By Scott Tibbs, May 10, 2007
I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said "when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Technically this is true, and eventually it will happen. When Jesus Christ returns, there will be no more wars. However, we will not have peace until then.
As I said earlier this week, there are people in this world who are simply evil. They want to kill and maim others. The excuses they give for these acts of violence are many, but at their core these people are simply evil. As rational adults, we need to recognize evil so we can protect ourselves, or families and our country from it.
The list of evil people in international politics is long. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il fall into that category. We have to recognize what these people are so that we can protect ourselves from the harm that they would do to us. But just because we recognize that the leaders of Iran and North Korea are evil does not mean that we need to assassinate them or bomb their countries. A lack of armed conflict with these nations is certainly possible.
But is true "peace" ever possible when you are dealing with evil people? "Peace" is not just the lack of armed conflict; it is a good relationship with former enemies. Can we ever have a good relationship with a country like Iran, which endorses and supports the indiscriminate murder of women and children through terrorist bombings of crowded markets? The answer to that question is "no".
Should we seek nonviolent solutions and use diplomacy wherever possible to avoid war? Of course! War is a terrible thing and we should enter into armed conflict only when absolutely necessary for national security reasons. Armed conflict should always be a last resort. Sadly, the complete elimination of war is simply not possible in a fallen world.
Recognizing that evil exists does not mean we cannot love our enemies. In fact, the Lord commands us to love out enemies. But that does not mean that we are to cast aside the discernment necessary to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm. Loving an enemy and recognizing that he is evil to the core are not mutually exclusive concepts. Discernment and compassion can coexist.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." But as long as there is sin in the world, that is not possible. Only Christ's final victory over sin when He returns can bring peace, because the root of conflict and war is the sin we all struggle with.