Inconsistent?


I am often confused by evangelical thought. We are strongly in favor of life and the preservation of life, and that stand is to be applauded. Yet, at the same time, there seems to be an unhealthy appreciation and even enjoyment for the participation in war among many, if not almost all of our evangelical leadership. Now hear me out. I am not advocating a withdrawal of troops, I am not promoting pacifism and I am not approving or condeming our foray into Iraq. However, it does seem to me that we have been altogether too aproving of wartime activity in spite of the significant loss of innocent life that is incurred.

The Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting this past June really drove that point home for me. While Condoleeza Rice was speaking, I was shocked, angered and to be honest, disgusted to listen as she recieved polite “golf applause” for reporting of the US’ involvment in bringing peace to the Darfur region of the Sudan. It continued as she explained of our commitment to stemming the tide of AID’s and developing hunger relief problems across the African continent. All of these activities should have been met with great appreciation, in my opinion. However, when Rice spoke clearly about the recent death of Al Zarqawi (of Al Queda fame) she received a standing ovation. I wondered if anyone there who was standing and applauding (of which I did neither) had given any thought to the fact that Zarqawi was sent to a sudden and horrifying eternity in hell, and that we were applauding that act?

This morning I was reading the St. Joseph News-Press (for which I work) and I came across an opinion piece by a reader. It carries a contrary opinion than the one I hold in regards to Stem Cell research, but the point is a good one, I think. I’ve included it below.

“Could somebody explain to me the conservative logic of the anti-stem cell research? Let me give you an example here. Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed during the U.S. occupation. The conservatives say, “That’s awful, but if it will save millions of lives in the long run, it’s worth the loss of innocent lives.” But some in Congress want to expand funding for stem-cell research. Here’s the conservative response to that: “Well, that’s awful! Even if it will save millions of lives in the long run, it’s not worth the loss of these innocent lives.” Care to explain, conservatives?”

In my opinion, the writer has a point. I don’t agree with their position in regards to stem cell research, however, we do seem to have some inconsistincies in our positions. Does it bother anyone else that there seems to be such a tacit, and even outspoken, support of war and the cost of lives that accompany it, when we consistently condemn the loss of innocent lives on the other hand. Am I the only one that is bothered by what appears to be a bloodthirsty attitude among evangelicals?

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He's Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he's a debtor to grace.

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