Tuesday, 12 June 2012
By EowynThe horrific "Dirty Wars" of Argentina ran from about 1976 to 1983. During that time, Argentina was ruled by a military junta led by General Jorge Rafael Videla. Under General Videla's direction an estimated 30,000 Argentinians were labeled terrorists and "disappeared." Terrorists, according to General Videla, were not people who set off bombs but "(people) whose ideas are contrary to Christian Western civilization."
In General Videla's attempt to defend "Christian Western civilization" and off all opponents of his regime, many young parents were deliberately targeted and assassinated. Their babies were abducted and sold to wealthy childless couples as a reward for supporting the military junta. Some women were deliberately imprisoned and raped before being killed so that they could get pregnant and their babies be given to whichever high government official wanted a daughter at the time.The reason I'm talking about this dispiriting piece of history is because I want to show how easy it is, with General speech about "Christian civilization," to use Christ's name to justify horrific, unchristian acts. Politicians nowadays do not hesitate to use His name to push their own agendas. Yet Christ did not stand with the politicians. He stood with the poor."And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Mathew 25:40)Christ stands with the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry, the sick and the dying. When the Muslim population of Bosnia was massacred by the Orthodox Christian factions of Serbia back in the nineties, Christ stood not with the Christians as they shot their guns but with the Muslims as they lay dying in pits. Christ stands with the dying women and children of Syria as they are gunned down by government forces.
Christ stands with the Christians in China where religious minorities are prosecuted and tortured daily. Christ stands with the Cancer victims at the free clinic. Christ stands with the homeless man who wraps himself up in a thin, stinking sleeping bag to guard against encroaching cold. Christ stands with the despairing man, unemployed for eighteen months, who can no longer receive unemployment checks while the rich natter on about tax breaks.Who does Christ stand with?Christ stands with the poor. He stands with those who help the poor. He does not stand with those who repeat His name constantly to justify immoral acts. Those who help the poor help Christ, even if they do not even know it. Those who use Christ's name like they would any ordinary word do not earn His love even if they claim to worship him. Those who sacrifice their time and money and do their utmost to see that the poor in this country and all around the world receive comfort are those who are the real Christians.Do you agree that Christ stands with the poor and not with those who use His name to commit atrocities? Is there ever a condition under which using Christ's name to justify war is appropriate? Where in scripture can we find answers to these questions?