I am reading a book about the common soldiers’ experience of major American battles–Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima. Rather than giving the generals’ view, the author focuses on the grunt, what the warfare was in experience for the guys doing the dirty work.
What a horrible thing war is. In one section talking about guys who couldn’t take it and ran away, the author says:
Dread of the unknown turned these otherwise disciplined infantrymen into a stampeding horde, proving the old military rule of thumb that it is always the troops in the least immediate danger who turn and run first.
Never having been in battle, not knowing how I’d react, I will refrain from disparaging the retreating horde. But I will make some points about church based on this:
- Persecution is good for the Church. It weeds out the fakers. It lets people know if they really believe this Christianity stuff, or if they’re just there for the doughnuts.
- Why is it that those whining the most about how persecuted they are, are generally those doing the least? People who need to tell you how hard it is for them to be them, know that they are making up for lack of work with a multitude of words.
- Retreat is always easier than looking and heading forward. Guess where the Bible tells us to look? Forget what is behind, press forward. No retreat. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.“
- The New Testament is very clear that Christianity done right leads to opposition, suffering, and trial. Don’t be surprised if the world hates you, it hated our Lord first. Suck it up.
- One thing that turns retreating troops around, is forward heading leadership. Our Commander is pushing forward. Follow Him. He wins the war, even while we lose the battle here.
- A good soldier of Jesus Christ does not entangle himself with the affairs of the world. Let go of this world, then there’s nothing anyone can do to hurt you anyway. Set your affections on things above. Treasure in heaven, people, treasure in heaven.
- Rejoice that your name is written in heaven, who cares what your name on earth is. This is the soldiers’ view–He fights for his commander, not for the history books. The man of the world runs, afraid for his life. The man of God puts on the armor and gets to work. Do the work, the Day of the Lord is just around the bend.