Please call me Dave. I want to thank you for your response and honestly. I will try to address your concerns as best as I can.
To begin with, I am not a warmonger or any such thing. I am a “Bible Believing”, “Born again by the grace of God,” “American, “by the choice of God.” I do not deserve to be saved and I do not deserve to live in this great country. These were both in God’s plan for my life.
I am a husband, father, grandfather, and a Viet Nam era veteran. “I love my country, but I fear my government.” I am one little guy attempting to inform others of the situation and how I feel about it.
I hope you don’t mind my following method of addressing issues, but it helps me to stay focused. Thanks for your patience.
(John’s comments will be in brackets)
(Your article is well expressed and seems to be a heartfelt concern for the men and women who have sacrificed themselves to fighting for their country.)
Not just for them John, but for our children and all Americans.
(I feel compelled to speak to your heart on this so tender place within you.)
Once again, I thank you for your time and honesty. I sincerely hope that the compelling feeling you have is the “Holy Spirit’s Leading.”
(The dilemma that plagues me when reading and hearing these concerns is how to resolve the conflict of patriotic acts in the face of Christ's example of peaceful living - even unto His own death.)
I fully understand your dilemma.
Reason, but don’t ignore scripture, with me for a while:
As to “patriotic acts” let me say this. I am an American by God’s choice. We are told in scripture that God places those who are in power over us, and He commands us to honor and respect them. I do not agree with every decision that our government makes and I hate war as much as the next person does. God placed me here by His choice.
I voluntarily served in the military, not by my choice, but because I believe that I had an obligation to serve my country as others before me had done. The main point that I am trying to make with my article is this:
No matter what your affiliation or beliefs, please honor and pray for our troops. Some are there by choice, some for other reasons. Many are compelled for the same reasons that I described for myself.
I lost an uncle in WW2, many friends in Nam, and countless others, I don’t even know, in the course of our countries growth. This is our heritage as Americans and I believe that just as scripture exhorted the Israelites to “teach their children all about how God had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies," we need to do the same.
(The commandment, Thou shall not kill, and the broader interpretation that Jesus imposed on us (Matthew 5:21-24)leaves us with difficult decisions.)
I do not in any way discount the commandment, “thou shall not kill.” I also believe that we need to understand the “Whole of Scripture” when dealing with perplexing issues such as “Patriotism & War.” Throughout scripture our generations of “God’s Chosen” were engaged in wars and conflicts. Our own King David, of whom Jesus is a descendent of, was a “great warrior.” David didn’t fight because he liked it, he fought because the situation demanded it, and he did it for the glory of God.
As for Matthew 15:21-24…I believe that if you re-read it you will notice that Jesus is speaking to the “chosen people, Israel” and to new believers. He specifically says, “angry with a brother” in these verses. Believe me John, I am not trying to interpret scripture, I’m just trying to help you understand where I’m coming from.
(We are called to settle the differences by peaceful means)
“as much as is within you.” (can’t remember chapter and verse, but I’ll find it if you like.)
(in spite of the hurt that unbelievers may inflict, and then we are called to forgive them the injustice they do.)
I have no problem with forgiving, both believers and unbelievers, we are commanded to do so. The only one who suffers if I fail to do that is me. I am out of His will, a place I don’t like to be.
(The scriptures do not include the word "unless",)
I would in no fashion even attempt to argue that point. There is not a “jot or tittle” of scripture that I would dare to misrepresent to anyone.
(which seems to indicate that there are no exceptions acceptable.)
Again I say that the “Whole of Scripture” needs to be applied to any issue we face. These days it is prevalent in many Christian circles to base beliefs on single verses or groups of verses.
The Bible itself, “The Word of God” tells us to consider the “Whole of Scripture.” This is not an attack on your views John. I fully understand the struggle you face as a believer living in a sinful world. All I’m asking is that you search scripture for the things I’ve mentioned. It may help you to rethink things that you have to deal with.
(We are challenged by this commandment:)
I agree wholeheartedly,
(but we are told that in God all things are possible.)
AMEN & AMEN…I would never try to convince anyone otherwise.
(You are clearly a man of courage and heart,)
Thank you John, they are both gifts from God.
(I wish you peace.)
Thank you again and the same to you.
Please respond any time if you like. I’m harmless & happily married, but I’m on disability due to a work injury so I spend a lot of time on line. My desire is that “ the Lord will use my writing, a gift from Him, to help someone, somewhere, sometime.”
Good job, Dave, and from the heart (again). We are in a situation where only the guidance of the Holy Spirit will see us through. I understand both sides of the issue well. "For as much as in us is to live peacefully with all men..." and when we can't - ?. Rendering unto the Ceasar over us, each must consider. What to do when someone threatens our family, etc.
Thanks for writing and God bless,