D-day: Fighting For Peace

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As a peace loving christian minister, it may seem strange to you and certainly uncomfortable for me to say, but perhaps at times, war might be a necessary weapon in a fight for true freedom and equality!

As one of the Call of Duty playing generation, I have never tasted the realities of war, the cold harshness of comrades cut down in their prime. The mental scarring of survivors guilt and horrors of post traumatic disorders.

In the game, you are immersed into the heat of battle, win medals and feel a victorious surge of adrenaline when you complete your mission. Yet when you can always respawn, (come back from the dead) and the people you shoot are computer generated, it’s hardly real or authentic as much as gaming companies try to make it.

Unlike when I was listening to the stories during the D-day commemorations, of brave men and women civilian and not who lived through a real battlefield, not lasting minuets but years with no chance to respawn; it truly reminded me of the reality of sacrifice.

I suspect that the pacifist in you and I would disagree with this next statement. Regardless I do wonder that sometimes this side of heavenly perfection, blood is the only currency that can win freedom. It is the currency paid in full by countless numbers of veterans across the history of humanity and a currency that through Jesus death and resurrection, will win our freedom from the consequences of our sinfulness before God.

I listened to the old soldiers of World War Two and see in them something truly heroic as they retell these events.  I see something in their eyes and hear it in their voices, perhaps it’s my imagination, but I glimpse an inner strength and resolve, that if called upon again even though in advanced years they would step into the breach once more for you and I, and for there families.

These are the men and women who journeyed into a hellish storm of lead for you and I. Who killed in the name of liberation, bringing peace ultimately. As well as exposing the lies and hidden horrors of a nazi regime. To them I am grateful they stepped up to a line and crossed it for a higher ideal for something bigger than themselves.

However what of the smaller conflicts, what of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, the western political stomach for war seems to have been tamed. The critique of politicians. and of our men and women in uniform comes from all quarters. It seems hard to find reason for a just war, perhaps that is as it should be?

However, sometimes it looks like opinion polls and political posturing somehow matter more, than lives, than freedom, than justice for the common man and woman, the ones who have no voice to and are being oppressed by legalistic barbaric customs, the Sudanese women sentenced to death, the school girls kidnaped from their place of education and the countless thousands slaughtered in Syria as the world watches on. Yet as I write this I am not sure what good a military solution would do in those cases.

I am not offering an answer just wrestling with the realities of our world. War has to be a last resort, and perhaps our national hesitation is good, wise and proper. However there needs to be a line when with heavy hearts we say enough is enough. Then we act with steely determination for something bigger than ourselves, something honourable and even good.

It may seem strange that as a christian I say these things, but past the vainer of wealth, and technological advances, the world still has the same issues, the same injustices and no lasting solution that works. religious, political or military solutions are not perfect, because as humans we are often manipulated by our own or others agendas.

Dear God,
I recognise I am flawed, but follow you who is perfect. In my imperfection, I pray that as far as it is down to me, I will make a difference where I am. Lord I pray for the government who make tough decisions not for the faint hearted, may they know wisdom and courage in there deliberations. Amen 

 

4 Comments

  1. Mark Bagnall says:

    Andy while I understand your position, I question your premise. If war is the ultimate sacrifice for a greater good/world, then it is beholden to those with power to make the changes. WWI was the war to end all wars, but WWII appeared. Sine then there are over 100 wars and civic conflicts waging around the globe each day.
    The sacrifice was made to shape a better world, but the shaping has not taken place. Power and prestige has taken place. New wars are being waged now – for water, oil, gas & food security.
    Lest we forget is good to hear, but we do forget the reason for the fallen, to shape a better tomorrow. I’m not sure “there needs to be a line when with heavy hearts we say enough is enough. Then we act with steely determination for something bigger than ourselves, something honourable and even good”. If we subscribe to this, then we are not learning from history, only repeating the same mistakes as before.

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  2. rtrube54 says:

    Andy, I appreciate your post. It seems to me we live in a very messy world and try as we might to live in the peaceable kingdom, we still get caught in the mess, whether it is fighting with your spouse, or war. What strikes me of the WW2 vets I’ve known is that they didn’t glorify war, it was a messy job to get done and they hoped they would see home again. Yet they also think they did something that mattered. Had they not fought the Holocaust would have been so much worse. Yet we ended up carpet-bombing cities and using the bomb.

    @Mark, it seems that we should fight war without the pretense of making a better world. We may or may not. Post WW2 Europe and Japan flourished but this is not always so and we never end war. Seems we do our best at peacemaking for Jesus sake and for the love of those who would call us enemies, and then pray like crazy, “thy kingdom come” because that is the only peaceable kingdom I know of, and even it was founded on the death of its King.

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  3. Andy says:

    It’s a subject tgat I wrestle with and I too have heard and read that soldiers don’t glorify war. And I totally agree we the values and principles if Christ’s kingdom have to be at the forefront. Well said.

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