What good is the United Nations? Should a Christian support it? These two questions at the present time receive very different answers from Christian people.

One group is frankly and outspokenly antagonistic. The United Nations has no Christian basis, it is purely secular, and it is heading for world government. Therefore, the Western, so-called Christian nations, should pull out.

At the other extreme are people who hold quite a different view. To their way of thinking the United Nations is a bulwark of peace for it obliges the nations to discuss their mutual differences, and helps to bring better living conditions to the “have-nots” of the world. Christians, they hold, should support it wholeheartedly because it is doing what Christianity demands: practicing the love of one’s neighbor.

A Christian Criticism

Neither of these views, however, seem to be completely valid. The United Nations, like any other human institution, must be looked at critically from the Christian point of view. It has possibilities of great good, but it also has possibilities of great evil, so that one can never voice absolute praise or absolute condemnation. Rather one must endeavor to see its good points, its bad points, and even speak for points which might be improved.

Since the United Nations is primarily a political institution, we might begin our evaluation by recalling the Christian evaluation of political government in general. The basic biblical datum is that all civil government is the creation of God (Rom. 13:1 f.). It exists not for the purpose of preaching the Gospel or administering the sacraments but to maintain peace and justice, that men may be able to live upon this earth with at least a certain amount of personal and economic security. ...

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