Thinking for yourself

Hawk or dove—the moral wrestle with issues of the day can be spiritually inspired.

How do you reconcile the "turn the other cheek" mandate in the Bible with the need to defend and find justice? Since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the ensuing global diplomatic and military efforts to protect and defend against future attacks, many individuals watching their governments react have struggled with their own inner conflict about what constitutes a moral response. The Sentinel asked Ron Ballard, a full-time Christian Science healer and teacher living in Ashland, Oregon, to talk about how spiritual thinkers can find their way in decisionmaking. Ballard, whose early professional career was in political campaign management, explained that by trusting in God—divine intelligence—people can think for themselves and have confidence in the answers they find.

Is there a Christian Science view of war?

I don't believe there is a set Christian Science view or policy about war. Christian Science helps you gain deeper spiritual insight about the issues that confront humanity. There is a passage in Ephesians that I think lifts the issue of conflict away from people, cultures, and nations into recognition that what we—all of humanity—are warring against are the issues of evil. It says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (6:12).

A war historian's spiritual perspective
December 17, 2001

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