Mike Cope's blog

Monday, May 30, 2005

A blog repeat (from last Memorial Day): The whole area of Christian participation in and support for war has been a vexing one for me. (Months ago I mentioned the compelling words of Lee Camp, a Lipscomb professor, in Mere Discipleship, a new book published by Brazos Press.) But regardless of how one comes out on that dicey issue, we have all benefitted from the courage and sacrifice of those who have fought for freedom. Part of why I have the liberty to sit at my desk today and hack away at this blog is that many have fought against what they believed were forces of evil and injustice. One of my closest friends, Dr. Charles Mattis, grew up fatherless. When he was young (four, I believe), his father was shot down in Vietnam. One doesn't have to be a huge supporter of Vietnam to appreciate the sacrifice that was made--not just by the young pilot but also by his widow and her two small children. So today I "remember" this man whom I never knew--along with lots of other men and women I never knew. And I double my prayers for the kingdom of God to continue breaking in. We pray for God's rule that will cause humans to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. We long for the time when "nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4).

7 Comments:

  • That was beautifully stated. You took something that many of us struggle with (myself included) and ended it refocused on the Kingdom of Heaven with the words of Isaiah. Peace.

    By Blogger Holly, at 5/30/2005 08:25:00 AM  

  • I remember reading All Quiet on the Western Front, a WWI-based novel about the personal affect of war. It broght home the brokenness of humanity and our desperate need for the peace and reconcilliation that only God, through Jesus Christ can offer. May we all strive to be ambassadors of reconcilliation, not war.

    By Blogger Chad, at 5/30/2005 02:30:00 PM  

  • Mike, AMEN.

    And Amen to Chad's comment as well.

    I too have stuggled with this war while perserving my deep respect and appreciation for all those who serve our country.

    Lee Camp and his book have had a great impact on my thinking and have caused a significant shift in my understanding and practice of discipleship. It led to me starting my own blog on the issue in an effort to promote dialogue that would help myself and others grow.

    It is a great privilege to be able to call Lee a friend.

    Tony
    Tony's Blog

    By Blogger Tony Arnold, at 5/30/2005 05:45:00 PM  

  • a truly troublesome issue. i can only deal with it in the context of this being a fallen world. even the Prince of Peace Himself said there will always be wars and rumors of wars. it's a terrible, mournful fact, and it grieves me beyond comprehension.

    By Blogger ed, at 5/30/2005 08:17:00 PM  

  • I was just watching a special on The Big Hair Network (TBN) featuring legendary Christian artist Carman. He's really been on a patriotic kick lately, apparently. His new song (on his latest praise album, incedentally...) is called "The Red, White and Blue." The video he showed while performing the song was of the World Trade Towers falling on 9/11, then it triumphantly cut over to Bush's speech immediately afterward, where he said, "Whether we bring the terrorists to justice, or bring justice to the terrorists, justice will be served."

    I searched for the complete lyrics to Carman's "The Red, White and Blue," but couldn't find them. He basically follows that moving intro by saying that we (all Christians, presumably) stand by our country in bringing justice to people who try to bring America down, and the refrain will really make you squirm:

    "The red, the white, the blue will last forever. There's nothing that America can't do..."

    Then I entered the twilight zone, apparently. I thought I saw Carman showing the footage of the Saddam Hussein statue coming down in Baghdad. Yep, I definitely saw it. I guess Carman never got the memo that Saddam wasn't at all involved in what happened to us on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Anyway.

    I think that song pretty much somes up the evangelical (at least the vocal ones) stance on this war. It's a shame.

    "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord." -- The Bible

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 5/30/2005 08:53:00 PM  

  • Carman isn't he the guy that stands over the group counting the money at his free concerts....

    By Blogger happytheman, at 5/31/2005 07:11:00 AM  

  • i appreciate Mike admitting to the obvious complexities of the issues involved with war, peace, Christianity, and patriotism. only one-dimensional thinkers necessarily connect patriotism with being a Christian, or supporting any given war with being american. in this respect, i would put Carman and Toby Keith at the same level of "thought."

    By Blogger ed, at 5/31/2005 08:15:00 AM  

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