War and the Gospel

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=r06c-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1579101569&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr&npa=1In cleaning out some papers I came across this great quote from Jean Lasserre from his War and the Gospel (page 179). I originally found it in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. It remains as relevant today as then, and when it was written in 1962.

I absolutely agree with the commentary on the sixth commandment given by the Scottish Confession of 1560, quoted by Karl Barth: God orders us to ‘protect the life of the innocents, resist tyranny, help the oppressed,’ and forbids us to ‘tolerate the shedding of innocent blood when we could stop it.’ Probably the authors of the text saw it as an implicit justification of defensive wars, but I gladly accept it in its explicit formulation, even seeing it as a formal condemnation of war: for how can a Christian claim to be protecting the lives of the innocent if he begins destroying the lives of the other innocent people? How can he claim to be resisting tyranny if he begins exercising a tyranny as brutal and odious as the other? How can he help the oppressed if he becomes an oppressor himself, helping the oppressors on his side? How can he stop the shedding of innocent blood if he contributes to the shedding of innocent blood? Common sense agrees with God’s law in crying out: do not use high-sounding hypocritical euphemisms to gloss over a mutual slaughter which is nothing but a collective criminal madness. Murder does not protect anything, it destroys.