Nonintervention Foreign PolicySubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Saturday, June 7, 2014.
Nonintervention Foreign Policy I. We have discarded and forgotten the biblical position of nonintervention and nonaggression which this nation was founded upon. 1. Proponents of an interventionist and imperialist foreign policy will cite O.T. examples of where God commanded Israel to utterly destroy wicked nations and possess them as justification for their position (Jos 6:17,20-21; 1Sa 15:2-3). A. They will say that God hasn't changed (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8) and therefore a Christian nation such as the USA still has such a mandate. B. While God hasn't changed, His law has (Heb 8:13). C. Jesus showed that O.T. precedents of this type have no natural application in the N.T. (Luk 9:51-56). D. God's Israel under the New Testament is the church, not the USA, the UK, or even the modern nation of Israel. i. Therefore, the USA is not the new Israel and has no Manifest Destiny to conquer other nations and create an imperial empire. ii. Since we are now under the New Testament, where in the N.T. does any country have a commandment from God to start aggressive wars with its neighbors? iii. For example: what if our government wanted to wage war on Mexico when they had not attacked us, and they gave as justification for it that they were a bunch of drug-running, pagan, catholic savages who were polluting the land with their sin and needed to be eliminated based on principles God gave to Israel in the O.T.? iv. Where is there a commandment in the N.T. for us to do that? v. What justification could a neocon Christian give from the New Testament to wage such a war of aggression? 2. The New Testament counterpart of the these Old Testament commandments would be for Christians to mortify (kill) the sins of their flesh and spare none of them (Col 3:5-9). A. The weapons of the church's (spiritual Israel) warfare are not carnal, but rather spiritual (2Co 10:3-5). B. We cast down imaginations, not walls. C. We bring thoughts into captivity, not nations. D. We mortify our own sins, not dictators. 3. Nonintervention is not pacifism. A. Nonintervention - 1. Absence of intervention; in international politics, systematic non-interference by a nation in the affairs of other nations except where its own interests are directly involved. B. Pacifism - 1. The policy or doctrine of rejecting war and every form of violent action as means of solving disputes, esp. in international affairs; the belief in and advocacy of peaceful methods as feasible and desirable alternatives to war. C. The Bible doesn't condemn soldiering or war in all circumstances. i. When soldiers came to John the Baptist to be baptized, he told them to be just, honest, and content, but not to forsake their profession as soldiers (Luk 3:14). ii. Ministers are referred to as soldiers (Phi 2:25). a. Paul even describes ministers as soldiers warring (2Ti 2:3-4). b. If it was sinful to be a soldier and go to war, then God certainly wouldn't use that terminology to describe his ministers. iii. The Bible uses the principle of war-making for illustrations. a. Jesus used the principle of war-making to illustrate the importance of counting the cost of discipleship (Luk 14:31-33). b. Paul uses the principle of war-making to illustrate the fact that a minister ought to be paid for his labor (1Co 9:7). c. If war-making was sinful, then the Bible would not use it to illustrate godly principles. D. The Bible allows for and promotes self-defense. i. Most wars, though, are not in self-defense, but rather are a product of the lust of men (power, control, resources) (Jam 4:1-2). ii. Jesus commanded His disciples to be armed with a sword and even to sell their garments to buy one if they didn't have one (Luk 22:36). a. Jesus was not talking about a spiritual sword. b. When the disciples presented two swords, He said It is enough, not I meant a SPIRITUAL sword (Luk 22:38). c. It is enough to carry two guns. iii. Jesus said that a strong man armed keeps his house in peace (Luk 11:21). iv. Jesus said that a goodman (the master or male head of a household) would not suffer (tolerate or allow) his house to be broken up by a thief (Mat 24:43 c/w Exo 22:2). 4. Nonintervention is not isolationism. A. Isolationism - 1. The policy of seeking (political or national) isolation: with special reference to the U.S.A. B. Isolation - 1. a. The action of isolating; the fact or condition of being isolated or standing alone; separation from other things or persons; solitariness. C. Isolate v. - 1. trans. To place or set apart or alone; to cause to stand alone, detached, separate, or unconnected with other things or persons; to insulate. D. "...peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none;" - Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, 1801 5. Inter-national conduct should (at least sometimes) be governed by the same principles in the N.T. as inter-personal conduct. A. Biblical laws regulating the actions of a government toward its citizens are not always the same as the laws regulating the actions of an individual toward another individual. i. The government is in authority over the citizenry. ii. This is distinctly different from the relationship two individuals have with each other. iii. The civil authority has the power of the sword to execute vengeance on them that do evil (Rom 13:1-4). iv. An individual does not have the power to avenge themselves when they are wronged (Rom 12:17-19). B. In the case of inter-national conduct, the nations are peers of each other, not authorities and subordinates. i. Nations are comprised of individuals. ii. Nations are even referred to as individuals, such as the nations of Israel and Edom who were referred to as their "founding fathers", Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:23 c/w Num 20:17-22). iii. Jesus used an example of how a nation would count the cost when deciding to go to war with another nation to illustrate how an individual should count the cost when deciding to follow Him (Luk 14:31-33). iv. Therefore some of the same laws and principles in scripture should apply to inter-national conduct as apply to inter-personal conduct. 6. The principles of nonintervention. A. The following points apply to individuals, and also apply to nations as well (as will be shown based on what God said to Babylon). B. Mind your own business. i. Stay in your own lane; don't meddle with strife not belonging to you (Pro 26:17). ii. Don't be a busybody in other men's matters (1Pe 4:15). iii. People resent you when you get in the middle of their fights (Exo 2:13-14). iv. Recent examples of not following this principle would be the wars or potential wars in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. C. Obey the Golden Rule. i. "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise" (Luk 6:31). ii. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mat 22:39). iii. In other words, treat others as you would want them to treat you. iv. Don't murder people who have not attacked you. v. Ron Paul got booed in South Carolina (the "Bible belt") for saying that we ought to adopt a Golden Rule in foreign policy. vi. Recent examples of this would be Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. D. Act only in self-defense; don't initiate violence. i. "Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm" (Pro 3:30). ii. Peter had a right to self-defense (Luk 22:36-38). a. Jesus had told Peter that He would be killed by the Jewish leaders and even rebuked him for refusing to believe it (Mat 16:21-23). b. Jesus had prayed for God's will to be done (Mat 26:42). c. Peter therefore stepped over the line when he initiated violence (Joh 18:10-11). d. Jesus rebuked him for it (Mat 26:51-52). iii. Babylon was judged for its imperialism (Hab 2:5-13). Notice the following: a. Babylon (the Chaldeans (Hab 1:6)) was referred to as a man (Hab 2:5). b. They didn't keep at home (Hab 2:5 c/w Pro 27:8). c. They could not be satisfied and had to continue conquering nations and people (Hab 2:5 c/w Pro 27:20). d. They took what was not theirs (Hab 2:6 c/w Exo 20:15 c/w Eph 4:28). e. They did violence to others (Hab 2:8 c/w Luk 3:14). f. They coveted (Hab 2:9 c/w Col 3:5). g. They killed people which was a sin (Hab 2:10 c/w Mar 10:19). E. No government has the right to make its citizens kill other people who didn't attack them. i. We are supposed to obey our government (Rom 13:1-7; 1Pe 2:13-17). ii. We only are obliged to obey as far as they are exercising their legal and legitimate authority. iii. We must not obey when they have demanded that we do something that is forbidden by God (Act 5:29). iv. A government therefore cannot compel a person to kill another person (Rom 13:9). a. No Christian would kill his next-door neighbor who did nothing to him if the government told him to do so. b. Therefore, a Christian can and should resist any order by a government to kill a person in a different country who has not first attacked him. c. If your government has put you in such a position either against your will, or by lying to you and convincing you by propaganda, then they have the greater sin (Joh 19:11). d. God has mercy on us when we do things in ignorance (Act 3:17). e. If you were put in that position by your government, you were acting in self-defense to preserve your own life.
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