The Turkey decision and God’s standard

There are those who adamantly support President Donald Trump’s move to allow Turkey to invade the area in Syria held by the Kurds. There are those who just as passionately oppose the move. Christians who support the president seem to be among those with very strong opinions one way or the other. Irrespective of how you feel about the foreign policy decision, as Christians we have a standard that we are to hold to—that is the Holy Scriptures. So often, the Bible is used to justify one political decision over another, yet it may not be applied consistently across all politicians. The foreign policy decision by the president is an example of this back and forth of Biblical applications.

The Kurds are a widely hated people. The Iranians don’t like them. The Turks don’t like them. The Syrians don’t like them. The Turks believe them to be terrorists and a threat to the Turkish government, and want them destroyed. The Kurds, however, are great fighters. With assistance from the United States over the years, the Kurds played a large roll in fighting ISIS. They depended on US backing. The president’s decision to pull troops off the border with Turkey was not as consequential as his policy decision to conditionally allow Turkey to invade the Syrian border. Turkey, however, didn’t comply with the conditions and even began bombing US positions. This is the true Turkey of the foreign policy decision.

The president’s decision had several results—both good and bad. It withdrew US troops from harms way (sort of); It left all the warring parties and enemies there to fight among themselves; It may have assisted Israel’s security by creating a diversion on the Northern border; It further destabilized the area; It put US nuclear weapons in Turkey in danger; It turned our backs on US allies; It resulted in ISIS prisoners escaping; It endangered lives of Christians and Kurds to suffer extreme violence; It put the remaining US troops in harms way; and because Turkey didn’t hold to its agreement, the president is now faced with undoing what he did, and Congress overwhelmingly (both parties) oppose his action.

Christian support of the president’s decision appears to rely on two Biblical principles: Romans 13:1 that “The powers that be are ordained of God,” and since Turkey is an end time player, Trump’s decision hastens Christ’s return. Criticism of President Trump is met with strong resistance and even hostility among many Christians. Criticism of the previous president was met with strong support among the same Christians. If the standard against criticism is that all leaders are established by God, then all leaders should be exempt from criticism. Are we to have it both ways? Let’s not mock God. Decisions can be either bad or good, irrespective of the leader. As to hastening the return of Christ, God will have his way on his own time. We cannot stop the march of prophecy, we just don’t want to be marching with the evil side no matter the political party.

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Bill Wilson

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