All is not fair in time of war. Biblical values must guide our policy.

At press time, the outcome of the Persian Gulf conflict was not clear, but certain biblical values were. Following is a guest editorial by J. Dudley Woodberry of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission.

Saddam Hussein fancies himself the successor of Nebuchadnezzar. God gave a message to Belshazzar, another of Nebuchadnezzar’s successors: “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” But for justice and peace to “kiss each other” in the present crisis, we all need to see what weighs heavily on God’s scales.

The first quality that weighs heavily in God’s balances is loyalty first to God and then to Caesar. American Christians are in danger of equating the two in a blind patriotism. Yet, as long as we remember the priority of allegiance to God, there is an obligation to human governments that have the power of the sword for punishment. Although some Christians disagree, I believe Scripture teaches that it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice some lives in order to save others. Vengeance is God’s, but love demands that we defend the innocent and the oppressed.

The second quality that tips God’s balances is repentance. The colonialism that drew most boundaries in the Middle East was Western. Oil and commerce were exploited, while local people were treated as pawns. During the 1980s, the U.S. looked the other way when Iraq supported terrorism. In 1990, the U.S. gave the impression it would not use force to protect Kuwait. When we did, it was a selective defense of justice, since our government has not acted similarly to protect other peoples when oil has not been involved.

A third quality is humility. Babel and Babylon are linked in Scripture ...

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