I’m a Pacifist that Values War

By Graham Glover

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“Make love, not war!”

In the words of Lloyd Christmas, “I like it, I like it a lot.” And I do. I like that popular slogan from America’s tumultuous 60s.

I like it because in my heart of hearts I’m a pacifist. I don’t like war. I don’t like violence. I want, as I think most do, peace. Like many Americans, I’m exhausted after 13 ½ years of our country’s next “Greatest Generation” fighting every day to keep our Republic free from tyranny. I’ve seen the face of war and it’s nasty. It’s horrific. It’s not something anyone should desire. So why not say, “Make love, not war!”? It sounds like the perfect slogan to me.

Now if by love you mean a hedonistic attitude toward sexual behavior, then obviously I don’t mean what most who chanted that phrase meant. Sexual promiscuity does nothing to erase the cause or the consequences of war. But if by love you mean the peace that comes from the Good News of Jesus Christ, then yes, I absolutely mean, “Make love, not war!”

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My point is simply this, peace is what should guide all of us. It’s what we should all seek. The eternal peace that is found only in our Lord. The temporal peace that does not exist on the battlefield. So, yes, I’m a pacifist that champions peace and decries war.

But what I like, what I want, means very little. As great as a utopia of peace sounds – a world without war – such a utopia will never exist.

That is, it will never exist because of what we do. Temporal/carnal love won’t create it. Trendy slogans won’t inaugurate its arrival. It will never become a reality before our Lord returns. And this is why I am a pacifist that values war. It’s why even as one whose vocation is to proclaim the peace that surpasses all understanding, I support war. I may love peace. I may cringe when I consider what wars produce. But I also value why our nation remains at war and why we must continue to fight – to kill – to destroy every vestige of evil that rears its ugly head. I say this because if we simply recoil to chants of “Make love, not war”, then we will soon come face to face with death, where our visions of a peaceful world will come to a screeching end.

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Perhaps you think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth. How can I advocate peace and then call for war? How can I claim to be a pacifist but then commend war? Aren’t I a hypocrite?

Not at all.

I’m just a Christian who is saying what the Church has said for two millennia. I’m just a pastor who understands that his parishioners – his Soldiers, live in two realms: the civil realm where war must ensure and the ecclesial realm where true peace is found.

At the end of the day I’m just like you, the readers of The Jagged Word, who seek peace but know that there are deadly consequences to the sins of our world. And in this fallen world there will never be peace without Christ. There will never be a need for wars to cease until He returns. Which is why we can, why we must say, “Make love, not war” and then rise up for battle. It’s why we are all ultimately a bunch of pacifists that value war.

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