The Roots of Israel-Hamas War & The Only Solution To Peace
Exploring the Israel-Hamas conflict, the origin of the war and the only solution to permanent peace between Muslim and Jews.
It's a paradoxical tale of nations sharing common origins yet divided by the enduring scars of their shared history. This theme echoes in both Scripture and our contemporary world, where humanity remains ensnared by the grip of violence.
Christ's teachings, however, stand in stark contrast to this pervasive violence. In a world where conflict seems inevitable, Christ's disciples are instructed to turn the other cheek, pray for their persecutors, and give without expecting anything in return (Matthew 5:38–48). These teachings have stirred much controversy throughout history, especially when we confront horrific events like the recent terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel. The question looms large: How can one follow such principles in a world fraught with violence?
Yet, it was precisely into this violent world that Christ was born, lived, died, and was resurrected. The Holy Spirit was sent into this very world, bearing fruits of peace, humility, gentleness, and goodness (Galatians 5:22–23). Perhaps it seems counterintuitive to think that such gifts and teachings are relevant in a violent world, but Christ believed otherwise.
Objections have arisen, arguing that these teachings may only apply in some future utopia or exclusively to personal relationships. Yet, this contradicts the example of Jesus, who loved even his enemies, including all of us (Romans 5:10). When Peter attempted to defend Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus responded with healing, sheathing Peter's sword, and ultimately surrendering to his fate (John 18:10; Luke 22:51).
The allure of responding to great evil with limited force might seem reasonable, but violence is a deceptive force. Even when it's intended as a response to heinous acts like terrorism, it tends to unleash more devastation than we anticipate.
To be a Christian pacifist is to refuse to justify the senselessness of violence. It's a rejection of labeling violence as "understandable" or "reasonable." It's an unyielding stance against downplaying sin or following its twisted logic, whether that involves rationalizing terrorism or justifying retaliation.
Explaining how violence unfolds in a sinful world offers little solace to those who suffer. How does one explain hundreds of lives lost at a music festival, rockets hitting ordinary homes, or the subsequent bombings of civilian apartment buildings, taking the lives of innocent children? There's no reasoning that can suffice in such circumstances.
In the face of violence, it's perilous to attempt to establish degrees of respectability within violence, as if some forms of it might align with God's intended way of life. The moral calculus of violence must yield to a more challenging and beautiful teaching: that all individuals are created in God's image, and the loss of any life is a victory for death, the ultimate enemy that Christ came to defeat (1 Corinthians 15:26).
Christian pacifism is not about making sense of the world's violence but rather about bearing witness to the God who stands with the victims of that violence and calls on his disciples to do the same. It's less about promising to "fix" violence and more about becoming the kind of people who combat violence as Christ did on the cross: with love and mercy (Romans 12:21).
In the Crucifixion, God didn't respond to human violence with more bloodshed but offered those who crucified Him a place at the table (Acts 2:36–38). If violence is a symptom of a world corrupted by sin, it cannot be its cure.
This doesn't imply that Christian pacifists are passive in the face of great violence. Indeed, there are pacifists serving as medics in combat zones, as translators and negotiators, as chaplains, and as relief workers. Some have even lived in conflict-ridden regions as peacemakers and educators.
This approach, bearing witness to God's peace amidst long-standing conflicts, may seem distant from what's needed in these dire situations. However, Christ offers precisely this form of peace.
The notion of Christian pacifism, often considered impractical or utopian, defies efforts to rationalize the world's violence. Instead, it compels us to stand alongside those victimized by violence and mirror God's response to it. This response, rooted in love and mercy, was manifest in the Crucifixion, where God didn't respond to violence with more violence but extended an invitation to reconciliation.
This approach may seem at odds with the urgency of addressing real-world conflicts, like the ongoing strife in the Middle East. However, Christ himself offers this very form of peace. It's an approach that seeks to unite people rather than divide them further.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, speaks of the transformative power of Christ, the one who reconciles those once separated, offering hope to those previously without God in the world. This vision of "one new humanity out of the two" is a testament to the enduring potential for peace in the midst of conflict (Ephesians 2:11–22). Though some might label it frail and unrealistic, it mirrors the way of Christ.
In our prayers, let us beseech the churches in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Gaza to join hands in proclaiming that the risen Christ brings not only an end to violence but also the administration of justice. True peace lies in the administration of justice, a justice that stems from the very heart of Christ's message. In the midst of violence, let us pray that those embroiled in conflict continue to proclaim that Christ has come to unify Jews and Gentiles into one body.
Moreover, let us pray that we all collectively acknowledge violence for what it truly is: sin. In recognizing this, we can confront it with the love, compassion, and understanding exemplified by Christ, rather than perpetuating a cycle of violence that ultimately leads to more suffering and death.
The only solution to peace is when Both Muslims and Jews will acknowledge and embrace Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah. No one can access God without Christ, He is the only way the truth and the life. In John 14:27 Jesus Says: " Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." The peace of Jesus is eternal. He is also says my peace I leave with You meaning He will fill our hearts with peace and love of each other.
In conclusion, the Israel-Hamas conflict serves as a stark reminder of the timeless dilemma posed by violence. Christian pacifism offers a path of resistance to the normalization and justification of violence. It reminds us that, in the face of brutality, the principles of love, mercy, and peace as exemplified by Christ are not just lofty ideals but the very essence of our faith.
While the path of Christian pacifism may appear challenging and unconventional, it draws strength from the belief that violence is not the cure for our world's ills. It recognizes that the ultimate victory belongs to life over death, a victory heralded by Christ's resurrection.
The call for peace in times of conflict, especially in regions marred by long-standing hostilities, is a testament to the enduring power of Christ's teachings. The world may see it as unattainable, but it's a reflection of Christ's unwavering commitment to peace.
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