Light Magazine Spotlight Articles  Human Dignity  Public Policy

Living in Light of God’s Kingdom

Foreign Affairs Policy, Part 5 of 5

A Series on Pursuing Good: Discerning Well-Crafted Policy

An election year can quickly become about candidates. But, we often forget that those candidates and the people who will serve under their administration will run on a platform of policies that affect real people—our kids’ teachers, the clerk at the grocery store, our friends in healthcare, and our aging parents. Avoiding partisan talking points and seriously thinking about these policies from a biblical perspective is paramount to our call to be salt and light. This series of articles will assist you in what to look for and consider as you weigh policies dealing with life, religious liberty, marriage and family, human dignity, and foreign affairs. Together, we can use our voices and our votes to pursue the good of our nation.

Life policy
Religious liberty policy
Marriage and family policy
Human dignity policy

A voice of justice and peace in a world of war

Good thing Jesus told us to expect “wars and rumors of wars.”

Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, bringing the world closer to nuclear conflict than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, in the largest single-day attack on Jews since the Holocaust. Iranian-backed Houthi pirates are choking international commerce through the Red Sea. And rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait never stop threatening to erupt into general war.

The world feels wrong. The “post-Cold War” era ended some time ago. The younger generation has no memory of the relief, triumphalism, and boundless optimism of the 1990s. Whatever era we are in now, it is one marked by: 

  • terrorism, 
  • hostile great powers, 
  • nuclear threats, 
  • pandemics, 
  • and pervasive anxiety about climate change and artificial intelligence. 

A Voice of Peace and Justice

Yet the Kingdom of God persists, dependent on and beholden to no earthly prince. That is why, amidst the wars and rumors of wars, Jesus still calls us to practice the spiritual disciplines of peace, joy, and self-control. The world feels out of control and is full of violence—just as Jesus said it would be. We don’t have to understand it all, much less control it all. 

Our calling is to be a voice for peace and justice amidst the tumult. As in all our political engagement, we should “tend and keep” the garden God has given us (Gen. 2:15), including the garden of world order. We should “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7) into which we have been exiled, including the city of all mankind. In all things, we should “do justice, and love mercy” (Micah 6:7), for our neighbors and our enemies, at home and abroad.

Power for the Sake of Justice and Peace

Being a voice for justice and peace does not mean being a pacifist. Christians have long recognized that Jesus commissioned Caesar to bear the sword in order to keep evildoers in check (Rom. 13). The just war tradition, rooted in biblical theology, teaches us that governments have legitimate authority to use coercion to stop aggressors, criminals, and tyrants. Sometimes defending peace and justice requires force. Russia and Hamas will not be defeated by a stern talking-to. China and North Korea will not be deterred by a tweet. Power is necessary to keep order in a fallen world. 

Necessary—but not sufficient. Christians should recognize that power is not the only language of international politics. While we can accept Caesar’s sword, we must always demand its responsible use.

The sword is legitimate if it serves justice and peace for everyone, not the swordsman’s glory or the sword maker’s greed.

Paul D. Miller

So we should listen to what politicians say and watch what they do when they make the case for war (or arms sales, or “intervention,” or diplomacy, or any other act of statecraft). Do they wield power for a just and lasting peace among nations, friend and enemy alike? Or are they moved solely by a narrow vision of their nation’s power, greatness, and prestige alone?



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