History reveals without too much difficulty that religious belief has been the well-spring of philosophical thought so as to engage in military conflict. The ancients let alone the Old Testament reveals this, as did Rome.
English history and it's War of the Roses and the Magna Carter is just one of many political examples. It ultimately led three hundred years later giving Henry VIII the go for national religious independence.
We might even consider the Spanish conquests of Latin America where a very clear stated purpose was to bring the Roman Church to the conquest. We might even be so bold as to suggest the British rule of India accompanied by so many Christian missions might be somewhere along that same philosophical thought.
That the Muslim fighters were stopped at the gates of Vienna in the 14th century historians are of no doubt, saved Europe for Christianity. The carve up of the Ottoman Empire after WWI had as much political (divide and conqueror) as religious considerations.
Perhaps not WWI but certainly WWII had a "freedom" aspect as opposed to "Nazi slavery" with religious overtones and if that could in any way be contested at the time, the revelations of the concentration camps left no doubt as to its varsity.
Now today, the call for an Islamic Caliphate has all these same characteristics, where politics and religion are in the thick of it, but more so, in Islam the politic is the religion determined for the Muslim. It is characterised and exhibited as being one and the same.
Protestants call their world view as the providence of God in order that the freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ illuminates people's hearts and minds to greater justice for all. Therefore the philosophy stands good to fight the good fight for both Salvation of the soul and salvation from political slavery.
Why is Israel any different
Turning our attention to our era, there appears to be very different rules when it comes to Israel and its right to have a continuing existence. Even some Christians have labelled Israel as apartheid, when any alternative policy would see the Jews lose political control of their own country.
So it was with much interest therefore to read Israel's Ron Prossor's speech to the United Nations.
This is just a snippet.
I stand before the world as a proud representative of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I stand tall before you knowing that truth and morality are on my side. And yet, I stand here knowing that today in this Assembly, truth will be turned on its head and morality cast aside.
The world's unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East. As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.
I stand before you to speak the truth. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free – and they are all citizens of Israel. Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court. Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.
Nonetheless, nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticise Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression. Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state.
Sixty seven years ago this week, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Simple. The Jews said yes. The Arabs said no. But they didn't just say no. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon launched a war of annihilation against our newborn state.
According to the United Nations, about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced in the war initiated by the Arabs themselves. At the same time, some 850,000 Jews were forced to flee from Arab countries. The difference is that Israel did its utmost to integrate the Jewish refugees into society. The Arabs did just the opposite.
The worst oppression of the Palestinian people takes place in Arab nations. In most of the Arab world, Palestinians are denied citizenship and are aggressively discriminated against. They are barred from owning land and prevented from entering certain professions.
Every European parliament that voted to prematurely and unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state is giving the Palestinians exactly what they want – statehood without peace. By handing them a state on a silver platter, you are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate or compromise or renounce violence. You are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price.
The State of Israel is the land of our forefathers – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is the land where Moses led the Jewish people, where David built his palace, where Solomon built the Jewish Temple, and where Isaiah saw a vision of eternal peace.
For thousands of years, Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel. We endured through the rise and fall of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman Empires. And we endured through thousands of years of persecution, expulsions and crusades. The bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land is unbreakable. Nothing can change one simple truth – Israel is our home and Jerusalem is our eternal capital.
We are ready for peace, but we are not naïve. Israel's security is paramount. Only a strong and secure Israel can achieve a comprehensive peace. Hamas's genocidal charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide. For years, Hamas and other terrorist groups have sent suicide bombers into our cities, launched rockets into our towns, and sent terrorists to kidnap and murder our citizens.
As I stand before you today I am reminded of all the years when Jewish people paid for the world's ignorance and indifference in blood. Those days are no more. We will never apologise for being a free and independent people in our sovereign state. And we will never apologise for defending ourselves.
Should the reader dispute my analysis at the beginning of this article, surely now, we have ISIS (Death Cult) wanting to destroy the existing statuesque of Middle East politics and establish their own caliphate for all Muslims demonstrates the critique. Yet, Israel the only democratic nation in that region stands as a bulwark against this surrounding Islamic threat to life and limb.
Now the thrust. All the above illustrates the nature of the mix between religion and politics.
The danger of separating politics and Christianity is the lack of justice. Politicians caught in a hot place don't want true justice. The do-gooders with a world view that fails the test of the tyrants of history and today, subjugates this kind of justice as it demands a rejection of atheism. There is a God who is ultimately in charge.
Ponder this therefore, that Christianity at its core of true justice – it illustrates the Cross of Calvary as front and centre of a loving justice. This is bewildering yet marvellous. It's earth shattering. Ultimately, the Scriptures says it brings in a new world.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html