George Washington’s words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. ‘To be prepared for war,’ he said, ‘is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.’ [Peace Through Strength, Across the Centuries: True Then, True Today by John Heubusch].
If you have ever studied the history of the second world war, you know that England, against the repeated counsel of Winston Churchill, pursued a policy of appeasement with Nazi Germany. Chamberlain came back from a meeting with Hitler waving a piece of paper in his hand and boasting he had achieved “peace in our time.” Then Hitler invaded Poland and the slaughter of millions took place.
We can find many examples, some of them very recent ones, of politicians insisting that the way to deal with tyrannical, totalitarian, oppressive regimes is to appease them. Give them what they want. Don’t upset them. This is sheer foolishness. It has never worked and it will never work. Evil is never appeased. The wicked are never satisfied.
Jer 5:26-28 For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. (27) Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; (28) they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
Most pastors, church leaders, and local church members teach and are taught that the way to deal with evil is to appease it. The thing disguises itself with terms like love, mercy, patience, reconcile, forgiveness and so on. God’s Word tells us plainly that we are in a war with the devil and his kingdom, that we are to put on the armor of God and stand firmly against that evil, but for all the talk about “spiritual warfare” in churches, the fact is that in practice these things are denied. Instead, appeasement is the thing exalted.
For instance, what is happening when a victim of a wicked domestic abuser comes to her pastor for help and she is told to go home and be a better wife? Be a better Christian, they tell her. Submit more. Keep the house cleaner. Overlook the fact that he reviled you last night. What is happening here? I can tell you. It’s obvious. She is being told (ordered in fact) to appease the evil man. She is being commanded, supposedly with God’s authority, to do whatever she can to appease her oppressor and he will then see the error of his ways and be satisfied. Really?
Psa 10:8-10 He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; (9) he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net. (10) The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.
The Bible tells us that if we are going to enjoy peace, if we are to be victorious over the wicked man, then we must expose his evil, not keep silent about it or feed him what he lusts for. We are to put the wicked man out from among us. We are to be wise about evil and understand that its appetite for widows and orphans will never be satisfied. We are to be truly Christlike, and that means we are to deal with evil and our Lord Jesus Christ did:
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Does that sound like appeasement? I don’t think so. I don’t think they were appeased by Jesus’ words. So don’t listen to people who tell you to deal with your abuser by appeasing him. It won’t work. It has never worked. It is not God’s way.