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Vol. VI • 1983

The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness
Francis A. Schaeffer

Copyright by Francis A. Schaeffer, 1982, "The Secular Humanistic World View versus the Christian World View and The Biblical Perspectives on Military Preparedness" A speech given at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 22,1982. Reprinted with permission. *

The first part of our topic was the secular humanistic world view versus the Christian world view, and I have dealt largely with our own country. The second half is "The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness." This is related to what I have lust been speaking about; they are really not two divergent subjects at all. You must realize that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc and all of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Communism all of it also has at its base that the final reality is only material, or energy shaped by pure chance. This is the central thing. The economics of Marxianism really 15 not that which is central. It is a dialectical materialism -you have heard the term all your life, I am sure. "Dialectical," and then comes the word "materialism." In other words, the final reality is only material, or energy shaped by chance, exactly the same idea that is a plague in our own country under the term of humanism. It leads in the Marxist bloc inevitably to a devaluation of human life. As in our country, humanism leads to abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and a loss of compassion; this view of final reality does so more totally in the Communist bloc because it is totally committed to this view. There is a total emphasis that there are no fixed values. Therefore, there is a total emphasis that there is only arbitrary law.

You will notice that we have a parallel here to what is happening in our country where this ideology and its effects are not total. In Communist countries it has become total. This idea of the final reality has come to its total conclusion, so there is no fixed value; there is totally arbitrary law, and there is the total loss of the value of the individual person, and only the State has come to matter. There is an elite which sets the laws, which says arbitrarily what the laws are, and which sets forth these things as arbitrary absolutes. So we find in the Soviet bloc a natural direction toward an elite that has more total power in an arbitrary fashion than any of the old kings.

We find that on the basis of their world view, they have a low view of human life concerning the individual person. This takes two forms: First, domestic oppression, from Lenin onward… You must understand that oppression is not an incidental thing in their system. From Lenin onward, oppression was logical on their own population, as an integral part of their system.

The second result is external and that is international expansion and oppression. But I beg you to understand that this is not a fluke of one moment of their history. It is also a part of the integral system which they hold. As naturally as humanism in our country leads to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, in the more total expression in the Soviet system humanism leads to internal oppression and external expansion and oppression.

In the light of this natural expansion and oppression wherever they go, what should be our Biblical perspectives on military preparedness? That is the second half of our talk for tonight. I would say that from my study of the Scripture, not to do what can be done for those in the power of those who automatically and logically oppress is nothing less than lack of Christian love. This is why lam not a pacifist.l am not a pacifist, beca use pacifism in this poor world in which we live, this lost world, means that we desert the people who need our greatest help. As an illustration: lam walking down the street. I see a great big burly man that is beating a little tiny tot to death beating this little girl, beating her, beating her. I come up and I plead with him to stop. If he won't stop, what does love mean? Love means I stop him in any way I can including. quite frankly, hitting him, and to me this is necessary Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert the little girl to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love. and responsibility to my neighbor.

And we have in the last war the clearest illustration you could have with Hitler's terrorism. That is, there was no possible way to stop that awful terror that was occurring in Hitler's Germany except by the use of force. There was no way. As far as I'm concerned, this is the necessary outworking of Christian love. The world is an abnormal world, because of the Fall it is not the way God meant it to be. There are lots of things in this world which grieve us, and yet we must face them…

Unilateral disarmament in this fallen world, and with the Soviet's materialistic, anti-God base, would be totally utopian and romantic and lead, as utopianisms always do in a fallen world, to disaster. Further, it may sound reasonable to talk of a freeze at the present level or "we won't ever use atomic weapons first," but thinking it through, either of these equals practical unilateral disarmament. The atomic deterrent is removed and Europe stands at the absolute mercy of the overwhelmingly superior Soviet forces.

The world quite properly looks back to the church in Germany during the early days of Hitler's rise and curses it for not doing something when something could have been done… I do not always agree with the French theologian-philosopher. Jacques Ellul, but he certainly is correct when he writes in his book, False Presence of the Kingdom.-

In conclusion then… The question comes down to who really is for peace and who really is for war. And the conclusion on the base of the Bible's realism and in the light of even recent history, is that those who say they are not for unilateral disarmament, but whose position equals unilateral disarmament, are those who, like Chamberlain (at Munich), will bring war.

Editor's Note: Part I of this address, v06n3p11.htm "The Secular Humanistic World View versus the Christian World View" appeared in VoL VI, No. 3. (Spring 1984) of the CSSH Quarterly.

"The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness"
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