Summary: This message was given hours before the War with Iraq began. It is designed to encourage people to pray for our troops and trust God that He will work everything out.

On the Brink of War

Dr. Marty Baker

March 19, 2003

Stevens Creek Community Church

Augusta, GA

Tonight the United States stands on the brink of war. After countless attempts at diplomacy, our nation is prepared to take a stand for justice in the world community. Saddam Hussein has violated sixteen United Nations Security Council Resolutions dating back to November 1990.1 He has repeatedly incited crimes against humanity and repressed his own countrymen. It is appalling to read the accounts of this malicious dictator.

Over and over the Iraqi government has sanctioned violence against women, the torture of religious and political detainees, and unfair treatment of children.2 The Iraqi government has sponsored the use of mustard gas and nerve agents on 60,000 of their own people. Thousands of people have died and countless others have been afflicted by these dangerous chemical and biological weapons.

What’s our response to these actions? Are we the world’s police force? I hope not, but we cannot sit idly by and do nothing. I am not here tonight to build a political case for war, but I am here to help you discern for yourself how to respond to the impending war. The America that we grew up in has changed. We are turning a page in history as we enter into conflict with Iraq.

From coast to coast, we have watched small groups of people protesting against the war. Some of us have recollections of the 1960s antiwar protesters in the streets of our cities. We are living different times, but we still have to ask the tough question: "Should we go to war?"

This is a loaded question that can only be answered with several other questions.

Will this war lead to greater order or more chaos?

Is this war really motivated by a desire to punish evil world conduct and encourage good world citizenship?

Will too many innocent civilians suffer as a result of our actions?

To what extent are we willing to punish evil in our own land and stand up for what is right?

We will not know all of the answers to these questions before the battle heats up, but questions like these must stay at the forefront of our minds as we march into battle.

I am not here as a political analyst; the world has enough of those already. I am here as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ called to help you understand God’s Word as it relates to your world. I also need to remind you that this is a complex issue and we cannot know all that God is doing. The Old Testament teaches us that:

Ecclesiastes 3:8

(there is ...) a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

When do we know that the time for war is now? A nation enters into war when all diplomacy has failed. I believe that we are called to "get along" with one another. We should be peacemakers. Paul teaches us in

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

We are called to live at peace with everyone when it is possible. There are times when conflict prevails. During these seasons, it is best to separate and attempt to work out one’s differences. If peace is not possible, then doing what’s right must prevail. Over the last thirteen years, the United Nations has been working toward diplomacy, but their resolutions have not produced peace. Now, we must take the next step to establish peace in the region. We must be on the side of peace even if it means fighting for it. When is it right to fight?

1. We should fight to maintain liberty.

Our forefathers bled and died so that we could live in a land that allows people the freedom of choice. We would not be here tonight without their belief in religious freedom and their willingness to die for it. Their convictions ushered them into a war. They fought and died to preserve the freedom that we enjoy today. We must do the same. We must take a stand for freedom.

In the Old Testament, God told Joshua to go to war against the oppressive Midianite people. The Meditianites were known for atrocities against humanity even to the point of throwing babies into the fire. God called the Israelites to war, but they refused to go. As a result, they wandered in the desert for forty years.

This generation missed the promised land because they refused to fight. In your life, you have to decide what’s worth dying for. If you don’t know what’s worth dying for, you don’t know what’s worth living for. There are some things that are worse than war.

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