The Iraq Campaign and American Hypocrisy

From the June 2003 Trumpet Print Edition

Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right thing to do. Anyone with decency and respect for other human beings ought to support such action.

The problem is, the United States and Britain, though perhaps reflecting the best of human motivations, from a godly perspective went about this task the wrong way. As a result, these nations are bringing even greater condemnation upon themselves—a curse from God Himself.

God’s Point of View

Since September 11, 2001, President Bush has led the charge against terrorists at home and abroad, and rightfully so. Past political mistakes of the United States and a general disregard of the resultant dangers has led to the establishment of enemy cells of terror around the world. America now has many enemies and needs to protect itself.

Saddam Hussein was a ruthless tyrant for decades, committing many atrocities against his fellowman from the moment he assumed power. God condemns such evil.

Why then would forcefully removing him from power bring our own hypocrisy into focus before God? To answer that question, we must look at these events from God’s point of view.

The true cause to every problem or evil is explained in the Bible. The way to peace and harmony among individuals or nations is also explained. The true source of all knowledge, understanding and wisdom is the God of Abraham, Moses and David. This same God still holds the power to either bless man beyond his expectations or to bring horrible curses, condemnation and destruction upon him. Wouldn’t it make sense for individuals and nations to seek God’s will before taking such drastic action as international war?

Beware of Hypocrisy

When Jesus Christ walked this Earth, He explained how God wanted people to live. One thing He spoke very strongly against was hypocrisy. Notice how Christ defined this sin: “Ye hypocrites, well did [Isaiah] prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:7-9).

Certainly, Saddam Hussein is a hypocrite. He claimed to have complied with United Nations resolutions, but his heart was far from the desires of the international community.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 explains God’s perspective on human nature: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

The problem is, this scripture applies to everyone, not just to our enemies! We need to ask ourselves, when God searches the hearts of the people in the nations that are fighting against Saddam, what does He see?

We didn’t win this campaign in Iraq because of our righteousness.

Whether that was his primary motive or not, Osama bin Laden justified the attack on the Twin Towers of New York City by pointing to the immorality prevalent in Western civilization—an immorality we are spreading throughout the world. The plain truth is, God sees the same immorality, the same sins, in our people that bin Laden saw. Yet any suggestion that America needed to repent of personal and national sins was met with overwhelming criticism from the majority of tv and talk-radio personalities, as well as most government officials.

These sins and many others are the reasons why God did not protect our nation from that terrorist attack. This is not a popular message, but believe it or not, the United States is a hypocritical nation (Isa. 10:6), and it really did reap a “fruit of its doings.” Unless we repent, greater heartache lies ahead!

Look carefully at what Jesus taught: “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? … Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3-5).

Because Saddam is so evil, the U.S. led the coalition forces to remove the “mote” from his eye. Truly, such action would be perfectly justified—except for one very serious problem. By failing to remove the “beam” from our own eye first, we show ourselves to be a hypocritical nation, and the whole world knows it! More importantly, God knows it!

We clearly see Saddam’s sins, for they are many. The problem is, we have failed to see our own individual and national sins! We have such an urgent need to repent, yet we act very righteous as we proclaim freedom and democracy as the solution to all man’s problems. Yet freedom and democracy have clearly not solved the problems that are extant in our own nation!

We Are Being Judged

Jesus Christ also gave this very serious warning: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (vv. 1-2).

Herein lies the problem. What Saddam Hussein has been doing to the UN, the U.S. and Britain have been doing to God! How long have these nations refused to heed the warnings from God’s ambassadors of curses and great tribulation to come unless they destroy their own weapons of mass spiritual destruction?

Time is running out. God will soon take military action at a time of His choosing. God is promising a regime change to all nations that fail to heed this last warning, this final call to repentance.

God is mercifully giving us time to see our sins and repent. The battle with Iraq can teach us all a valuable lesson. The judgment our coalition nations brought against Saddam is the same type of judgment God will soon bring against us, primarily the U.S., Britain and its dominions, and Israel, if we do not repent. Those who continue to resist God will eventually die without mercy, just as the soldiers of Iraq who continued to fight died without mercy.

From God’s point of view, the United States is even more guilty than Saddam! Iraq does not profess to know the God revealed in the Holy Bible. The English-speaking nations, in particular the United States and Britain, claim to be God-fearing nations, but in reality they teach their own ideas (“the traditions of men”) about God and His laws.

As the Pledge of Allegiance says, the United States was established to be one nation “under God.” The British people sing their anthem “God Save the Queen.” But rather than setting the right example for other nations of how to live under God, we have brought shame upon God’s name, which we have taken in vain. Our national and individual sins will eventually bring great wrath against us, not only from other nations, but from God Himself.

A Quick Look at Our National Sins

The First Commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” In this day of political correctness, God has been reduced to a mysterious mythical creature that seems to approve of everything man decides to think about Him or do in His name. Everyone seems to agree that He is a God of love, one that only knows how to show mercy to all mankind. It seems no one sees that God’s supreme love also involves righteous judgment and wrath!

Where did people get this false concept of God? Definitely not from His Word, which clearly states: “… I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity [sins] of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exod. 20:5). God clearly promises to punish people for their sins, unless they repent. God goes on to explain that He shows mercy to those who “love me, and keep my commandments” (v. 6). Read Exodus 20:7-17 as God then enumerates eight more commandments: not taking God’s name in vain, keeping the Sabbath Day holy, honoring our parents, not killing (or even hating one another—Matt. 5:21-22), and avoiding the sins of adultery, stealing, lying and coveting what others have. All these sins are commonplace among the Anglo-American peoples and beyond!

Shortly before the Iraq campaign began, it was reported that in Kurdish communities small crowds throng to Internet cafes to surf the Web. The majority of these people scrape together their meager funds to see pornography, and to visit sexually related chatrooms originating from the U.S. and other Western nations. That seems to be one of the greatest influences our culture has had on even the most remote areas of the world. Is that the type of perverse “freedom” we are fighting to uphold? That is a national disgrace! Even international terrorists recognize that fact. Do we really think God will overlook such sins?

After 9/11, an effort to remove “under God” from the American Pledge of Allegiance became national news. Public outcry stemmed that movement briefly, but the court battle continues. In addition, efforts to remove the Ten Commandments from public buildings continue.

Today, half the U.S. population regularly attends a religious service of some kind—a relatively high figure for a Western nation. The current U.S. president has been more vocal about his trust and faith in God than any of his modern predecessors. Yet, despite our Christianity, the American lifestyle is—by its own “Christian” standard—dangerously base and immoral. Violent crime, pornography and drug abuse destroy the moral bedrock upon which the country was built. And though Bible sales rose after 9/11, so did porn sales.

By our actions, we are proving more and more to be a nation that is not “under God.”

Blessings or Curses?

Our nation ought not be known primarily for its corporate greed and distribution of pornography and raunchy movies. In fact, not even should the spreading of freedom and democracy be our primary goal! No, that is the road that will reap more curses against our nation. Read Deuteronomy 28:15-68 if you want to know what lies in store for people who continue to reject God and refuse to repent when their sins are revealed to them.

Our apparent success in Afghanistan and Iraq may make us more and more arrogant about our superior arms and weapons, but we fail to realize that we don’t have God’s support. Our leaders refuse to face even the simplest and most basic truths that God has revealed to man. As a result, even our victories will continue to turn into defeats. One battle simply leads to another and another. Soon our resources will be depleted. Political and moral divisions will sap our will to fight.

The Bible says that a “house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). We will never achieve peace our way. To have true peace, we must learn to do it God’s way!

Read also Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Discover the blessings that come to those who serve the one true God according to His desires. If we were a nation living by God’s standard, we would not have a “beam” in our own eye interfering with our vision and judgment. If we obeyed God rather than following our own traditions, men like Saddam Hussein would never become threats to us. When tyrants did begin to rise to power, we would know how to deal with them in a way that would be pleasing to God. We would make decisions that would lead to peace. God would fight our battles for us, and war as we know it would be averted.

Is our nation really fighting to preserve what is right and true in God’s eyes, or are we fighting to uphold our own traditions?

Before going into battle, our troops greeted the prayers of a chaplain with rousing cheers of approval and thanksgiving. But about now that victory is achieved? Once they return home to their families and jobs, will they pray every day? Will they search the Scriptures for the answers to life’s problems? Will they obey what the Bible says, or will they continue to live according to the “traditions of men”? Will they make America strong through their personal example by living a godly life on a daily basis? Isn’t such “foxhole religion” just another proof of our hypocrisy?

A Call to Repentance

In March, the House of Representatives with an overwhelming vote of 346-49 passed a resolution calling for a national day of “humility, prayer and fasting.” This resolution said Americans should use this day “to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation.” This resolution did not make the headlines. It did not make the lead story on the nightly news. The president of the United States did not sign it into law, and very few Americans even knew about it.

Lip service! That is all this is. If our leadership and people were really sincere, if we were truly humble before God, we would begin to change our ways! The truth is, our people are hypocrites—by nature just as stiffnecked as Saddam! We may not be as openly evil, but we are certainly not yet willing to rid ourselves of our weapons of mass spiritual destruction!

There are many in America who over-zealously interpret the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …”) to strictly keep God out of government at all costs. Many think a national day of fasting and prayer is a clear violation of the “separation of church and state”—when, in fact, America was founded on biblical, Christian virtues, and has called for such days of humility twice before (in 1776 and 1863).

We must decide if we are going to be a nation “under God” or not. If we are, then we had better turn to God with our whole heart before it is too late!

Individually, we all face the same challenge. Ask yourself, Am I going to live my life ‘under God’? If the answer is yes, then there must be some drastic changes made. Individually, we don’t have to wait for our national leaders to proclaim a day of fasting and humiliation. We can do that anytime. But we must realize that true repentance is not done with the lips only. It is done through a change of heart that shows up in our actions. We must begin to live by every word of God (Prov. 30:5). That takes daily study and prayer. It takes meditation and fasting. It takes proper instruction from those who really know the truth of the Holy Bible.

We must not have the stiffnecked, fearful attitude that would cause us to reject these truths. We must have the humble, contrite attitude of a child seeking knowledge and acceptance from a loving parent. Then God will fight our battles for us.

Will we surrender to God and change or ways, or will we fight to the death to preserve a way of life that is badly flawed and on its way out? (Deut. 30:19-20). God will be forced to punish us severely if we don’t wake up. The warning message is still going out, but soon we will have received the last resolution, the final warning, that God plans to give us. We can learn from Saddam’s mistake.