“More and more for machines that kill, less and less for things that invest in our future and enhance our society. There is a theological word for this kind of thing: sin.
Let me offer two important disclaimers. First, the above comparisons should not in any way be interpreted as a devaluing of our brave men and women in the armed services, nor disrespect for the incredible burden that they and their families bear, nor an illusion that we do not need a military. Secondly, I am not in any way suggesting that there is not waste and abuse present in other areas. Inefficiency is a constant problem in government, and no program holds the answers to all our society’s ills.
The above comparisons simply serve to illustrate a pretty obvious truth: we have a problem of priorities.
It is not just a question of politics and budgeting, however. It is spiritual issue. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
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Are we to become a gutted fortress with thick, fortified walls around the perimeter but with no way of life worth defending left on the inside? This is a spiritual issue, and our current reality is something against which Scripture paints an entirely different vision.
Outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York, there is a statue created by Evgeniy Vuchetich and gifted to us by the Soviet Union in 1959 as “a symbol and expression of the desire … for general disarmament.” The sculpture is a visual representation of the prophet Micah’s vision of God’s reign: “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.” God has placed us here to proclaim and live this promise of a new world, what Jesus called “the kingdom of God.”
We have a spiritual problem. It is not a hidden problem; it is in plain sight in our budgets, priorities and rhetoric. But there is another vision, another way; and it’s up to the people of God to be its champion.”