What the Bible says about Protecting Syria’s Innocent People
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “It’s not enough to help hurting people; we must also stop the things that hurt them.”
Today, we are watching this played out as our president ordered airstrikes against a Syrian airbase after the Syrian regime attacked its own people with sarin gas, killing 86 souls, including women and children.
Thankfully, America is here to help, not only with humanitarian relief but also swift punishment for the monsters who did this.
Some people disagree with our involvement as a nation, which we understand. There are mixed feelings on both sides of the political isle when it comes to America as isolationist (leave the world alone) or internationalist (stay engaged abroad). Yet there is consensus when it comes to protecting innocent people by punishing evil rulers.
As Christians, the Bible is clear about the purpose of government, which, put most simply, is to punish evil and protect good.
Romans 13 describes it like this:
“For rulers (governing leaders) hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority (government) is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:3-5).
At local, state and national levels (even international), every government has a united purpose under God – to punish what is wrong and protect what is right. So when evil people harm others, it is the role of government to rise up and protect them, even if that government must use “the sword.” That means government carries the sole authority to protect life by punishing those who devalue it through murderous acts.
Back in August 2012, President Obama issued a “red-line warning” to the Syrian dictator that murdering his own people with chemical weapons would result in American military intervention, and Obama’s move was a strong sign of good government. But one year later, when Assad used them, killing more than 1,000 people in Damascus, our government backed down.
Sometimes a superhero movie summarizes real life situations best. Listen to what Spiderman said to Iron Man in the movie “Iron Man: Civil War” when he was asked why he fights the bad guys. He said, “When you can do the things I can do, but you don’t, then when bad things happen, they happen because of you.”
Assad is a bad guy, as is ISIS and a whole host of murderous monsters in the Middle East. And they have been strengthened largely due to our weakness as a leading government in the world. Our nation is the strongest, most powerful force for liberty and freedom on the earth, and we have the ability to keep evil regimes at bay. But we have to understand the proper role of government and be willing to take action when push comes to shove.
Thankfully, we’ve got new leadership today that understands this vital truth.
We loved what Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in an emergency meeting of the international council:
“The moral state of the Assad regime could no longer go unanswered. His crimes against humanity could no longer be met with empty words. It was time to say enough. But not only say it, it was time to act.”
She continued, saying the U.S. was prepared to act further if Assad didn’t knock it off.
Now that’s good government. We bet the despot in North Korea is listening as well, as are other evil leaders around the world.
When government acts in accordance with God’s word, it not only helps hurting people but also stops the things that hurt them.
(Photo via CNN.com)