On my church’s Facebook page there is a rant about a fairly well-known pastor of a church in Texas who has advised our president that God is OK with him bombing North Korea. Many are appalled by that statement. I know I am certainly very disappointed. Let me give it to you verbatim: “God has given Trump the authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.” If this is “fake news,” it’s the best I have seen. It is being reported on several mainstream news sites.
There are those who might read this post and agree with the statement this man gave. It is easy to produce biblical stories and encounters where it was necessary to use violent means to overthrow an ungodly king and his people. The Old Testament is filled with such stories that may be easily pulled out of context and twisted to support a “shoot first, ask questions later” sort of policy. People have been really good at twisting scripture to support their particular points of view for a long time. I get more than a little concerned when they promote violence as something they feel is necessary — at the direction of God. Such are the seeds of things like the crusades of long ago where people were tortured into either converting to Christianity or suffer the pain of death. We can look back now through the lens of history and see how wrong it was to try to force people to the foot of the cross, but back then I am sure it seemed like the right thing to do. I’m also sure somebody said that God had given their leaders the authority to do so.
So, how do we know exactly what the right thing to do is? Do we depend on somebody who claims to hear directly from God? Do we accept the word of somebody who may have written a few books and has preached for many years? Or, is it more prudent to do what the Bereans of the book of Acts did so long ago (Acts 17)? After hearing a teaching, they searched the scriptures to see if what they heard was true. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and, more importantly, to the One we serve to do the same?
I wonder what would happen if we all as the body of Christ were to pray for the salvation of Kim Jong-Un and the people of North Korea in general? Don’t you think we might see a mighty act of God take place on the Korean peninsula? Isn’t it worth a shot before we think of launching military might at the expense of so many innocent lives? I certainly do. I know somebody else (another famous preacher of long ago) who would prefer to attempt a peaceful solution before resorting to war as well. Here is an excerpt from one of His sermons: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God -Matthew 5:9 (NIV).