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Thoughtful Living
« on: August 21, 2009, 06:00:19 PM »

I got this email yesterday, and it is the most thought provoking letter I have ever received. I am posting it here for your comments. Sam.

Hey there... Hey there...
Hey there Lekatt1,

I have a message to share with you.

God bless the troops. I pray for God's protection over them. I know how much the troops are loved by their families. There is a lot to love about them. I admire the good things the military does for people, such as building bridges, helping children, giving of their time to community service, and rescuing people from natural disasters.

God bless you and your family, and may you continue in His Word always.

First off, I want to commend the love for others that is shown by the men or women in the military. Jesus says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Matthew 15:13

By this willingness to sacrifice one's life for others by serving in the military, I commend them all. That kind of love is worthy to be praised.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11
They are good shepherds too, because they are willing to lay down their lives for the sheep. I praise them for that. There is no greater love than the love they have shown.

But, I need to point out something to you. Notice how the verse says "lay down his life for his friends," and he does not say "take another's life for his friends."

It is more far more honorable to sacrifice your life for someone else than it is to take the life of someone else, that's what I am trying to say.

Unfortunately, When one is in the military, one may engage in acts which are quite contrary to Jesus' words.

When Jesus says, "love your enemies,"(Matthew 5:44) how can one love show love to their enemy as they rip out their guts with a bayonet?

When Jesus says, "do good to those who hate you," (Luke 6:27)how can one kill someone else and consider it to be doing them any good?

"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." Luke 17:33

Truly, if anyone seeks to save his life (by killing someone who threatens his life), they will lose it. But those that will lose their lives, as did Jesus' disciples, will preserve their eternal life.

Why do some Christians seek to save their lives? Don't they know they will lose it?

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."Matthew 7:12

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Unless you would desire men to bomb your home and blow your brians out with a shotgun, you should not do it unto them. You should love as you would have others love you. You should show should mercy as you would have others show mercy to you. You should forgive others as you would have them forgive you.

There have been men and women in the military who are clearly not following the golden rule. Instead, they are "doing unto others" (bombing, shooting, stabbing) simply because they do not want the Iraqis to do the same to them. They don't want to be bombed or killed, therefore they are killing and bombing Iraqis because they or the ones they are defending are afraid of being bombed or killed themselves.

Some people who kill other people in their military occupation, really need to think about what they are doing.

These people who kill in the military make thousands of mothers childless, children fatherless, and countless untold numbers of grieving widows. There is nothing honorable about that. That is what these people are trained to do. Trained to kill. They bring pain, grief, and suffering to their enemies. But Jesus told us to love our enemies instead, and to do good to those who hate us.

In short, what I have to say is this. Jesus reached out to the fatherless and widows. The Bible says to defend the cause of the fatherless and the widow. The people in the military do not do that. They only compound the problem, for by killing people, they serve only to create more fatherless children and more widows. This is not defending the cause of the widow and the fatherless, this is merely creating more widows and fatherless children for us to reach out to. And I assure you that it will be most difficult to share the gospel and God's love with a grieving family if one has just finished killing their father, who was a follower of radical Islam. They will not have seen the love of God in you at all, because you have just finished killing the one they loved and cherished, regardless of how misguided his beliefs were.

To be Christian means to be Christ-like. There is nothing Christ-like about taking another's life just to save your own. Is their life worth less than the life of your family? Are they not just as loved by God as you? Is their life worth less than your country? Is their life worth less than your freedom?

No. God loves us, all of us. God forgave us when we deserved death. He took away the punishment for our transgressions. If we do not forgive our own transgressors in the same way, how then can we represent God's love to the world?

The Bible says to imitate the life of Christ here on earth, and Christ never killed those who threatened His safety and the safety of His disciples. They ended up dead too.

Imitate me as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

But what did they say? "To live is Christ and to die is gain." Phillipians 1:21 Death is gain, my friend.

Unless you wish to argue that you can show love to an enemy by blowing their head off, then you cannot defend the killing of others. Jesus did not make an exception to the command, "Love your enemy."

And neither did Paul. Let's look at what he said, immediately after Romans 13:1-7

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:8-10

You see? Love is the fulfilling of the law. Jesus established that we are to love our neighbor, and our enemies are our neighbors too, as evidenced when he said, "Love your enemy, do good to those who hate you."

If "love worketh no ill to his neighbor," then love certainly cannot kill his neighbor (aka enemy). Hitler's actions worked ill to his neighbors. Killing other people is working ill to them. Therefore it is against God's law, for "love is the fulfilling of the law." You cannot kill somone out of love. Therefore it does not fulfill the law. For "Love is the fulfilling of the law."

Another thing. Did you know that God is "kind unto the evil and the unthankful?" We are commanded to be just like Him.

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." Luke 6:35

"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Luke 6:36

We are supposed to forgive the trespasses of others, every time, up to 77 times and beyond.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 14:15

If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. And we all have sinned. The wages of sin is death. When God forgives us, he takes away our punishment of eternal death. So too are we to forgive others, and take away their punishment that they so justly deserve, so that they will see the mercy of God. For we are to be as merciful as God is merciful.

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

If we bomb and shoot and stab after only one trespass against us, instead of forgiving, how then shall we be able to forgive seventy-seven times? Out transgressor will be dead after the first trespass, and we will not have shown forgiveness at all!

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

I think we can all agree that terrorists, rapists, and murderers are among the "least of these" that Jesus speaks of.

They are certainly not among "the greatest of these," now are they?

After all, they are in jail, and need to be visited. When we show love to these people, we are showing love to Christ. If we condemn these people, we are condemning Christ. If we kill these people, we are killing Christ!

"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." matthew 25:45

If we do not show love to these people, we do not show love to Christ. They are the "least of these," and we must show love to them, out of love for Christ.

If you or any other Christian does not heed these clear commands that Jesus gave, you will have disobeyed Him. Only those that love Him will obey these commands.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:5

I would suggest that you defend yourself and the ones you love nonviolently. If I were in a situation where my family members might be killed, and there was no reasoning with the attacker, I hope I would put myself between them and the bullet, so that they may have time to escape.

I would also "do good to those who hate you," as Jesus said. Instead of reacting in anger, I would try to relate to the gunman in some way, recognizing that the people who usually rob homes and kill families are those that are living in poverty. If I had financial resources to give them, I would. Not to appease them, but to show them I care. Believe it or not, it is pretty difficult for a gunman who came in your home to loot and plunder the home if the family is giving him their possesions anyway.

Remember how Jesus says, "Bless those who curse you?" I've tried this before. It works wonders. The person cursing you simply does not know how to respond to it. It shows them that you are different, that Christ has worked a miracle in your life. That is the beauty of not "repaying evil for evil, but overcome evil with good."

"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:9

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:17-21

Do not repay evil for evil. So, if someone comes to kill you (which is an evil thing), should you repay them by killing them (doing the same evil thing they planned to do, except beating them to the punch?)

If you kill those who would kill you, are you not doing the same thing that they set out to do? Are you not just as equally responsible for the pain and anguish that their family will face when they learn of their child's death? Are you not still responsible for taking that person's one chance for salvation away from them? Have you not sent that person (who is probably not saved) straight to Hell, just so that you can live a little longer on this earth? Should you not rather look forward to heaven, and not be afraid if someone wishes to send you home to your Father?

Overcome evil with good. I can almost guarantee you that if someone comes to raid your home, they will be both hungry and thirsty. Offer them something to eat. Give them something to drink. Give them a gift of some sort. Be hospitable to him. If you and your family are saved, then you truly have nothing to lose if he refuses and sends you all to heaven.

For we are Christians, disciples of Christ, and our weapons are not carnal...

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." 2 Corithians 10:3-6

We do not fight against flesh and blood:

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

I want the soldiers back home safe as much as you do. I wish them nothing but joy and happiness in this life, and I know they have the best of intentions. God bless the troops, yes, but God bless our enemies too, and all those that would seek to kill us and curse the name of our country. Bless those who curse you, (Matthew 5:44) remember?

God bless you and keep you safe.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 06:18:52 PM by Sam » Logged
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 05:59:06 AM »

I also commend those who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I would just like to present this scenario that happened today in a wood in England.

German and English young people, aged ca. 19, were engaged in "war games", and shot orange paint balls at one another! The Germans were half included with the Brits on one side (wearing yellow armbands - the yellow team); half of the Germans joined up with the other Brits, making up the red team (wearing red armbands). To the young English and German people taking part, all that mattered was the fun.

A few decades ago these young men and women (there were girls enjoying the 'fighting' too) would have been really fighting to the death. Thank God, that theatre of war is past.

My son enjoyed the 'war game' too but at the same time he told me candidly how he felt, hearing the sounds of shooting off to the side - the adrenalin, and the fear; and also how he felt when he 'shot' someone. He experienced power. And he enjoyed it. He really enjoyed this power and joy, and yet also felt contrition at shooting an 'enemy' in the head (the German boy he shot lost his hearing temporarily). My son is half British, half American. After the war games, he said to me it had really opened up things. After all, it was fake -  but how could you do it for real? And why should any nation expect you to? Why should any of us give up our life? Your life is yours. His friends feel the same.

I feel that his is a current voice of our nation and of our time that needs to be addressed. Young British men are not concerned AT ALL about religion, but that is not to say that they do not have a sense of honour. My son said he would fight to the death to defend me and his sister if Britain was invaded. But he cannot see that his countrymen dying in Afghanistan is defending anything real to him.

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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 07:16:48 PM »

I agree. We Americans are over there because of the attack on our country. The killing of over 3000 in the Twin Towers. Now if we had not stopped Ben Laden would he have continued the attacks, I don't know. I don't have the answers. But I do know there are a lot of people who still feel killing "the enemy" is the thing to do and see us as their enemy. Only time will tell.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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