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Stop the war, now!

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

Both governments are blaming each other. Supportive countries back “their” side for the stance taken.

This Arabic traffic sign says, “Stop”. We could do with signs like this in every Sudanese tribal language as well.

Now is the time to stop all war in Sudan and South Sudan, especially a war between the two newest of African countries.

Any war brings horrible things that nobody wants. War in either Sudan means many mothers will lose their sons. Wives will lose their husbands. Thousands of Sudanese bodies, Arab and African, will be maimed as limbs are blown off, eyesight is blackened, ears become painfully quiet. Normal life will become impossible in any future, whatever happens when “peace” is restored.

The effects of war can last over many a lifetime.

Hatred grows. Mistrust explodes. Thirst for revenge is not easily quenched. Smaller grievances quickly develop into threatening incidents.

“Them” and “us” so easily replaces “we” Sudanese.

Vibrant resources that should be used to give our children enough good food, clean disease-free water, quality classes in schools and universities, are prioritised to buy guns and tanks instead. Clinics and hospitals are only built if there is enough money left over after “defensive” (but expensive) bullets and bombs have been secured from our “friends”.

These are just some of the effects of war, which I am sure nobody wants.

Of course the decision to go to war is not directly taken by most of us. It is taken by our government leaders in the far away capital cities of Khartoum or Juba.

Romans 13:1-7 tells Christians to “submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established”. This was written when the Romans were the Civil power and the Jews the Religious power. Christians had no power at all, except for the presence of the risen Lord Jesus giving them “patient endurance”, “faithfulness”, “wisdom” and “insight”, see the final “war against the saints” in Revelation 13:1-18.

Living at that time and situation Jesus said:“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s”, Mark 12:17.

I think Christians should submit to government authority up to the point where to do so brings disobedience to God. Then “We must obey God rather than men!” Acts 5:29. ‘Submit to’ means ‘to cooperate with’, and is the opposite of ‘rebelling against’.

1 Peter 2:11-25 teaches how we can do this.

May 2012.


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