Sunday, May 03, 2009

Which Way Europe?

Mr. Gorbachev has certainly inspired a hope for a better world, particularly among Europeans. But one fundamental question remains. "The idea of a 'common European home' finds understanding among prominent...public figures of...Europe." What happens to a Europe no longer under the shadow and influence of a United States and Soviet Union? After all, Mikhail Gorbachev's vision, turned into reality, must lead to an essentially new Europe. Can the Europeans remain at peace left to themselves? The record of history is not reassuring. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) called them "nations of eternal war." Will this epithet apply to the future? Today's world is only a global village. No nation would escape if another European-centered war erupted. Enter Jesus of Nazareth. What would he say about Mr. Gorbachev's view of a better world? He would certainly agree that nations must beat their swords into plowshares, if humanity is to survive. He told an enthusiastic disciple who was ready to fight, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52, New King James Version). That applies to nations as well as individuals. In our age, if one advanced nation takes up the sword against another, all will be involved. The world is too small for any would-be isolationist strategy. Jesus would also heartily endorse the world's need for "a new way of thinking," as Mr. Gorbachev put it, if mankind is to enjoy lasting peace and prosperity.

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