) said, “God created a good world that was subjected to futility because of the sinful, treasonous choice of the first human beings.”  This legacy that was passed down through the ages has shaped people’s behavior.  They should therefore embrace the teachings of the scriptural narratives to change their attitudes for the betterment of society.

War & Words

Some believe words are enough to subdue, and enlighten those opposed to the light.  A Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BCE) wrote, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”  Tzu must have been thinking about winning wars by words, and not by physical force.  Yet, wars of words could be as devastating like weapons.  Critics believe that psychological warfare does damage for generations to come.

A Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) said, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”  These gifts form the basic framework in pursuing peace.  Such an alliance should not be rushed, and forged without understanding.  President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) wrote, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”  People know what a confrontation between the superpowers would mean in an age of nuclear weapons.  Even today nations wage war against nations.  Herbert Hoover (1874–1964), president of the United States said, “Older men declare war.  But it is the youth that must fight and die.”  This lesson is known to those leaders who are belligerent. So, the question should be asked, “Who will die for their nation’s causes?”  And the answer is always, “Our sons and daughters, who are the innocent ones.”

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