These places are so screwed up. Should we even be there?
And to that i say, emphatically, easily, without reserve or question,
But not as we have been.
Man keeps seeking political and sociological solutions to a theological problem. It isn't that these men don't have beliefs or freedom or education or prosperity...
They don't have Jesus.
Yeah, i know how that sounds. White man's burden. Holy roller. Pick yer slur. But the truth is the Truth. Only God changes lives and hearts. Only God can make men stop WANTING to kill each other and lord it over each other and steal from each other and hate each other. Only God can make two disparate tribes unite. We should instinctively know this, we should be able to see it in our own culture. As we lose Christ and his Word, our culture divides. Along party lines, along socio-economic lines, along racial lines, along gender lines, along denominational lines. God, from the beginning said it was not good for man to be alone and then, he gave Adam... not a buddy. Not another guy friend. Not someone just like him. He gave him Eve. Someone completely unlike him in every way except one rib! And he knitted them together! Only Christ can do this! Only Christ takes away our sin and therefore our shame and need to justify ourselves! Only Christ takes away our pride, we are all sinners saved by His grace alone. None can say to the other, my people are inherently better than yours. You are a dog. No, that man was made in the image of God! God loved him, he is fearfully and wonderfully made and you cannot just put a .223 caliber bullet into his head at 2500 feet per second without grieving Him, without giving it another thought, without knowing you have just killed something, some ONE beautiful. The world is now poorer for no matter how sinful that man was, nothing is impossible for God and therefore, he was redeemable!
"And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.”" Matt 28
Jesus told us to go. He knew the risks, he knew the dangers, he warned us ahead of time. So maybe instead of spending millions of dollars to train and equip mercenaries to be ambassadors of the Way of Death, we should be spending millions to train and equip missionaries to be apostles in the Way of Life.
"And he said, “The kingdom of God is like this: like a man scatters seed on the ground. And he sleeps and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he does not know how. By itself the soil produces a crop: first the grass, then the head of grain, then the full grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he sends in the sickle right away, because the harvest has come.”
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? It is like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, although it is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground, but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade.”" Mark 4