"As non-Muslim Arabs and citizens of Israel, many of us have adopted a cynical, seen-it-all, spectator pose," Nazareth Baptist School director Botrus Mansour wrote in an article for Christianity Today's website. "We imagined we would have the same attitude in this round of reprisals between Israel and Hezbollah."

The attitude was even more common among Western Christians, with countless Mercutios proclaiming "a plague on all your houses." But on all whose houses? In Lebanon, Hezbollah troops fired rockets from Christian towns, knowing Israel would be more heavily criticized for retaliating there. One woman fleeing Ain Ebel told The New York Times that Hezbollah fighters were killing some who tried to leave. The Times noted that interviewed Christians "considered Hezbollah's fighting methods as much of an outrage as the Israeli strikes." As much.

The Western Christian response to the Middle East conflict is to shake our head at what seems like a familiar series of events and moralize a solution, something between Rodney King's "Can't we all just get along?" and President Bush's "Stop doing this [stuff ] and it's over."

"It is often said that 'everyone' really wants peace," wrote CT columnist David P. Gushee. But really, he continued, "the desire for peace, while Godgiven, competes in the human heart with the desire for destruction—at least, the destruction of one's enemies. … We must pray that cooler heads will prevail, and that our own government will undertake policies to help foster a reduction of tensions in the region."

"Please, Christians! Let's grow up and get over our childish wishes." That was the response to Gushee from Martin Accad, the academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon. Like ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.