Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Dennis Prager outlines the parallels between the Iran nuke deal and the peace talks leading up to World War II in order to emphasize the dangerous season our world is currently in. The arrogance of man allows us the folly of thinking that we can do the same thing we did before but that this time it will be different. We see this tendency in children thinking that they can do things differently than their parents by essentially doing the same thing and we see it in economic and political systems as well. The world doesn't move forward, it moves in cycles and man seems unable to break free from the pattern. The deal with Iran is one more repeat of failed history that our politicians seem to think will work out better this time around.
But let's consider for a moment that the US is encouraging the next world war to break out by intentionally lowering our superpower status and allowing other nations to contend and even usurp us. The idea that Russia, China, Iran and others have no interest in world domination at other's expense is beyond naive. The idea that everyone will just get along without one nation keeping them in check is historically ignorant. But the arrogance of man keeps us deluded and blind to our nature and the plucky optimism afforded by a forward-moving concept of progress belies the future on the horizon as something entirely new and different rather than formulaic and predictable. The fact is few thought WWI or WWII would happen either- but they did. One might excuse Western political leaders of that error in 1938 as Germany didn't have a long previous track record of causing wars and conflict. The Nazi party was relatively new and their doctrines and philosophies were not fully developed or widely known. The same cannot be said of modern day Iran however. Their track record is well documented and their agenda has not been hidden from anyone. So here it is not a case of poor intelligence gathering or a misjudgment of character or intent, it is blind optimism that refuses to acknowledge reality. The reality is that Islam has been at war with the West (and much of the rest of the world) since its inception 1400 years ago. The reality is that Iran is unashamedly a supporter of Islamic extremism and terrorism. The reality is that Iran would love nothing more than to start nuclear wars due to their views on Islamic prophecy (they believe world war will usher in the return of the Mahdi and the subsequent world rule of Islam by Allah). The reality is that Iran has openly and boldly declared the US her enemy and all of this is utterly consistent with her history, yet the US ignores reality in favor of the illusion of a future Utopian society. But as Christ-followers, what should be our attitude and position in these situations? First, we must recognize the fallen nature of man and put no hope in political solutions or those espousing them. Peace is not possible without the Prince of Peace and He is not yet here to usher it in. Secondly, though we should be aware that wars are inevitable, we should not be calling for the death of Iran as they chant loudly for the US. Reluctantly using military force for the greater good of the world at large is not the same as being a bully with a big stick. But most importantly we must remember that our fight is not with flesh and blood- the underlying root causes at work here are religious and ideological, which both deal with the human heart. The most strategic thing we as the church can do to promote peace in the world is to send missionaries to these nations and bring them into the fold. We can't change the heart of man through military force or political policy, but we can through discipleship. So instead of Christians calling for political solutions from Washington, our voice should be loudly and unanimously calling for the Gospel to go out. The government may need to send troops but the church has been commanded to send missionaries. Let's focus on our responsibility before we lambaste the government for neglecting theirs and let us realize that the church is greatest hope for the world, not Western democracy. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. - Eph 6:12
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. - Psa 20:7 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. - Php 1:27-28