The horrible cost of the peace testimony

Today I am greatly conflicted about the Quake peace testimony.  Not giving it up, but struggling with the horrendous cost in lives entailed in staying true to it.

As of March 7, 2022, the Russian military is surrounding Kyiv, Ukraine, and it continues its deliberate targeting residential neighborhoods and blocking of escape by war refugees.  The suffering, death, and destruction are escalating rapidly.

I long to see something done at once to save the people of Ukraine from Russia’s violence.

Contrary to the West’s mythical post-World War II “rules of war,” violence against civilians has always been and remains a core tactic of warfare—for the United States as much as for other nations.

Noteworthy modern examples include the massive bombing of German and Japanese cities (see image); Hiroshima and Nagasaki; our napalm bombing of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; and the “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad during the Iraq War.

The only action by the United States and its NATO allies that would significantly hinder this bombardment would be to impose a “no fly zone” over Ukraine—and even that would not stop missile fire from Belarus.

President Biden and our NATO allies are staying very scrupulously within the boundaries their mutual defense pact, and Ukraine is not a NATO member.  One of Russia’s key ideological demands is that this NATO boundary not be extended.

I value the allies’ desire to use diplomacy and sanctions instead of military intervention, yet this is primarily a pragmatic and strategic choice, not one arising from the peace testimony.  A no fly zone means engaging militarily with Russian aircraft, which means going to war with Russia.

The horror for those of us who lift up the peace testimony could not be clearer than it is in this war.

People are dying because we cannot intervene militarily.

I hear God grieving through the words of Jeremiah (8:21-9:1).

8 21 Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;
I mourn, and horror grips me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing
for the wound of my people?

Oh, that my head were a spring of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
for the slain of my people.


Image: “Firebombing of Toyama.jpg,” USAAF Photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. “The city of Toyama, a large producer of aluminum in Japan during WWII, burns after 173 American B-29 bombers dropped incendiary bombs on the city, August 1, 1945.”



9 comments On The horrible cost of the peace testimony

  • My heart is with thee as well my f(F)riend. My eyes are a fountain of tears.

  • The invention of bombs by warlike people and nations, and the ideological or philosophical reasons behind [this are] catapulted by greed, [the] real cause of continued acts of war….

    [Being] warlike is the rotten characteristic of human nature. Elevating or regenerating human nature is the urgent key of the Word, and His supernatural grace.

    May God have mercy us all and save all humanity.

  • “All can be lost with war. Let men return to understanding. Let them resume negotiating.” —The words of Pope Pius XII to the nations of Europe just before the beginning of the Second World War, on August 24, 1939.

  • Gregory Allen-Anderson

    I struggle with this as well. I firmly believe there are no just wars, but when you find yourself in one what is the right thing to do? Perhaps to be willing to die, but not to kill? But does that extend to letting others die? How can we support the victims of war (on both sides) without contributing to the war?
    I don’t have answers, but my gut tells me that killing to prevent killing isn’t right,

  • “Trash accumulates in a stagnant war.” – Anonymous Japanese Proverb.

    There’s a classical dictum, Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum – that is, “if you want peace, prepare for war.” Are we all more prepared for more wars these days for wanting to have peace on this planet?

    The best war is to change our human nature according to the Spirit of God. let us go to war against our human evil nature, and then, to prevent life-community-nation-earth-destroying wars!

    War can’t change our human nature, we can’t solve human solutions by wars. And whether or not this war is the permitted will of God…, we must side what is peaceful and pleasing to God.

    Everybody is talking about war here in the Philippines, and fear is becoming very common that it would expand all over, God forbid.

    Prayer is more powerful than war.

    Eric V. Encina, Philippines

  • Our hope is always and forever in the name of the Lord God – the Eternal One. Although Jesus Christ said, in John 16:33, “In this world, you will have trouble, But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Hence, “He who wants everything loses everything.”

    This blog [post] is very important to find out the various opinions of Christians of various persuasions about war. There are people on this planet in favor of war of Russia against Ukraine and to all others, [while] many of course, out of fear are against all forms of military warfare, etc. Whether or not this is a permitted will of God, the real war is against our human nature.

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