I was just sitting here today, and I started thinking of Memorial day. Now some of you have already read my post on where I primarily hold my citizenship, not just as a spiritual reality, but as a physical reality as well (as if there can really be a distinction made). I do want to touch on war and soldiers a little. It is a very touchy subject when you look across the entire board of Christianity.
I do want to say that I am not a big fan of war. War in the end does bring death. Some will retort with, “But we have to defend ourselves” or “The Bible doesn’t condemn war.” To the first, I am more understanding, but for the later, I think it’s a bit more complicated. I do see how a country will have to defend itself, although defining defense is very important. If someone flies planes into thousands of people in a couple buildings and threatens to do more harm to you, it might be time to consider certain measures. As for the later, I think looking at God’s words through Jesus and the prophets will prove that killing was not liked. And if it could be avoided, it should. Jesus endlessly scolded the zealots for taking a military agenda against those who were in leadership over them (the Romans). He said, in a nutshell, that the Kingdom was more than the land you own, the family ties you have, or the religious identity that was tied to the first two. He even says that the peace-makers will be blessed. I do think that he loved them though, and that he said it as a Lord who wanted the best for his ambassadors. He also loved the Romans they were against. He even praised a Roman military officer. All that is to say, even if Jesus was against unnecessary violence, he love the fighters. And when you love both sides of a fight, your views of violence change exponentially.
As far as soldiers are concerned, I love those guys as I love everyone else. It is not right, nor is it logical, to show hate and to scorn the soldier because he has shot someone, for in hating and spitting on a soldier, you in turn promote the core of violence, which is hate itself. Maybe Jesus was a bit insightful on this issue when he said to love your enemies. When a soldier comes home, don’t ask how he can kill innocent people; instead, ask him what you can do for him. Be light to him. Show him that you love him despite his current situation. And for the soldiers, love on the people who mock you. It is surprising what happens when the person who hates you for shooting a gun is hugged by the very one he hates. He may strike back, but at least this war thing is in a different perspective.
To everyone, go ahead and honor the dead soldiers. I will not say if they are right or wrong, but I will say that you are to love.
You are to show hope.
So why not be hope…
TO THE FULLEST.
In the same way that Christ showed grace and peace to His enemies (you, me, and the rest of humanity), show grace and peace to others, even your enemies, especially when your “violence” is unnecessary, and you can achieve good through other means.