As an American and a Christian, I have been in conflict on my support for American-led Iraq war and also for the war on terror. Initially I was afraid and angry, wanting the US to wipe out all of the terrorists. I thought, "It's better to fight them over there than on our own turf." Yet it is hard to know what the true facts are when there is so much bias in the media. How can I make a right decision on who to vote for? I have pondered praying for my enemies, and realized that I have not been doing that. Am I wrong for supporting the war when I know that killing is wrong? I don't want to see another 9/11 happen! -- Jason Reichert (Atlanta)

I appreciate your gut level honesty, and willingness to engage the scriptures. I would begin with Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount, particularly Matthew 5. You might also want to read Driver's classic work on the early Christian attitude towards war. Praying for one's enemies is a classic mark of a true Christian. In American churches these days, it is extremely rare to find anyone praying for one's enemies, which shows how little we care to take Jesus' words seriously.

All I will say in this brief response is that though you may hold American citizenship, your true citizenship is in heaven. Your ultimate allegiance is to the Lord Jesus, not your national leaders. (Romans 13 requires obedience to government only insofar as you are not sinning, or going against your conscience.) The Lord Jesus is the one whose orders you are to obey.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.