Last Sunday was the English Remembrance Day, dating from the 1914-18 Great War.
As we reached the end of a sermon on war, and the fact that God was present always despite the horror of war, I was aware that while everything which had been said was true, it felt incomplete.
What was missing was the devil.
I don't really see how a Christian can properly address the topic of war without reference to Satan.
Without that reference we have - on the one hand, the sinfulness of men and on the other the Goodness of God - but what when the sinfulness of men becomes organized, purposive, when torments are not 'merely' a by product of military necessity but are planned and delighted in, relished?
A particular horror of war is the excuse and opportunity it gives for this kind of strategic sin that delights in inflicting atrocity.
This is, of course, the hallmark of the demonic in its extreme form - and ought to be labelled as such.
One reason why Christians should strive not to be worldly, is that in this world Satan is greatly powerful. The same delight in torture, the delight in the act of torture, is evident in at an everyday level in malicious gossip (i.e. 99 percent of discourse in the public arena), and in Schadenfreude - pleasure in the misfortune of others: a species of that most odious vice envy; and an almost ubiquitous and indeed socially-sanctioned sin from which few are immune and of which many openly boast.
Not the least evil of Leftism is that it puts envy at the core of politics; celebrates and institutionalizes envy, spite, delight in the misfortune of enemies; builds a vast edifice of policy and sanctions on envy.
The Left just is a coalition of envy.
When when it comes to war, Christians need to be aware that leaving-out the devil makes them sound unreal.
Ultimate eternal victory of God is assured; but meanwhile we are here on earth under the dominion of darkness; and we would not be thinking about war if that fact did not affect us.
The world, the flesh and the devil.