Dan Juster

Director
Tikkun Ministries International
 
 
"Today, former President Bill Clinton says his inaction in the matter is one of his great regrets."






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"The wounds of centuries cannot be overcome without the power of the Gospel and forgiveness."
 
 
Read this article in French

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it??
Does not he who guards your life know it?
And will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

(Proverbs 24:11-13)

This is an amazing text and a moral imperative for every person of every rank or position in society. It is a mandate to preserve the lives of others. The implications for evangelism are profound. Indeed, many are those who are staggering toward eternal death. The passage also has profound application for the humanitarian work of the Body of Messiah.

International Military Action to Rescue Those Led to Death

However, I do not want to emphasize these applications here. Rather, I want to apply this text to the issue of the morality of governmental leaders and war. This is something which greatly interests me. It is one of the reasons I rejected the pacifism of my college years. I especially desire to address the behavior of democratic republics. The violation of this principle by government leaders can be seen throughout history. Let us consider a few recent examples.

President Roosevelt and the Holocaust (1940's)

One of the most profound disappointments in modern history was the failure of President Roosevelt to act during the Second World War to prevent the slaughter of six million Jews. Jewish leaders pleaded with the President to bomb the rail lines taking Jews to the death camps. In spite of clear intelligence information, he refused to do so and claimed that this would hinder the war effort. It would hardly have done so, since it would have been at little cost to the United States, and such an act could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Rwanda in the 1990s

Then we look at Rwanda. In just four months, from April to mid-July 1994, more than 500,000 Tutsis were slaughtered by the Hutus. Some say it was upwards of 800,000. Today, former President Bill Clinton says his inaction in the matter is one of his great regrets. The United Nations, the European Union, and NATO stood aside - wringing their hands but doing nothing - as the Tutsis were systematically killed. Only the advent of a Tutsi army that eventually took over, was able to end the massacre.

Syria (2010-?)

The current ongoing situation in Syria is profoundly disturbing. Well over 200,000 have died. Chemical weapons have been used, possibly by both sides. Witnessed, documented human atrocities are without number. The West clearly had the power to stop it, but opposed by Russia and China and burnt by the recent events in Libya, felt unable to act unilaterally. An enforced no-fly zone would have sufficed.

Iraq: The Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL (2013-?)

Today the United States and a coalition of nations confronts one of the most diabolically evil movements that the world has seen since Hitler and Stalin: the threat of the radical and violent movement that calls itself the Islamic State. Thank God that some action is finally being taken. Western nations, afraid of being drawn into another protracted "boots on the ground" military operation like Afghanistan, are hoping that air-strikes and humanitarian aid will suffice. But those measures do not seem to be enough, especially in the present fighting for the Kurdish town of Kobani on the Syrian - Turkish border. For their own evil reasons, the Turks stand by as their neighbors are slaughtered.

Arguments for and against Involvement

Some oppose any involvement in such situations. They say that nations should be guided only by the principle of national self-interest. However, some argue that a benevolent orientation to other nations is actually in the national self-interest since it creates friends and not enemies. But that is as far as they will go. However, a follower of Yeshua must always act in love in all situations! This means seeking the best for the most people.

What are the Principles?

Military action is always dangerous and sometimes leads to unpredictable results, but I believe that for every person who claims to be moral, especially those who claim to act according to biblical norms, there is a clear test of behavior. If a nation or nations together have the power to stop genocide (the intentional destruction of a racial, ethnic or religious group) and slaughter, with losses that are proportionately small compared to the number of lives saved, that nation or group of nations is morally bound to do so. There are biblical humanitarian norms that are more important than national self-interest.

Human Rights and Support for Governments

In addition, those governments that truly practice respect for all human beings, and those with at least a significant degree of human rights, should gain our greatest support. We can even have decent relationships with authoritarian regimes if they allow for a modicum of decency and human rights in their societies. But those who are the most oppressive should not receive our support, even if it appears to be to our benefit. This would place international relations on a moral basis. Yes, sometimes we would have to choose the lesser of two evils with the powers of this world, but we should not do so lightly.

The Bush Policy in Iraq

On this basis, the Bush administration policy toward Iraq was very problematic. Yes, Saddam Hussein used poison gas and slaughtered thousands. Yet, under the Baathists, Christians and religious minorities had protection. Therefore, when the Bush administration decided to remove all the existing government officials and to establish a new democratic republic, I became very concerned. Would the Shiite majority that would certainly be elected, not turn around and oppress the Sunnis who had previously oppressed them? I thought it would be better to remove Saddam himself, and then tell the Baathists to cooperate with the world. The results were as expected. The Shiites allied with Iran (a Shiite state) and oppressed the Sunnis. Thus the Sunnis embraced the Islamic State so as to fight the Shiites. So predictable! The wounds of centuries cannot be overcome without the power of the Gospel and forgiveness. In addition, establishing a democratic republic takes many decades of discipleship in human rights and democratic principles. So in Iraq, we did not ultimately rescue the perishing, but un-leashed demonic forces for death.

Conclusion

If a nation has the power with proportionately low casualties, to stop mass destruction and genocide, then it has an obligation to do so. I believe God will harshly judge such leaders who allow this to take place when they have the power to stop it.

By Daniel Juster
Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International Donate to Tikkun International.
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Comments:
08:29 27Nov14 Uta Schmidt -
Yes it is true. There is a huge difference between victims and evildoers. Time does not heal, not even in 70 years. But I truly believe that he heals his victims even when they are not able to know HIM. Yeshua knows his people better than they know him. He knows their pains and their remembrances, which they have in body and soul. These heroes who are so misunderstood for such long times are his diamonds. We (Germans) have to bow before these wounded soldiers of the King of Kings. They need to be honored instead of ignoring their long sufferings. I believe that there is a special place for the Lazaruses which are hungry thirsty and tortured, they are near to Yeshuas heart ... on the other side in the kingdom of God they will not suffer longer. Yeshua has provided for them a table with all things they did not have on earth

10:44 27Nov14 Elhanan ben-Avraham -
Well said. I could not agree more that Bush was naive, and that democracy cannot be planted from American bombers into the Islamic world. He may have thought of an earlier Turkey as a model, but the rest of the Muslim world is in no way groomed for democracy as the west knows it, and which was primed over time by the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

11:49 28Nov14 Shirley Braggs -
I am so shocked and so tired of the pacifist attitude within the body of Messiah. I don't understand the apathy towards Israel, and, now,towards the slaughter of of those who will not align themselves with radical muslims, including our brothers and sisters in Messiah. If we, in America, are untouched by it, it is so we can fight against it in prayer, in humanitarian assistance and in political influence to spur our nation to take action against such atrocities. I thank you for your courage in, boldly, speaking on this subject. My prayer is that G_d would use us here in America to support Israel, speak on behalf of her sovereinty as a nation, on behalf of Jewish people everywhere, to stand against tyranny all over the earth and to comfort and aid those who are suffering persecution in the body of Messiah and preach the Gospel to those who are suffering alongside them and those who would hear it amongst their oppressors. I also pray that we would not think ourselves so blessed financially in order that we can indulge in personal extravagance, but rather, that we might aid those in need and support those who go to render that aid. Let this be our occupation until He comes.

  -- Dr Juster replies: May we have the courage to stand for those who are being led to slaughter.

12:01 29Nov14 Anonymous -
Thank you for writing this article. I am glad that you bring this up. I agree that political leaders have the power to turn some crisis around if the Gentile church can fast and intercede like Moses, Queen Esther, Daniel, Jesus, Paul the apostle, pushing back the power of darkness, the spirit of murder.

14:46 29Nov14 Lynda Strutt -
I'm a female Canadian who reveres Romeo Dallaire's efforts in Rwanda. Glad I can read French. I pray for Canada's involvement to stop ISIS.

  -- Dr Juster replies: I hope you are successful.

22:02 30Nov14 Sue Blake -
What about the individuals who could make a difference by speaking out and don't ? We could be speaking up right now and are being ruled by being politically correct also.

  -- Dr Juster replies: So very true. May we speak out indeed.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster's article in French: Delivre Ceux Qu'On Traine A La Mort
Moshe Morrison: Dedicated to What?
Avi: Destiny Transition
Leon Mazin: Watching in Amazement
Tents of Mercy: A Man's Journey
Asher Intater: Pleased to Crush
Revive Israel: Zhang Fuheng