Archive for February, 2012

A Radical Strategy to Defeat Radical Islam

Posted in evangelism, missions on February 9, 2012 by gospel2live

The M982 Excalibur is a new artillery shell first used in 2007.  It features a GPS guidance system that allows it to land within about 13 feet of its intended target.  Due to the success of this new weapon in its initial use in Iraq, the US military decided to increase production to 150 per month.  The initial cost per shell was $86,000.00, but according to Wikipedia, the cost was expected to go down to just $50,000 per shell once in full production.  Assuming that we are buying 150 of these a month at the lower price of just $50,000 per bullet, we are spending approximately $7.5 million a month for this ONE type of bullet.  That amounts to $90 million per year for just one type of bullet for just one type of gun.  This does not include the cost of the gun, the soldiers to operate it, or all of the support to get it in position to use.  It is just the cost of the bullets.

Let me ask a simple question.  What if missions were the mission?  What if we decided that instead of trying to beat our enemies into submission with $50,ooo bullets, we sent missionaries, doctors, engineers, and other people who are ready to go to risky places to die, if necessary, to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our enemies?  How many missionary families could we send for the simple cost of buying ONE TYPE of bullet?  For the sake of easy numbers, let’s say it costs roughly $100,000 per year to fully fund a missionary to a foreign land.  Some places may cost more, and some less, but this is a reasonable number.  That means we could fully fund 900 full time missionary families for the same amount that we spend buying this ONE TYPE of bullet. Some of them may die in the service, but others would succeed, by the grace of God, in planting new churches, establishing health clinics, feeding the poor and marginalized, and physically demonstrating the love of Jesus to people who are in desperate need of the Gospel.

I am alarmed by the blood-thirstiness I have observed in much of the American Evangelical church.  We rally to support the sanctity of human life regarding abortion (as we SHOULD!), but then turn around and blindly wave our flags as we send our boys off to die trying to “kill them before they kill us!”  If we love Jesus, we should be very careful not to abandon his clear teaching that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:38-48)  Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) tells us to make disciples of all nations as we are going.  Bombing the people we are commanded to reach is not a particularly effective way to promote the Gospel of Peace!  Our sons and daughters DO need to be willing to serve and to die in foreign lands, but not in the military — rather in service of the Gospel that all nations would hear the Good News that Jesus has died to reconcile sinners to the Father!

How do we respond?  First, we need to repent of our hate, pride and racism.  Frankly, much of what I observe in national pride comes off as a subtle form of racism.  Somehow, we have bought the lie that Americans are fundamentally less corrupt and more noble than those in other nations.  We are blind to our own sin and need to humbly repent of our pride and ask God for grace to love our enemies — both at home and abroad.

Second, we need to repent for our lack of faith in God’s sovereignty.  Throughout the Bible God makes it abundantly clear that HE is the security of HIS people.  Psalm 20:7 and Zechariah 4:6 are just two of many examples of God’s word downplaying military might in favor of reliance on the Lord.  The nation who boasts in its military strength is nearly always laid low by inferior forces when God is not honored by the people.  We are ONLY as secure as the Lord makes us, regardless of how many bombs, planes, or warships we happen to control.

Finally, we need to humble ourselves and pray that God would give us peace and raise up workers for the harvest fields.  The war-mongering of the American church has harmed the cause of Christ, both at home and abroad.  Too many people have only experienced Christ followers as arrogant, self-righteous and hateful people.  We need to be unabashedly committed to the truth of the Bible.  But we also must demonstrate humble and sacrificial service to others — even our enemies — if we want to actually embody the Bible.  Just preaching it, or just living it, will always fall short.  We must strive by the grace of God to do both well if we want to change the world for the better.