Advent: In an age of uncertainty….(December 10, 2008)

…there is great unrest. Depressing economic news, civil unrest, clerics advocating political assassinations and the world generally in turmoil.

   Ah, the first century world was not a place for sissies.

   Recently, Pastor Rick Warren agreed with a television host that "we" should "take out" the Iranian president. His Biblical precedent was Romans 13.

   He is wrong.

   He is wrong historically.  The United States has been down this road before in history. Google the names Trujillo, Shah of Iran and Castro. We were involved in their murders, attempted murders or the murders of their predecessors. We have used our intelligence agencis as Murder, Incorporated before and it has never turned out very well.

   He is wrong religiously. Romans 13 sanctioned an all-powerful, non-Christian government that did evil in the eyes of God as a matter of routine. The Roman government was not going to last. The Kingdom of God was going to continue.

   He is wrong as a matter of law. In a state of war, would we have hesitated to kill a Stalin, a Hitler or a Mussolini? The difference in those situations is apparent. We are not yet at war with Iran.

   He is wrong demographically. Will Iran soon run out of two-bit dictators who aggrandize themselves by America-hating?

    He is wrong geo-politically. As a policy, murder has its echoes. You can still hear them in Dealey Plaza.

   In the first century, the Herods plotted the deaths of those who opposed them. The Sanhedrin tapped into that institutional violence to hold what sway they might in any way they might. The result? By 70 AD the fair and lovely city of Jerusalem was in ashes, the temple torn down and the history of the generations lost.

   The power-elite of His day did not think Jesus Christ was a community organizer. They thought He was a terrorist and a crank. They killed Him for political reasons.

   The first century Christian world was not for sissies. Jesus was there for us.

   He is here for us now. Good thing, because this is an age of uncertainty.



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