World War I began 100 years ago this year. Many notable battles will have their 100th anniversary the next few years.
I do not know much about WWI, so I got a book from the library and have begun to read about it. Have learned some stuff, and also found fodder for thoughts on Christianity.
1) WWI is marked by trench warfare. Defensive lines separated by no-man’s-land stretched for miles on multiple fronts.
This all gives me flashbacks to many moments I’ve had in churches over the years. There were times I was in one of the trenches, lobbing death to the other side, only to realize everyone is dying. Other times I was in no man’s land, wondering what do now. Fight or run?
Be entrenched in Christ. Let everything else go. Not worth the fight.
2) Germany and prisoners of war. Russia backed out of the WWI and were the first major enemy of Germany to call it quits. The Russian government was in turmoil and they were not providing adequately for their troops. The Germans were treating Russian POW’s quite well, at least feeding them. It actually made sense to many Russians to go eat with the Germans than continue to fight for a country who wasn’t feeding them.
When we do good to our enemies, they often give up. WWII was a different story. Germany was excessively hostile to POW’s. Russia didn’t give up in WWII. Germany got it handed to them. Giving a cold drink to your enemy works.
3) Non-Christian Europe. Americans like to blather on about the downfall of European Christianity. This is somewhat ironic since America aint doing so hot itself. Americans also miss the fact that Europe has been blasted to pieces two times in the last one hundred years. Almost two generations were killed, many of them men. Households with no houses, property, nor bread-winning men, struggle.
Europe went through hell a few times. They know tough times. There is no way these tough times could not effect their psyche. All the death, bloodshed, and destruction the survivors saw had to make them doubt. Is it any wonder that the fallout of all this evil is a place that doubts the existence of God? Not that this is an excuse, but it is a reason, often missed by comfortable Americans. Not to mention the evil, godless rulers that took over in the voids of confusion left by war. Very sad.