Challenging thoughts from Thomas Merton on “hating war.” Continue reading “Study war no more”
Being in Ethiopia, I’ve been exposed to news from all over the world that I never hear in the U.S. And I’m a guy who REALLY tries to keep up on news that is not related to Donald Trump. Continue reading “The news you never hear”
I believe Eisenhower, himself a career soldier, warned of the “vast military industrial complex” when he was leaving office as President.
Yesterday in a passing conversation with a veteran, he noted his daughter, who served in the Air Force, was not “qualified” to be in the VFW because she served in a small 5 year window when the U.S. happened to NOT be in a declared war somewhere in the world.
That statement has been rattling around in my mind ever since. Since the 1980s we’ve only had five years when we were not in some state of declared war? Is that right?
Eisenhower was far more of a prophet than even I give him credit for, if that is the case.
One of our Advent readings today is Eph. 6:10-20. It’s one we, as Pentecostals, love. Spiritual warfare.
Here is the ironic thing I find in this passage and our current attitude in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting. On the one hand I’m fairly sure I could get almost 100 percent agreement from my fellow Pentecostals that we need to be people of prayer. The real enemy is Satan. We fight a spiritual battle. Blah, blah, blah.
But when it comes to living it out, and the question comes up concerning how to respond to something evil like the school shooting, I find posting after posting from Pentecostals who say things like, “If a teacher had been ‘packin’…”, or “Don’t take away my right to own a gun,” or some other response that is opposite of what we would talk about in Ephesians 6.
Of course, one could argue that when a physical attack confronts you, what are you going to do? Pray?
“Get yer gun out and shoot that boy!” (To which you could almost hear someone add, “Bless God!”)
In the moment, it’s incredibly difficult to know exactly what to do UNLESS you have trained in some way for that moment without even knowing it. We train ourselves all the time. We just don’t realize it.
As an athlete would train to make sure their body responds in certain ways to situations without even thinking, we do these kinds of things in just about any situation in our lives. It’s called “muscle memory.”
We can have it in athletics, we have it when we drive, and we have it when we respond to life situations.
We can train.
There certainly diverse responses to the Connecticut shooting. As the Body of Christ, I still think we can do better.
One response we are seeing is an increase in gun sales.
Well, that is certainly one way to respond.
What I propose is that we have two basic ways to respond. We can respond in fear, which is seen in the action to buy more guns. We “fear” gun control laws. So, we stock up. Again, this goes against the Sermon on the Mount in this way: It is not trusting the One who says he will supply all our needs. It is living in anxiety and, if you are a Christian, your king says that’s not necessary.
I’m NOT saying, “Throw away your guns,” or, “I will take your guns away.”
I AM asking you this, “Are you able to TRUST your king? Do you NEED yet another gun?”
Let’s start with that.
Another option is to walk in faith. That still has some anxiety. But the Prince of Peace is the One who takes care of things. Do we trust him?
The way of peace is found in following the Prince of Peace. It is to let HIM lead the way and show us how to live powerfully.
We don’t need anxiety. We need the Prince of Peace.
We need not live in fear. We know the real enemy (if we are truly following Christ), and that enemy already knows his end.