The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness
Francis A. Schaeffer
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.-
It was in 1934 (the occupation of the Ruhr) or in 1935 (the war in Abyssinial, that Christians should have foretold the inevitable war against Nazism. That was when clarity of vision was essential. After 1937 it was too late. The fate of the world was already sealed for thirty years or more. But in those years the Christians, full of good intentions. were thinking only of peace and loudly proclaiming pacifism. In matters of that kind, Christians' good intentions are often disastrous.
I am convinced that if the Bible-believing people now go along with the concept of "peace in our time" under the plausible concern and fear of atomic warfare (which we all certainly feel). our children and grandchildren will curse us quite properly for not doing something at this moment to restrain the drift toward the loss of Western Europe and other places to the Soviet expansion. It is not a bare theoretical concept. It means more of the world living in the horrible conditions of our brothers and Sisters under the Soviet Union. with their not only lack of general freedom, but lack of freedom to teach their own children about truth and about Christ. I do not want that for my children and my grandchildren..
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.