Are you worried that we are moving closer to World War III?
If you’re not, should you be?
An overlooked but critical alliance
President Joe Biden said yesterday that he has decided how to respond to Sunday’s attack on a military base in Jordan that killed three US troops and injured dozens of others, though he did not offer details. When asked if he holds Iran responsible, he said he does “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.”
In reply, Iran threatened this morning to “decisively respond” to any US attack.
Here’s one reason, overlooked by many, why Iran’s role in this escalating conflict should concern us: they are now part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an alliance led by Russia and China. This partnership will enable Iran to engage in commerce and trade arms more freely with both nations.
And, as the Center for Iranian Studies notes, Iran’s military strategy now “aligns with the strategic inclinations of the Beijing-Moscow alliance.”
Iran is already at war with Israel, our closest ally in the region, through its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, the West Bank, and Yemen. CIA Director William J. Burns noted in Foreign Affairs yesterday: “The Iranian regime has been emboldened by the crisis and seems ready to fight to its last regional proxy, all while expanding its nuclear program and enabling Russian aggression.”
If we find ourselves in direct military conflict with Iran, how will its allies in Moscow and Beijing respond?
“We are preparing for a conflict with Russia”
Vladimir Putin is massively boosting military spending this year and ramping up production of hardware from drones to aircraft. If resources for Ukraine are diverted to the Middle East, will this embolden him further?
In response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is presently conducting its largest military exercise in decades. The chairman of its Military Committee recently told reporters, “We are preparing for a conflict with Russia.”
If such a conflict comes, the US is bound by our NATO alignment to join the war.
Meanwhile, Iran’s other strategic partner, China, is intensifying military pressure on Taiwan. This as a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that the threshold for US military intervention in Taiwan likely isn’t an invasion from China but a lesser action such as Beijing restricting the island’s trade.
Iran, Russia, and China share one other commonality: they are all declining economically and demographically. British journalist Sherelle Jacobs notes: “What previous world wars teach us is that it is not confident and successful countries that start wars, but corroded and schizophrenic ones that both suffer from grandiose delusions and mortal dread of the future.”
After applying her thesis to all three countries, she warns: “World War III is approaching fast.”
8 percent of recorded history
My purpose today is not to predict the future. Nor is it to frighten you. Rather, it is to reinforce Charles Spurgeon’s simple observation: “Without Christ there is no hope.”
Humans have been entirely at peace for just 8 percent of our history. As many as a billion people have been killed in war.
But here’s the good news: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). As St. Irenaeus (c. 120–c. 203) explained in Against the Heresies:
The Word of God became man, the Son of God became the Son of Man, in order to unite man with himself and make him, by adoption, a son of God. Only by being united to one who is himself immune could we be preserved from corruption and death, and how else could this union have been achieved if he had not first become what we are? How else could what is corruptible and mortal in us have been swallowed up in his incorruptibility and immortality, to enable us to receive adoptive sonship?
In other words, God became one of us so we could become one with him.
“Before the cross expectant kneel”
John MacArthur is right:
“The only hope for this or any other society is to hear the word of the Lord and obey.”
Such hope is very real: every person who obeys the word of God is transformed by the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 5:17) and manifests “peace” as the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). Such people “pursue what makes for peace” (Romans 14:19) and “strive for peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14). As a result, “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).
How can we know and share such peace?
The British missionary J. R. Peacey wrote:
Let in the light; all sin expose
To Christ, whose life no darkness knows.
Before the cross expectant kneel;
That Christ may judge, and judging heal.
Awake, and rise up from the dead,
And Christ his light on you will shed.
Its power will wrong desires destroy,
And your whole nature fill with joy.
Have you knelt before the cross yet today?
Image credit: ©GettyImages/Zeferli
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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