The foundation for understanding reality is the Word of God.
The root nature of the Fall is trusting human perception and reason versus divine revelation. Human perception and reason is tainted by space-time awareness, among other things, so the long term view is badly broken. Short term perceptions dominate human thinking. Further, the arrogance of intellect suppresses a humble awareness of fallen human desires that form the hidden rationale for a great many assumptions about what is really necessary. Thus, common fallen human awareness of reality, and the resulting proposals for dealing with reality, are always deeply stained with selfish desire.
So motivations and values cannot be objective. This is why there is such a huge obsession with logic and debate, trying so hard, and in vain, to establish some objective reasonable standard for consensus. There will never be a consensus, only tribal loyalties, consciously acknowledged or not. One man’s peace is another man’s warfare. Revelation itself says quite loudly that we should not seek global consensus, but that we should scatter across the earth as tiny national tribes with the occasional conflict in competition for resources.
Then the question is properly a matter of gaining God’s favor on the tribe so as to obtain shalom. And in this context, we can summarize shalom as reasonable prosperity, resistance against disease, dominance against tribal enemies, and internal social stability. That last item is both goal and reward, the crux of our duty to divine revelation. Peace between tribes is not a requirement under Biblical Law, though seeking peaceful coexistence is always a hope that should temper our struggle for resources.
Biblical Law requires that we recognize when neighboring tribes hold evil aspirations. We are obliged to properly discern when another tribes worships demons, and what that will bring. We are required to trust in God as we prepare to defend against the evil that drives them.
War is not a curse; it is a necessary element in our fallen existence. The supposedly reasonable call for peace always masks an unacknowledged desire to maintain certain advantages. The only people calling for peace are those who already have their advantages and have the means to exploit the resources of others. Thus, the antiwar philosophical position is not a human universal; it is not objectively reasonable for those who are starving and exploited. Humans are pathologically unable to come to terms globally because they cannot operate in genuine altruism. Even when we can understand the theory of peaceful coexistence and prosperity, we are broken and incapable of making it happen. The theory doesn’t account for human fallen nature.
Biblical Law presumes the necessity of warfare and sets provisions for how God wants us to conduct war. It is most certainly not according to Western sensibilities.
So the game in divine justice is not to avoid warfare at all costs, but to ensure that any warfare undertaken responds to Biblical Law. God plays favorites, but it has nothing to do with race; it’s more a matter of culture. Further, this plays out against His inscrutable plans for humanity, so Biblical Law may have muted effects. Biblical Law is reaching for divine justice, but the two terms are not quite synonymous. Divine justice is defined as whatever God wants; Biblical Law is what He tells us He wants us to do under His justice. Thus, we may be driven by Biblical Law to seek things God may not actually grant, but we are still required to seek.
Biblical Law is its own reward. We seek certain things because the seeking is holy and blessed in His sight, never mind the objectives of our seeking. The real objective is the righteous process, not the product. We are to seek a heart-led awareness of what is just in His eyes, and become sensitive to what grates on God’s nerves.
A particularly obvious example of what grates on God’s nerves is the confusion over Biblical Law regarding material property. One thing communists have right: There is a difference between private property and personal property. Personal property is rather obvious, but “private property” as a term refers to just about anything not owned by government (AKA, “public property” or common property of “the people”). Private property is a fiction that binds up resources away from the common welfare so that they can be controlled for the benefit of an elite few. In other words, it is one tribe exclusively occupying resources against their neighbors.
While the communists are right about how immoral this is, they are wrong about the solution. Humanity is badly fallen and giving everyone common access to resources will always result in disastrous waste. The real problem is the fiction of “private property” with legal protections that pretend it is for the common good. In this, more orthodox capitalist theory is very, very wrong. The fiction that something owned by a corporation is “private property” is an abomination to God. The flaw is the attempt to abstract ownership away from individual persons who can be held personally liable.
In Biblical Law, a tribe can own property in common, but the responsible party is the individual person who is head of the tribe. That tribal ruler is personally liable, but also personally empowered to decide how it is used. The choices are not merely logical, as if law were some objective reality, but the choices are individual and moral in nature. The first and final accountability is to God, not some dehumanized legal entity of the State which then goes on to occupy all the prerogatives of God. The State forecloses all consideration of accountability to God. The State is an abomination to God, too.
But natural resources are always property of God in the final analysis, and certain corporate uses are an abomination to God. Of course, in the US, we live under what the Bible would call an imperial oppressor; an elitist tribe has conquered us and we live under their control. They demand that we not interfere with their own tribe looting natural resources. But in God’s eyes, it would not necessarily be a sin to violently hinder or even destroy the likes of Nestlé for trying to seize control of natural water resources. The question before God is not whether such action is wrong, but whether it might be contrary to His plans in this context.
The current prevailing mythology of keeping the peace is merely the demand of the oppressive ruling tribe that we not upset their control and extravagant prosperity. They do not have our best interests heart. Don’t be a sucker for the materialistic gods they serve.
Follow your heart; that’s where the voice of God speaks.