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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, August 05, 2005

Forgiveness and War, Part 1

Several people noted my "kill them all and let God sort them out" mood expressed just after the London bombings. Two correspondents left comments here at my blog, responded on their own blogs, and/or emailed me, concerned that I'd gone over an edge somewhere. Perhaps so, but I've crawled back up onto the ledge now. I thank both The Khan and Nolan Dynamite for their concern. I still owe a long response on my own thoughts concerning forgiveness, loving one's enemy, and war, but have not had time to set it down.

I will remind readers that I warned them in the very first post on this site that I get in these moods:

I warn readers now that I may proffer opinions that may sound like they came from the dude who purloined Mors ab Alto. I often get in “kill them all, let God sort them out” moods (whoever “they” are—leftist moonbats, sportocratic thugs, racist fools, linear thinkers, muslim fundamentalists, ground-centric military types, Ward Churchill…whoever), but I am always eventually pulled back to the correct perspective—that all are children of God in Christ alike, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, only He can judge the hearts of men, and only He forgives and loves entirely. If I stray from this perspective, dear reader, please feel free to pull me back and/or kick me in the arse.

They've done so and I'm grateful.

That said, I got a long, thoughtful note from Kanh this morning that I want to share. It captures many of the issues pretty concisely and insightfully. The post from Nolan she refers to is here. More on this post later. Now....The Khan....


OK Boys,

I had some thoughts (scary I know!). Upon reading the various blogs and articles about war, pacifism, and loving our enemies, I have become very confused. Then my study this morning was Joshua. First let me tell you, I have always loved this story, mainly because of a song we used to sing as children.

Anyway, it seems that to some, loving someone means to totally surrender to their will, to let them have their way. I believe the only one we should totally surrender to is to the Father. As the mother of a very loveable yet unbelievably stubborn child, I am here to tell you that surrender to her will is not loving her. Surrendering to my will for her is not love. Allowing God's will to be done for her is!

Sometimes this means disciplining her. When we lived in Missouri, an older lady at our church gave me very sage advice: "never spank a child when you are angry." When I was younger, my older sister and brother were being spanked for something they had done. This upset my little sister, who went crying to my grandmother. My grandmother told [her] that my mom was spanking [her brother and sister] out of love, because she wanted what was best for them. [My younger sister] then proceeded to line up for her spanking, even though she had done nothing to deserve it. She wanted my mothers love too, however it was doled out. (I know Monk--you will turn this into some perverted joke-DON'T).

Must NOT think about Holy Grail!.....must not think about Castle Anthrax........

I absolutely agree we have to love our enemies. This does not mean allowing their wills for our lives. This means teaching and spreading the Word. This means allowing God's will. Sometimes this means pacifying [and] sometimes this means war. We are in a battle for souls, not countries, which means we have to be seeking God's will in all we do.

Yes, I agree with the article Nolan posted, "the key to obedience of God's people is not their effectiveness, but their patience." The thing I would ask this author is, "patient with what?" For the perceived enemy to see our way and love? For patience that God's plan for all be done? [Or that] through our patience, maybe God can be effective?!

Back to Joshua... He was a warrior, God used him to bring down the walls of Jericho not to bend Jericho to Joshua's will, but to fulfill His plan. Not to glorify Joshua, but to glorify God. As Christians, we are not called to roll over and make nice. Nothing would be accomplished. We are, however called to love our enemies. For me that means seeking God's will for me and them. Practically, this means being in the Word and on my knees, so I can hear HIM.

Another personal example: this week at youth week, [my oldest daughter] brought a friend and neighbor. Something [that girl] said leads me to think she has had very little exposure to the Church. While at one of our events, one of our youth was ugly to her and had her in tears. I spoke to...and reassured her, and she rebounded quickly. The next day, I put my arm around the seventh grade girl who had been ugly to her and reminded her of our responsibility to be examples of Christ to those around us. She was sorry for what she had done and hopefully learned from it. Maybe next time our youth will be a better letter of recommendation for Christ!

I don't know how this looks at a national level. Since we are "One Nation Under God," I pray our leaders seek God's plan. I also pray someday we will be, "All Nations Under God". I'm not sure how this is accomplished, but God does! All I know right now I can't affect some child in Iraq or Afghanistan. But I can affect my children and the children God has put in my path in my neighborhood and church.

Maybe someday they will be able to affect someone and that person will and so on...

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

We can not possibly be witnesses to nations until we witness to neighbors.

In His Love,


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