True to form, Australian politicians are courting the United States’ President, and -like every subservient vassal state – is ceding sovereignty. This time it is the agreement to station US troops in the Northern Territory. Earlier in the year it was the military exercises, Talisman Sabre. What action is required ? My question is not posed from a ‘republican’ or nationalist position. Rather, I am asking the question as a christian whose interest is in the international health and wellbeing of every person, and also out of concern to the planet and non-human creatures caught up in our military adventures. That is to say, it is in alignment with the prophetic vision of SHALOM. It is allied to Jesus’ declaration of Jubilee (Luke 4).
What action can we take? First, we had better pray the words Jesus gave us: ‘Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth, as in heaven’. If we took that prayer seriously we would be in trouble, and causing trouble for those who want to claim us, our hearts and minsds and bodies in the practicve of war, of killing other human bmeings, of murdering in the name of the State.
Then we will do well to remind our political leaders of their task of governing for the good of every person, especially the weakest, poorest and most vulneable.
But why should political leaders listen to the church/christians who remain divided and unreconciled? This will press us to act for unity within the body of Christ. And as we do this, we will be led to a pressing and practical step of asking all church members to give up the practice of war, the preparation of military equipment, and the financial support of the military.
I know this will take us into those so-called ethical disputes over just war. It will raise the question of how we are to serve justice. These are not minor discussions. Are they too outlandish? They take us to the prayer Jesus gives: ‘Your kingdom come! Your will be done!’
Wes Campbell 17th November 2011