July 28, 2016
“This is War” Not Exactly Pacem in terries
Recently, two young Islamic men, invoking ISIS, brutally murdered an 86-year old priest in France. Providentially, the two murderers received quick justice – they were killed by police (with guns) to end the latest attack on Christians by Muslims.
When asked to respond to the priest’s murder, Pope Francis I oddly responded, “This is war!”
As is typical of this pope, I have no idea what he means.
Let’s go through several points:
- I thought the pope, first and foremost, was a man of peace! “This is war!” is very a very straightforward call for – some kind of war.
- We haven’t been at war with ISIS before this? ISIS has declared war on all infidels – that specifically includes us evangelical Christians. Many Christians have been summarily executed by these murderers, many have been beheaded. I don’t doubt there was torture involved, too. Didn’t the pope take notice of all of these incidents – and the events in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando, Nice, Istanbul, that ISIS has specifically claimed responsibility for (or, were at least done in the name of ISIS)? Only NOW, he reacts, when a priest is murdered? Weren’t there Catholics murdered in all these other incidents? Should it even MATTER if the victims were Catholics or not? All Lives Matter, don’t they, Pope Francis?
- This is not Pacem in terries! In April 1963, just 2 months before he died, Pope John the 23rd released an encyclical on nuclear non-proliferation called, in Latin, Peace on earth. From that time onward, it was assumed that popes were in favor of any peace movement. The peace movement of the ‘60’s certainly took inspiration from the popular pontiff’s words. Today, people give Francis the 1st credit for being a progressive in the same stream as John 23rd. What does “This is War!” mean in the light of Pacem in terries?
- I thought the pope recently repudiated the Catholic Church’s official acceptance of the “Just War Theory”! What happened to that? And is this war on ISIS a classic example of a “Just War”? Which the pope wants rejected in favor of “Love your enemies”? This is VERY confusing, indeed!
- How does this call for war fit with his desire to implement a “Love your enemies” policy in place of the “Just War Theory?” The pope recently insisted that NO war is justified… that the pattern is to follow our Lord’s admonition to “Love our enemies”? Where does this new war declaration fit into THAT argument?
- The pope also has come out opposing the death penalty. Despite the fact that the Scriptures, over and over again, from Genesis 9 to the New Testament, not only allow governments to use capital punishment, but command its use in many places. The pope and his liberal allies have taken a strong stand AGAINST the use of the death penalty, ignoring its simple application to murderers who have no problem taking the lives of innocent people. Why are the Fort Hood killer, the Aurora movie theater murderer, the Boston Marathon bomber, the Charleston church shooter, the Planned Parenthood murderer all still alive? They cared nothing about their victims; why is the pope so passionate to prevent justice from occurring?
- The pope missed a GOLDEN opportunity to make a spiritual point. The pope should have used this incident to remind people that, while these murders are not the slightest bit just, those who are killed for their faith (if it is genuine) will go on the be with their Lord. It’s we survivors who suffer; those murdered go on to Paradise! He should have pointed out that these murderers did what they did because THEY believed they would go to Paradise for killing infidels, but they are being deceived by Satan. These killers apparently even invoked Satan (maybe calling him by the name they know him by – Allah) before the brutally executed him. Finally, believers in Jesus are NEVER commanded to kill unbelievers. Our goal is to PERSUADE them to become believers, like us. Coercion of any kind is antithetical to true faith in Jesus the Messiah.
- Our war, as believers, is in the spiritual realm. Another point the pope missed is to remind people that we are involved in spiritual warfare. We stand AGAINST the devil and his minions, the forces of darkness. The goal of a genuine believer in Jesus is to preach the gospel – to tell people the good news of the salvation available through faith in our Lord alone. The pope’s namesake – Francis of Assisi – understood this in his day. He saw as his goal preaching the true gospel to the Muslims of his day. He was open about his desire to spread the truth of Jesus to the Islamic world. He did it in an honest and respectful way; they respected him so much that, even today, his followers, the Franciscans, are given a high level of access to the holy places in Israel.
I think the pope was trying to spread confusion (which he succeeded at). This is war – in the spiritual realm, for Jesus the Messiah, against the forces of evil led by Satan!