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chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Pro-war is not Pro-life

Pro-war is not Pro-life

By Metropolitan Jonah

Here are extracts from a pastoral letter written for Sanctity of Life Sunday by the newly elected head of the Orthodox Church in America:

It is the very Word of God who, by His incarnation and assumption of our whole life and our whole condition, affirms and blesses the ultimate value of every human person – and indeed of creation as a whole. He filled it with His own being, uniting us to Himself, making us His own Body, transfiguring and deifying our lives, and raising us up to God our Father. He affirms and fulfills us, not simply as individuals seeking happiness, but rather as persons with an infinite capacity to love and be loved, and thus fulfills us through His own divine personhood in communion.

Our life is not given to us to live autonomously and independently. This, however, is the great temptation: to deny our personhood, by the depersonalization of those around us, seeing them only as objects that are useful and give us pleasure, or are obstacles to be removed or overcome. This is the essence of our fallenness, our brokenness. With this comes the denial of God, and loss of spiritual consciousness. It has resulted in profound alienation and loneliness, a society plummeting into the abyss of nihilism and despair. There can be no sanctity of life when nothing is sacred, nothing is holy. Nor can there be any respect for persons in a society that accepts only autonomous individualism: there can be no love, only selfish gratification. This, of course, is delusion. We are mutually interdependent.

We must repent and turn to God and one another, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. Only this will heal the soul. Only by confronting our bitterness and resentment, and finding forgiveness for those who have hurt us, can we be free from the rage that binds us in despair. Repentance is not about beating ourselves up for our errors and feeling guilty; that is a sin in and of itself! Guilt keeps us entombed in self-pity. All sin is some form of self-centeredness, selfishness.

Repentance is the transformation of our minds and hearts as we turn away from our sin, and turn to God, and to one another. Repentance means to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean to justify someone’s sin against us. When we resent and hold a grudge, we objectify the person who hurt us according to their action, and erect a barrier between us and them. And, we continue to beat ourselves up with their sin. To forgive means to overcome that barrier, and see that there is a person who, just like us, is hurt and broken, and to overlook the sin and embrace him or her in love. When we live in a state of repentance and reconciliation, we live in a communion of love, and overcome all the barriers that prevented us from fulfilling our own personhood.

All the sins against humanity – abortion, euthanasia, war, violence, and victimization of all kinds – are the results of depersonalization. Whether it is “the unwanted pregnancy,” or worse, “the fetus,” rather than “my son” or “my daughter;” whether it is “the enemy” rather than Joe or Harry or Ahmed or Mohammed, the same depersonalization allows us to fulfill our own selfishness against the obstacle to my will. How many of our elderly, our parents and grandparents, live forgotten in isolation and loneliness?

How many Afghan, Iraqi, Palestinian and American youths will we sacrifice to agonizing injuries and deaths for the sake of our political will? They are called “soldiers,” or “enemy combatants” or “civilian casualties” or any variety of other euphemisms to deny their personhood. [u]But ask their parents or children![/u]

Pro-war is not pro-life! God weeps for our callousness.

We have to extend a hand to those suffering from their sins, whatever they are. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven, save the one we refuse to accept forgiveness for. Abortion not only destroys the life of the infant; it rips the soul out of the mother – and the father! It becomes a sin for which a woman torments herself for years, sinking deeper into despair and self-condemnation and self-hatred. But there is forgiveness, if only she will ask.

We must seek out and embrace the veterans who have seen such horrors, and committed them. They need to be able to repent and accept forgiveness, so that their souls, their memories, and their lives might be healed.

Most of all, we must restore the family: not just the nuclear family, but the multi-generational family which lives together, supports one another, and teaches each one what it means to be loved and to be a person. It teaches what forgiveness and reconciliation are. And it embraces and consoles the prodigals who have fallen. In this, the real sanctity of life is revealed, from pregnancy to old age. And in the multi-generational family each person finds value. This is the most important thing that we can possibly do.

The Blessed Mother Teresa said that the greatest poverty of the industrialized world is loneliness. Let us reach out to those isolated, alienated, alone and in despair, finding in them someone most worthy of love – and in turn, we will find in ourselves that same love and value, and know indeed that God speaks to us in the depths of our souls: “You are my beloved in whom I am well pleased.”
****************************************************


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/10/23 17:26Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526


 Re: Pro-war is not Pro-life

Many survivors of the holocaust (and descendants of those survivors) might disagree with the author of this article.

There were many lives lost during World War 2; however, there is no telling how many lives were saved. Thankfully, we aren't all speaking German right now...and we don't have a swastika on our flags.

Of course, it is ridiculous to assume that soldiers want to KILL people. Every soldier that I have ever met wants to avoid it. The question of whether or not there are causes that are worth "resisting" for (whether through physical or verbal means) is still open to debate.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/10/23 18:06Profile









 Re:

Oh boy here we go again. Ccccrrrisss, are you really looking for another fight??? Wasn't the heavyweight championship of this theopolitical grudge match finished like two weeks ago???

This is prescious.... two men of God who act like two brothers who could never get along but somehow always needed eachother. Now can't you see that you two bro's love eachother so much that you can't stay away... that somehow.... somewhere... despite the one and a half/two week separation that you two crazy kids would just find eachother. I mean who could have guessed??? It's an enigma. Yet it's also refreshing to watch these threads hash out as it brings family together like no other topic.

 2009/10/23 18:22
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526


 Re:

Hi ccrider...

You're right -- I definitely love this brother. I just disagree with his position on this issue. In fact, I have no desire to debate this issue (again, and again, and...well, you get the picture). Yet, in the past, some of the various "non-resistance" threads are strongly opinionated and include particular views that often go unchallenged and/or untested.

If someone begins a thread about a controversial issue (even something as controversial as a particular view regarding the extent of true, Biblical non-resistance), they should certainly expect disagreement. In the last thread (about whether or not a person can defend his family), it was even suggested that there was something ulterior behind the spirit of the thread. That is [u]not[/u] my intent, motive or reflective of the underlying attitude behind a reply. In fact, it is easier to simply sit by and let these types of threads run their course. However, I still think that there deserves to be a presentation of the alternative views regarding this matter (or, at least, a reminder that there ARE different persuasions about this matter). There are many very sincere brothers and sisters in Christ here on SermonIndex who hold to somewhat different views about the precise Biblical extent of non-resistance. Their Scriptural and prayerful thoughts can be just as relevant.

Again, I sincerely do not mean to stir up a "hornet's nest" of debate at all -- probably no more than the brother who posted the original article. The original post itself suggests that those believers who feel that there are acceptable, Biblical mandates for war are actually "pro-war." They are not. They just feel that war can possibly be necessary at times. The title (and some of the statements within the article) seem to suggest that an agreement with some war also removes a person from being "pro-life." I believe that this is incorrect, as substantiated by my reply. If the cause is correct, war can actually save far more lives than might be lost during the conflict itself.

Anyway, I agree with your concern. Hopefully, this won't turn out that way (except by the possibility of "bringing the family together"). Each of us, after all, are longing to please the Lord with every fiber of our being.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/10/23 18:46Profile









 Re:

"If someone begins a thread about a controversial issue (even something as controversial as a particular view regarding the extent of true, Biblical non-resistance), they should certainly expect disagreement." ccchhhrriss

First of all, out of all the posters here I find yours the most difficult to spell.

Secondly, is that right? You didn't think Chapel expected any disagreement on the semi-similar threads that he's started and you guys took of on your love fest???

When I said this was prescious, I meant it.

Now Chapel do you feel the same way? Because if so I think we may be able to get you two into a pretty nice relationship..... that way when the fur flies we know that behind it all.. it's done out of brotherly love.

I must be the middle child!!! Love those brothers.

 2009/10/23 19:04
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526


 Re:

Hi ccrider,

Quote:
Secondly, is that right? You didn't think Chapel expected any disagreement on the semi-similar threads that he's started and you guys took of on your love fest???

To clarify: I didn't say this about Chapel and it wasn't directed at him specifically. If someone ([u]anyone[/u]) begins a thread about a controversial issue...they should [i]expect[/i] disagreement.

I hope this is a little more clear. I hold nothing but respect for brother Chapel...just as I did for our brother Pastorfrin. I didn't agree with some of what brother Pastorfrin wrote...but I think that he knew that our conversations were motivated by the love of Christ. Hopefully, with this in mind, the "fur" will not "fly" at all.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/10/23 19:18Profile









 Re:

'To clarify: I didn't say this about Chapel and it wasn't directed at him specifically. If someone (anyone) begins a thread about a controversial issue...they should expect disagreement.' cccrrrissss

I understood that, but some just have a little knack for finding eachother in the randomness of controversial postings. In other words, on this particular topic, no matter who starts it.. you and Chapel will act like brothers who disagree very very much. That's fine, I just want to make sure that the brotherly love is still there. A little levity to certain threads which are on top of previous exhausting threads is sometimes necessary.
;-)

 2009/10/23 19:24
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Pro-war is not Pro-life

Hi cccrrriiissshhh,

Thank you for your typical oracular reply.
;-)
Must run for now, hoping for a edifying
discussion.
chapel


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/10/23 19:33Profile









 Re:

When you two get back together, PM me. I have to take a picture. 8-)

 2009/10/23 19:36
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Is Chapel Orthodox, Catholic, or something?

I was just wondering because of using this article.

Now I believe brethren that we shouldn’t converse in unprofitable conversation. That is what this thread is all about. The bible says that we should edify one another and many of you know that we’ve been down enough of these roads before which lead to strife and confusion.

Hear the words of the Apostle Paul:

1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.


2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.


2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.



Most of these controversial articles are full of man’s wisdom and should be avoid. We are to be filled with the spirit and not lean to the wisdom of men. The apostles preached the gospel of Christ with power and never got caught up in endless discussions. They never got caught up in the philosophies of men but only preached by the Holy Ghost anointed words of wisdom. Let’s preach Jesus Christ and him crucified to all people and not get caught up in what the word of God warns us not to become involved in.

Whether it does any good or not, I’ve said it anyway.

Blessings to all!

 2009/10/23 20:17Profile





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