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A New War at Our Door: A Statement from Pastor Nelly Ritchie,
Bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina

by Bishop Nelly Ritchie


With a new war at our door, already announced and debated in all the media, we feel not only a deep sense of rejection, but also distress.

When and where will the insanity of those proposing to make it happentake them? In their desire to obtain total power, they are counting only their gains, not measuring the consequences.

Will it be necessary once again to express our pain with words, declarations, public demonstrations, and denunciations against the ideology of endless violence?

Our repeated, successive and simultaneous declarations against war, as the ultimate expression of organized violence, run the risk of being scorned throughout the world.

We are convinced that the reasons given for declaring this war are not the real reasons, but a means by which a merciless global structure can exercise a power that, in every way, destroys the lives of the poor.

Together, as we say “No” to war, as we say “No” to of all kinds of violence, we are daring to reveal, denounce, and reject the perverse ideology which now dominates our globalized world. It is an ideology that uses everything at hand, including religion, to justify the unjustifiable -- the attempt to reinforce the predominance of one race, one culture, and one economy, as well as a type of human relations and community organization, while ignoring the richness of diversity and pluralism.

This war, besides the military arms, implies other common lethal weapons: poverty, hunger, unemployment, sickness, ignorance, lack of dignity and exclusion. To use death (violence-war) to support the lifestyles of a few at the cost of putting at risk the lives of the majority, continues to be part of the dementia of those who believe that the only reality is that which they see through their narrow and xenophobic viewpoint.

“Truly, I tell you: Anything you did for one of my little brothers and sisters here, however insignificant, you did for me,” said Jesus (Matthew 25:40).

For all of us, as an Evangelical Methodist Church, and as part of the people of God, this text help us to look with another optic, not to call our enemy, “different”, nor to consider dangerous or subversive those who have other dreams; not to consider ourselves owners of the truth, but instead to be co-participants of one Grace: to be visitors of God in the house which God has prepared for all humanity.

No, to war! No, to violence! No, to lies! No, to exclusion! Yes, to peace! Yes, to life that is free, dignified, inclusive and complete in the fullness in which Jesus Christ invites us to live!


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Date posted: Feb 10, 2003