Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Does God pick a side and back it when humans are in conflict with one another? Some say yes. Some say it's hard to answer no. Take World War II for example. Many people believe that God was on the side of the Allies. Many believe that the Allied defeat of Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers were at least influenced by God ensuring good in the world. Many would also say that further evidence of God's hand in the Allied victory in World War II was shown when the end result was the creation of a nation-state of Israel.

Convincing arguments, perhaps, of God intervening in a conflict, picking one side over the other, and influencing the outcome. But then there's the other side - people who question the level of providence with which God acts. There are two sides to every conflict - each believing that the other is wrong and they are right - believing this so passionately that there would be no conflict otherwise. I can make a moral judgment based on my cultural values or religious values, but those are my judgments to which one can negate my his or her respective values.

So, back to the question: Does God take sides? In the case of World War II, it's easy to say yes because we (the United States) won. And we believe freedom is a good thing. But as with the case of Islamic fundamentalism, everyone believes God is on their side. So, does the side supported by God win? Is that how we know?

Or does God simply look at us, and be with us, and be saddened by the fact that people wage war on one another? Or does what he can to minimize the damage?

Does he adamantly intervene for a cause that he supports? Or does God just shake his head and keep asking himself why can't we just get along?


Attempting To Follow The Way said...

I'm pretty sure my belief on this issue is the easy way out but I will choose to qualify this statement and say that God does not take sides when His children fight, even when a Christian is in conflict with a non-Christian I believe God does not take sides. I believe, like you said at the end Cruz, that God is deeply saddened when we, His children, fight with each other.

This view, however, definitely conflicts with many accounts from the Old Testament of God guaranteeing Israel victory in battle before the battle is fought. I also believe that it is not a valid argument that God sides with Christians over non-Christians. I believe that God loves as we should love, unconditionally and equally. God's love is a unbiased, nonprejudicial love that is not capable of choosing one or the other.

Just my thoughts...

Chris said...

I dunno Cruz, I think the answer is a qualified "sort of".

Part of the answer would have to be a definition of "take sides." If by "take sides" we were to mean "influence one side's outcome over the other's" then yeah, I'd say he takes sides. But if it meant "take sides because he whole-heartedly believes in the cause of that side" then no, I don't think so. I think the answer is always far more complicated than a simple black and white yes or no with a cute anecdotal example (given by so many christians these days).

I think God stands for certain things - freedom, justice, mercy, love, kindness, gentleness ... you know the list. But the degree to which he makes everything "fair" or whatever, that's much harder. The trouble with endowing your creation with freedom of choice is that inevitably (as we've seen) they turn on you. Some turn back, some choose not to, but the trouble is that some from both sides will band together into two new opposing forces; Christians who favor Iraq, Christians who don't favor Iraq. Both (likely) love Jesus, and so in that case, I'm sure God isn't really choosing sides but saying "this is what I'm doing" and it's up to US to choose HIS side.

Maybe that's it - why does God have to choose our side, isn't the whole story of scripture about him asking us to choose HIS side?