Support the troops. Whether you agree with the wars or not, support your troops. Supporting the troops doesn’t necessarily mean that you support any of the wars. It just means that you acknowledge that it takes courage to do what they do, which is to put their lives on the line every day they serve. Pray for them, buy bumper stickers or whatever “Support” means to you, do that. If there is one thing I want people to understand after reading this it’s that Supporting your troops doesn’t mean you support any kind of war in any shape or form.
Now, the really tough question, and the theme of this blog. Can you be a Christian and support THE war? (From here on out, “The War” will refer to any or all wars going on in the Middle East and it’s surrounding areas). Personally, I love these kinds of questions. It is classic “Try and box Jesus in so it’s easier to understand him and the things he says”. I think I’m starting to understand why Jesus always spoke in parables. He wanted you to think about the questions you are asking and not the answers you are looking for.
So, can you be a Christian and support the war? Yes. However, you can still be a Christian and not support the war. How is that possible? It’s possible because being a Christian isn’t defined by whether or not we support the war or our stance on any other worldly issue. It is defined by our acknowledgment that we are basically terrible people, unworthy of God’s love, grace, and mercy but that he still loves us anyway. And that he gave his only Son up to death so that we could live. When you ask God questions and you only give him two options be ready for that answer to be a third option you probably never even thought about.
Does anybody still remember the theme of this blog? ”Supporting your troops doesn’t mean you support any kind of war in any shape or form”. I think Matthew 8:5-13 is a perfect example of that,
“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.”
A couple of things stand out to me. 1. Jesus never said to the soldier “Here is a sword. Go and kill more people”. 2. He also never said “What you are doing is wrong and you should stop being a soldier”. Jesus was amazed by the mans faith and he honored his request. ”Respect is something that is earned but honor is something that is given. And, really, honor says more about you than it does the other person” – Caleb Davidson. Jesus honored the soldier by honoring his request. To me, that is the biblical equivalent to Supporting our troops.
Take some time today to reflect on the sacrifice so many people have made. Support our troops!