Friday, November 11, 2011

Sometimes, War is the Answer

"Prepare your shields, both large and small, 
and march out for battle!"
Jeremiah 46:3

Andy Rooney died several days ago.  The TV commentator had been a fixture on CBS' "60 Minutes" for 30-some-odd years.  I really only saw him a handful of times, as I wasn't really a "60 Minutes" watcher, but I can appreciate his contribution to television history.  That's a long time to be in any job, much less in the fickle industry of television.

So this weekend I happened to have the TV on when someone was doing a sort of retrospective of his life, a biography of sorts, and there was very old footage of him talking about having fought in World War II.  He was drafted in 1941, but being a pacifist, he opposed the war.  He called himself a "reluctant warrior".

But then he got over there.  And seeing the enemy changed everything for him.  In the interview I saw, he said, "Once I saw what we were up against, I knew we had to fight."  And later I read that he had been one of the first American journalists to visit Nazi concentration camps, toward the end of the war, and one of the first to write about them.  And this part I'm copying from Wikipedia:  "He recounted that what he saw in those concentration camps made him ashamed that he had opposed the war, and permanently changed his opinions about whether 'just wars' exist."

This quote reminded me of something I read a few years ago.  Stephen Ambrose is one of my favorite authors.  He has written I-don't-know-how-many books on American History, and while I haven't read all of them (yet), I've read several.  This is a quote from one of those book ~ I'm sorry, I can't remember which one:  "The death camps of the Holocaust were kept so secret that only when Allied armies overran them did the full dimension become known.  Even Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, was unaware that the Nazis had murdered millions of civilians."

Here's the thing:  despite being "reluctant," Andy Rooney went.  He left home and became a United States soldier, and obeyed, though he didn't understand why until later.   There were thousands more like him.  Without knowing what we know now, the Allied forces fought.  Those fighting in the Pacific, and in Northern Africa, and landing on the beaches at Normandy, didn't have to know details to know they were fighting evil.

Well, this is the reality about satan, and about hell, and about the battles we fight on this earth.  We have to fight with all our might, though we won't know until it's all over how bad it really is.  Our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.   It's not a pleasant thought.  I myself would rather think about falling leaves, and kittens, and butterflies, and what I'm going to have for dessert tonight.

But I am a soldier, "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" as it says in 2 Timothy.   As are you.  Stay strong, and fight hard against sin and temptation.  Armed with truth, righteousness, faith and salvation, with the Word of God, and prayer.  Though we fight a battle we do not fully understand, we can move ahead confidently, into certain victory.
Approaching Omaha Beach
~ "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, 
but against principalities, against power, 
against the rulers of the darkness of this age, 
against spiritual hosts of wickedness" ~
Ephesians 6:12

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