The situation in Syria continues to ride on the front burner of American politics, and each side is shoring up their respective arguments. Much of the current debate revolves around Congressional approval of military strikes.

FoxNews reports, “Kerry told ‘Fox News Sunday’ that he couldn’t imagine Congress would ‘turn its back’ on Israel or other U.S. allies in the region and on the Syrians slaughtered in the Aug. 21 chemical weapon attack, allegedly ordered by President Bashar al-Assad.

‘I can’t contemplate that Congress would turn its back on all of that responsibility,’ Kerry said. ‘I don’t believe Congress will do that.’ ”

Whether for principle or mere distraction politics, some kind of decision will probably be made soon, but be that as it may. As Christians, we must seek counsel from God’s Word in such matters.

We have no specific chapter and verse in Scripture about the present dilemma in Syria, but we do have some principles of just war that can be gleaned from the text-something that was previously articulated. What also needs to be addressed here is the other side of the coin: worldview and the desire for freedom.

Men may want freedom, and we may work to build a case for just war in any particular region, but a crucial element must be present for men to actually live free without a persistent threat of tyranny or political reprisal: Christ. A nation must have the seed of the gospel, or it will always exchange one form of tyranny for another.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” (Psalm 33:12), is not an empty verse, for only a nation that is built upon a Biblical worldview contains the self-regulation and moral principles required to sustain a free society.  Attempts at nation building or nation stabilization will always fail otherwise.

What then do we make of Syria?

Like Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and every other Muslim/dictatorial country, there is not even the remotest foundation for a free society because Christ is rejected. For this reason, the gospel must always go in first. If the Lord sanctions a people to the gospel, then a bedrock platform is formed from which to build upon. Evangelism and prayer is the only way.

To go in with arms and attempt to build a free society that despises the Gospel is a fool’s errand. It is horrific to see tyranny played out, but to think that we can nation build upon a foundation of sand is beyond ignorance; it is rebellion. That should send tremors up our spines.

For this reason, it is not wise to intervene with arms in any foreign power, lest we perceive a real and serious imminent threat to our native soil or extremely close and historically reliable ally (something subject to debate). Even then, our goal is not to nation build but rather to eliminate the imminent threat.

Nevertheless, we do continue to send missionaries and pray for a revival in these idolatrous lands, for that is their only hope. Just as the individual has no hope apart from Christ, so is a nation hopeless without Christ. We must not be ashamed to confess that. We will face mockery and ridicule for such bold statements, but we cannot be true to Scripture if we advocate otherwise.