Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Pray–and Work–for Peace in the Middle East

I hate to interrupt the lovefest wherein people accuse me of everything except the heartbreak of dandruff because I insist that government remain neutral about religion and that religious groups support themselves. It’s just so much fun to be told that I’m the anti-Christ for insisting that evangelistic efforts don’t need tax money that it’s hard to interrupt that love even for a moment.

However, my concern for the deteriorating situation between Israel and Lebanon (and my concern for the innocents in both nations) makes me remind people to find ways to call for a cease fire, U.N. international peacekeepers, and a Full Middle East Summit to deal with long overdue issues, including the soon resolution of a full-two state solution in Israel/Palestine according to pre-1967 borders. I gave the initial Baptist Peace Fellowship statement on this in Saturday’s blog. If you haven’t read that, scroll down and do so.

Churches for a Middle East Peace has put out an action alert you can sign up to here: http://www.cmep.org/Alerts/2006July14.htm . Foreign Policy in Focus, a program of the Institute for Policy Studies, has a great background paper by Professor Stephen Zunes on the muddled history of the U.S. and Lebanon. Read it here: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/3237
And Peace Action, the largest grassroots peace organization in the U.S., has put up an op-ed from the Boston Globe that shows how both Israel and the U.S. have been acting all out of proportion to attacks–in a way that is psychologically explainable if not morally justifiable. It suggests a way forward: http://www.peace-action.org/Headlines/7.17.06.html

I do hope that all the people who claim to be pro-life show as much concern for living children in Lebanon and Israel as they do for unborn fetuses. Life outside the womb needs our help now–no matter what these children’s parents have done or governments, etc. For the innocents’ sake we have to stop this before it becomes even more of a bloodbath. And please, don’t anyone write in claiming that God is happy with all this because it means Jesus is coming back soon. I swear I will reject all such bloodthirsty theology and ban such comments from this site. The God who was willing to die rather than kill enemies, takes no joy in any deaths. Saying otherwise is blasphemy.

Lord, makes us instruments of your peace.


July 19, 2006 - Posted by | just peacemaking, peacemaking, prayer


  1. Peace Action now has an action alert page on this crisis at:
    http://democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/Peaceact/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=4675 –make sure all that goes into your browser in one line without breaks.

    The website for Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding (EMEU)is currently inactive, but they have issued a “Lebanon Declaration” that one can read here: http://www.wfn.org/2002/05/msg00299.html .

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | July 20, 2006

  2. A pre-emptive name-calling, Michael: You’re placing your trust in the gov’t and not on Jesus!

    Did I beat Roger to the draw?

    [Roger, ya know I only tease ya cause I love ya…well, that and because strawmen are annoying…well, that and because it’s annoying to be told that you’re placing your trust in gov’t when the accuser is trusting their defense to a bloated military.]

    Comment by Dan Trabue | July 20, 2006

  3. Bruce Prescott’s blog: http://mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com/ has excerpted an article from the Dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary expressing anguished frustration with both Hezbollah and Israel. It is worth reading. The original article was posted on the website of Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/129/42.0.html with the title, “Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon.”

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | July 20, 2006

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