Monday, January 26, 2015


In spite of the reported successful box office gains that “American Sniper” is drawing, odds are that this old man won’t be purchasing a ticket. My pass on the opportunity, however, has nothing to do with the subject matter. From what I hear, the language throughout is satiated with four-letter vulgarities; and, while the use of an occasional mild expletive utilized here and there doesn’t offend me, there is a point, it seems to me, where it just becomes too much. As far as the story told in this one, my own history holds ten years of U.S. Naval service. Nothing that put me all that much into harm’s way. Some submarine duty in the Med playing “chicken” with the Russians. Having worn the uniform, though, there is a bond created, a “love of country” maintained, and the biggest item I wrestle with in this situation is not so much the idea of taking of another man’s life in battle, but the “authority” who chooses the war, picks the shot, and, in doing so, makes me a killer. Having just finished Brian Zahnd’s “Farewell to Mars”, a book devoted to embracing the Bible’s message of “love thy neighbor”, my own thoughts have been dancing with this theme before the movie was even released. Truthfully, my coming to Christ forty-three years ago altered my thinking in many ways. Is “pacifist” a label someone might pin on me? Like the author, my preferred choice would simply be “Christian”, there being no desire to fanatically chase some segment of the Gospel down the road. What I believe in is God’s voice, His tug on my inner anchor-line; and it is my personal contention that the road before us is accomplished in a stagger. Our Gospel may well be written in black and white (other than those possessing a red-lettered edition), but our next step will always be somewhere in the grey area, taken in faith, trusting in His grace. There is, it seems to me, that within the Book allowing me, directing me the right to defend my family. If war is pressed upon me, there is a self-defense permitted. Scripture instructs me to “be angry, and sin not”. Walking that thin line, obviously, is not an easy task. My major concern, therefore, is focusing on my own stumble, not a national hero. I salute the brave and the dead. I worry about this county…..


  1. This summer with the anniversary of D-Day, I watched quite a few docs and special events. When one WWII veteran was interviewed hesaid, with tears in his eyes: "Noone should go through what we went through or see what we saw."

    War is hell. I also pray that those in "authority" proceed with caution and wisdom. And then there are the school-yard-insecure bullies....

    1. It is, indeed, an area within Christianity that we must walk by the inner tug of His anchor-line. Talked this morning with the upper level of the church school about the need for continual "encounter", about having asked Christ to come into our life, then sitting in a chair across from each other with nothing to say. No communication. No bonding. What do we really possess like that?