10 June 2004

Iraq minute, edited into something coherent ...

I'm so impressed by the great editing job the Northwest Yearly Meeting's Peace and Social Concern board did with the minute on Iraq that will be presented at the Yearly Meeting sessions in July:

Note - this is still a draft:

Proposed minute on Iraq #2
June 1, 2004

The Holy Spirit gives us the ability and responsibility to witness events in Iraq as ambassadors of Christ, not concealing our distress, our concern, even our tears. We search our hearts and the Scriptures, bearing in mind Jesus’ teachings on the true spiritual warfare, and as Friends we make the following statements:

The war in Iraq was begun and continues in unrighteousness. Political permission for this war was obtained through several layers of deceit. President Bush, a Christian himself, suggests that God called him to war. Yet we see from centuries of history that leaders in war have excused immoral action by claiming that God was on their side. We reject the assumption that God led us to invade Iraq.

The President also said: “We’ve got tough work there because, you see, there are terrorists there who would rather kill innocent people than allow for the advance of freedom. That’s what you’re seeing going on. These people hate freedom. And we love freedom.” We believe that this is an inadequate basis for a policy that results in hundreds and thousands of deaths, international outrage, and a loss of credibility for our nation and our faith. We fear that our President shows no awareness that what we mean by “freedom” is seen by some as freedom for pornography, vulgarity, the objectification of women, trespassing on Islamic holy lands and unconditional approval of Israeli policies against Palestinians.

The New Testament command to love our enemies cannot mean less than to repent of national arrogance in our treatment of Iraq; to distinguish the specific case of Iraq from the general problem of terrorism, and to seek to understand the grievances held by those who consider themselves our enemies.

Iraq Prayer #3

Precious Lord, we pray that the Holy Spirit will accompany us in our statements and acts as citizens of this country. We ask for a spirit of wisdom and repentance to be in our churches and in the leadership councils of our country. We pray for President Bush, for wisdom, protection and refreshment. Give him wisdom for Iraq, and courage to set faithfulness above appearances, especially amidst the pressures of this political season. We pray for the Americans serving in Iraq, and those who serve them from other countries. Please protect them, and give them eyes of love for the Iraqi people. We pray for our brothers and sisters in faith in Iraq; strengthen their witness. Help them to know through your Holy Spirit that we love them. For those in Iraq who do not know you, we pray that our witness, even our resistance to national arrogance and our raising up a higher standard of Christianity, might open their eyes to the freedom and salvation to be found in you. And we pray that those in Islamic countries might see Northwest Yearly Meeting’s mission efforts through eyes of love and peace rather than our nation’s spirit of vengeance and war.

I'm told that a couple of churches in the Yearly Meeting have already adopted minutes along these lines.

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