He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
It is clear from the plain reading of scripture, that God's intention is to end war and its brutality as the means in which nations, peoples, and tribes relate to one another.
From a Christian perspective, one of God's aims through Jesus Christ was unity of all people, not based upon ethnicity, nationality, culture, or families, but based upon the person and work of Jesus. This is the remarkable thing about the good news of Jesus, is that it radically sought to demolish the divisions and fractures that have defined humanity since its inception (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Its interesting that when we talk about allowing Christ to work through us to accomplish Kingdom goals, we rarely see ending war and warfare as one of those goals. We know of the horrific consequences of warfare, particularly modern warfare, but somewhere and somehow we have accepted the notion that war is something to endemic to human nature that it is normative. We do not challenge the assumption of the inevitibility of war, even if it is something that scripture clearly identifies as something that Jesus would end.
There is a theological justification that many churches use to defend their complicity with war. It goes like this: When Jesus returns he will end war, but until then, there is nothing we can do. That is the epitome of a deadened faith. Once upon a time, slavery was seen as a normative experience. When abolitionists began to fight slavery, one of the very real responses was that it has always been in the world and it will not change until Jesus returns. Well, Jesus is alive and active and seeking people who will allow him to work through them to accomplish his kingdom agenda.
I believe the war is inevitable because we are apathetic and afraid. The ending of war as a strategy and a way of relating stabs at the heart of something we value more than almost anything: our security.
I believe that ending war as a common strategy in the world can be done and should be done. It doesnt mean that the means of protecting the most innocent, curtailing aggression and exploitation takes a back seat. It means that the kingdom of God does have tools and resources that allow for that as an alternative of war.
I know that this sounds naive, but I would argue on a world theatre that ending war is about as absurd as ending slavery. Although slavery still exists in parts of the world, its presence is seen nearly universally as condemned and criminal. I believe we can get there with war, but it will take a Church that is sold out to the way and will of Jesus.
No more War! Isn't that a vision worth celebrating, participating and advocating for!
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor