Ed Rollins, Mike Huckabee, me and Gena
As I write this, my wife, Gena, and I are on the road in New Hampshire with GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet. We’ve traveled around visiting more great Americans from Boscawen to Tilton, Berlin, Littleton and Londonderry, experiencing just how large the Huck-a-boom is mushrooming.
Joining us for part of the trip was Mike’s new national campaign chairman Ed Rollins, who masterminded President Ronald Regan’s landslide victory in 1984. Ed has likened Mike in lots of ways to “the Gipper,” saying “I was with the old Reagan, and I can promise you this man comes as close as anyone to filling those shoes.”
Huckabee and me on the campaign trail
I met Reagan as well. Mike and he do share a lot in common, not only in their platforms but their personalities. They both exhibit amazing charisma, leadership skills, a deep love for this country and unwavering faiths in God, for which our liberal media loves to attempt to discredit them.
One of those jointed and jeered inquiries that caught my attention is how they can reconcile being men of faith and men for war?
I’m not a scholar, but I’ve been talking to a few friends and mentors who are, and I believe they have given me some answers that can shed some further light this Christmas on that question and even the Savior of mankind.
Is Jesus more like Gandhi or Genghis?
In stereotypical fashion, when people think of Jesus and war, they either view him as a Gandhi-like pacifist or a Genghis-Khan-like crusader. Both pictures are errant. And they are often created by the polarized selections of scripture that are used to try to lean us in either extreme. The truth is, for all the passages on love and sacrifice, there are others on protection and defense.
Consider these few words of Jesus.
… let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Far more thrusting are Jesus’ subtle and often overlooked four words at the end of this verse, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me” (Moses is traditionally regarded as the author of the first five books of the Bible).
The implications of Jesus’ words are far-reaching, for in them he not only supports the rights to bear arms but aligns himself with the God of the Old Testament, who prepared people for battle by ordering, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man …’”
(Of course every dagger draper must also wrestle with his caution, “for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword”!)
No question that Jesus Christ has called us to love our neighbors as ourselves, turn our other cheek in sacrifice for another, and pray for our enemies. And so we should. However, he also realizes criminals and terrorists will confront us and calls us to defend and protect our families and borders too.
God knows ahead of time that kingdoms and empires will clash. And he even periodically calls those powers within those conflicts to carry out his grand purposes – more often than not unbeknown to any of the warring factions.
The fact is, Jesus does support war. He already has. But the question we all want to know is this: is he on our side of the battle? WWJW (What would Jesus war)? I’ll submit to his timing and revelation on the world stage for that answer:
When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. … And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(A must read on the subject is “John Jay on the biblical view of war.” Jay, a Founding Father who was a member and president of the Continental Congress and appointed by President George Washington as the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.)
Your weapon of choice
There is no contradiction between Christ’s commandments for us to turn the other cheek and defend our lives by “purchasing a sword.” The situation warrants the weapon – sometimes it’s love; sometimes it’s Smith & Wesson.
With even church shootings on the rise (at least nine in America alone this past decade), I think it’s time for even Christian leaders to acknowledge that maybe God wants us to take a buddy on that closer walk with thee in the garden:
“Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr in 1785.
“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
–James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.
That’s another reason I’ve endorsed Mike Huckabee. He’s also the only presidential candidate who publicly values the Second Amendment as much as the First. He reminds Americans that our Second Amendment gun-bearing rights were given not merely as a license to hunt, but a protection against tyranny. He’s also the only governor permitted to carry a concealed weapon.
God of war and prince of peace
The baby born in a manger 2,000 years ago was not only a Savior, but a God of war. But, even more, he is a Prince of Peace who spiritually waged war on our behalves to bring us peace with God and a promise to live forever in heaven.
If you’re ready to believe that, just as Gena, I, and millions of other Christians have, you can do so by praying the following prayer from your heart:
Jesus, I accept that you were born with a mission to die. I believe you spiritually waged war on the cross by taking the punishment for me there to pay for my sins. I open the door of my heart right now and invite you in as my Lord and Savior. Take control of my life. Teach me to be your follower. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Remember, the manger is God’s gift to you – what you do with your life is your gift to God.