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Faith Under Fire: Where Is God in Wartime?
Breakpoint with Chuck Colson ^ | 5/28/2007 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 05/31/2007 4:25:37 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback

Where is God amidst the horrors of war? How do soldiers keep their faith in God’s goodness amidst the suffering and slaughter of battle?

American soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines have asked questions like these ever since the War for Independence. The questions occupy their thoughts and find their way from faraway battlefields into letters to loved ones.

Journalist Andrew Carroll has collected many of these letters in a book entitled Grace Under Fire: Letters of Faith in Times of War. Among them is a note from Private Walter Bromwich, who questioned God’s role in the slaughter of World War I.

“How can there be fairness in one man being maimed for life, suffering agonies, and another killed instantaneously, while I get out of it safe?” Bromwich asked his pastor back in Pennsylvania. “What I would like to believe,” Bromwich wrote, “is that God is in this war, not as a spectator, but backing up everything that is good in us. I don’t know whether God goes forth with armies, but I do know that He is in lots of our men or they would not do what they do.”

Other soldiers worried about their public witness more than their personal safety. In 1943, Private First Class William Kiessel, who was about to take part in the invasion into France, wrote to friends that he did not want prayer for his safety, because “safety isn’t the ultimate goal. True exemplary conduct is.” And he added, “What is important is that whatever does happen to me I will do absolutely nothing that will shame my character or my God.”

Where is God in the midst of war? Lieutenant Colonel Scott Barnes, a doctor who treated hundreds of wounded patients in Iraq, offered an answer to that question in an email home to family and friends.

“Some of my colleagues have wondered out loud,” he wrote, “how there can be a God with all of this suffering. I just remind them that He might just be right in some of our hands and working right beside us.

“Where is God? He is in the O.R. guiding the hands of the surgeons, He is in the will of the sergeants helping organize a blood drive as only they can, He is in the hearts of the soldiers who immediately rolled up their sleeves to give what they had to save a dying brother whom they don’t even know”—or even a captured enemy.

Letters like these renewed Carroll’s own faith in God. “They showed me that even in the bleakest of circumstances, with God’s help, we can overcome all adversity,” Carroll writes. “Through Him, we can endure any hardship. Because of Him, we are never alone.”

Where is Christ during the horrors of war today? He’s on the Cross.

On this day, Memorial Day, I want to send a personal message to our servicemen around the world: We at home are deeply grateful to you and we are proud of your service to our nation and our God as you defend the innocent. And I encourage you to remember the words found in Deuteronomy: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

May God bless and keep you, and protect you and your families.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: breakpoint; culturewar; iraqwar; whereisyourgodnow
Let us continue to pray that our troops will be physically strong, mentaly awake and morally straight...and victorious.

There are links to further information at the source document.

If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

1 posted on 05/31/2007 4:25:39 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback
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To: 05 Mustang GT Rocks; 351 Cleveland; AFPhys; agenda_express; almcbean; ambrose; Amos the Prophet; ...

BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

2 posted on 05/31/2007 4:26:24 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback; ears_to_hear; blue-duncan; P-Marlowe

Faith says that God is there. It is far more comforting knowing that this war is not a surprise to God, than it would be to think that God was totally unprepared for this mass of injured and dead.

Honestly, isn’t it more comforting knowing that God was well aware that a child would die?

It means that everything is under control. The opposite would mean that everything is in chaos.


3 posted on 05/31/2007 4:36:00 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Mr. Silverback; Kathy in Alaska; HiJinx; StarCMC
Let us continue to pray that our troops will be physically strong, mentaly awake and morally straight...and victorious.

BTTT with much prayer for our military...!!

4 posted on 05/31/2007 4:38:14 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (See HiJinx's tag line....then DO it!!!!)
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To: Brad's Gramma

Prayers for our troops!

Fighting evil is the utmost duty on earth; and its efforts will be justly rewarded.

Evil is here, deal with it.


5 posted on 05/31/2007 4:40:28 PM PDT by Loud Mime (An undefeated enemy will always be an enemy.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations."

George S. Patton

Prayer, blood and guts wins wars. Not wussified rules of engagements set up by lawyers and approved by a traitor.

6 posted on 05/31/2007 4:45:59 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: xzins

Interesting thought...and yes, it is comforting. Some don’t realize that pain which makes us recoil is often a mere papercut compared to what we’d experience if God was hands-off.


7 posted on 05/31/2007 5:20:33 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Great prayer! Not wussified rules of engagements set up by lawyers and approved by a traitor.

Referring to..."

8 posted on 05/31/2007 5:21:36 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Great prayer! Not wussified rules of engagements set up by lawyers and approved by a traitor.

Referring to...????

9 posted on 05/31/2007 5:22:01 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback

It is only those who realize that bad things happening do so only with God’s permission or planning, who also realize that “all things work together for good to those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose...”


10 posted on 05/31/2007 5:24:19 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

The current occupant of the WH.


11 posted on 05/31/2007 5:25:24 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
God created a Field of Time based on conflict.  All life is root in warfare.
12 posted on 05/31/2007 5:35:20 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Mr. Silverback

Excellent commentary!


13 posted on 05/31/2007 5:37:51 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

I couldn’t read that last trasnmission...my decoder ring malfunctioned.


14 posted on 05/31/2007 5:43:07 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: wagglebee

If you’re talking about me, thanks! If not...well, Chuck is pretty darn good.


15 posted on 05/31/2007 5:43:46 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Aren’t YOU supposed to be on a sabbatical or something?!


16 posted on 05/31/2007 5:44:34 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: mad_as_he$$
The current occupant of the WH.

Ah. Well, you're a complete moron. Have a nice day.

17 posted on 05/31/2007 5:44:57 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: wagglebee
Yes, but I gave up on it. I'm just too weak.

Seriously, I managed to cut down on my freeping by about half. That'll have to do.

18 posted on 05/31/2007 5:46:19 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback

LOL!


19 posted on 05/31/2007 5:47:00 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Mr. Silverback
That was a little disjointed of me.  

The first time I read Art of War I was struck by the statement "Now, all warfare is based on deception" - it's particularly strong and poetic.

It's not uncommon in philosophy - especially in eastern thought where single sentence observations are normal - to follow a strong statement backwards:  in other words, what are the sentences before "All warfare is based on deception"?

I came to believe the full statement was "The Field of Time is based on conflict.  All life is root in warfare.  All battles should be fought utilizing deception."

That is to say, God created the Universe.  The simplest description of the Universe as a whole is "motion".  The child of motion is conflict, and life is wholly immersed in it.  We rarely think about it on a day to day basis, because the brunt of that conflict occurs on a cellular level.  Even I write this, my immune system is raging battles throughout my body.

That's the way God made it.  So the question "Where is God in war or suffering?" has never made sense to me.  God is there.  For creation to work, conflict and war is the way it has to be.

The question that makes sense is "Would God approve? Am I acting morally? What is the endgame of this suffering?"

In practical terms, what I'm saying is basically nonsense or, at the very least, "over thinking".  But it's served a purpose for me.  I am not a particularly moral man, but I believe one of the obligations of being a man is deciding for what you would kill or lay down your life.  As a percentage, it's unlikely that I'll ever be in a situation where I have to kill or give my life for someone - and should it happen, it will probably catch me by surprise - but what I don't want to be surprised by, is the choice that I make in that situation.

Or, as Sun Tzu said so much better than me "Under no circumstance is warfare an object of inquiry which may be safely ignored"

 

 

20 posted on 05/31/2007 6:46:29 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Thanks, and a great post.


21 posted on 05/31/2007 6:56:08 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Ah another Bushbot. Rumors you had all been killed by illegal aliens seen to be exaggerated.I wait.
22 posted on 05/31/2007 7:03:39 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Ah another Bushbot. Rumors you had all been killed by illegal aliens seen to be exaggerated.I wait.

This should take care of your problem:


23 posted on 05/31/2007 7:16:26 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Too bad you have used up the supply.

You are right I was a moron and voted for your President twice. Since he insulted me and a large amount of legal Americans this week I am now done with him. I don't even defend him to the libs any more.

Go drink some kool-aid with your suppository.

24 posted on 05/31/2007 7:21:13 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Go drink some kool-aid with your suppository.

That's the problem with you Bush haters. You figure anyone who prefers Bush over the alternative must be full on in love with his every policy position. Like wow man, have you ever thought what Al Gore or John Kerry have done about immigration and terrorism?

The only thing dumber than Bush's immigration policy is forgetting the Toon, the Goron and Lurch. Congratulations, you've achieved it.

25 posted on 05/31/2007 7:37:36 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback
I haven’t forgotten the other options. Goron would of assured a Rep Congress and he would of at least kissed me before he F’ed me. Lurch the same. Those two would have brought complete gridlock to the District of Criminals, preferable to the current mess.
26 posted on 05/31/2007 8:21:05 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Those two would have brought complete gridlock to the District of Criminals, preferable to the current mess.

Ah...so you're so het up over a guy who is (in your vaunted opinion) a traitor that you yearn for the reign of two guys who were in undeniable fact traitors to the Republic, one of whom even directly betrayed soldiers in the field. Great thinking there, I'm sure that would have worked out really, really well for the country if they'd been elected.

27 posted on 05/31/2007 8:37:21 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (A pacifist sees no distinction between the arsonist and the fireman--Freeper ccmay)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in Placentia Bay off New Foundland on the heavy cruiser Augusta on August 9, 1941, to rally our nations to our common defense, they sang three songs with the assembled sailors: “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” and “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”


28 posted on 05/31/2007 8:48:36 PM PDT by anglian
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To: mad_as_he$$

Right as rain. God uses people, nations to engage evil on a daily level. If people are sensitive, His Spirit enters in people to do battle on a daily level with ideas, thoughts, actions which are interpersonal and not just international. Whether God steps in and rescues people or nations is another question. He surely has done so but in and on other occassions, He is silent. That is the quandary. No one will understand this; CS Lewis did not in his Problem with Pain book. Nor will we till we see face to face!


29 posted on 05/31/2007 9:25:38 PM PDT by phillyfanatic ( w)
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To: Mr. Silverback
I would take them over the insults hurled by your President. Those two may have knifed me in the back but they wouldn’t have slapped me in the face. And yes gridlock in DC is my preferred form of Federal Government.
30 posted on 06/01/2007 5:11:44 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Oh and the fact that the building of the wall last year was all just a shame by W and his cronies. They never intended to build all of it.


31 posted on 06/01/2007 5:13:51 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never insult small minded men in positions of power.)
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