The Enemy Defined

Dear Lord,

Bless our men and women serving in our military

Grant them safety

Grant them recovery if they are injured

Grant them the love of their family and their nation

Grant them Your tender embrace

Grant them the mighty protection of Your right arm

Grant them a safe return to their families

Grant them peace at home.

Bless President Obama

Grant him wisdom

Grant him wise advisors

Grant him courage

Help him, and us all, focus on Your will.

May all human wars end

May the peace of Your Son and His kingdom reign

May we, Your family, love You and our neighbor.

In the name of the Prince of Peace…….Amen.

******************************

1 Thessalonians 4:10-11 NKJV 10 … But we urge you, brethren … 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you…

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

*[This story is a work of fiction.  I just made it up.  It is intended to make us think.  That’s all.]

The Enemy Defined

It is hot…or cold…or in between.  The weather changes with the years…and the wars.  There is a war now…and I am in it.  “Now” is not necessarily today, but it could be.  It could be any time…any place…involving any one.

I am on the edge of a field.  The field is about twenty yards wide.  A farmer has plowed it.  The turned earth is still fresh.  I can smell it.  It reminds me of my daddy’s garden in the spring when I was a kid.  Today, it is not spring time in Alabama ten years ago.  It is half way around the world, and while I may not know everything that is going on on the other side of the field, I know I am not in Alabama today.

A small group of “The Enemy” is on the other side of the field.  They have a 7.62 MM machine gun.  They are pointing it at us.  They have fired it off a few times.  No one has been hit…yet.

We know that this group of individuals is “The Enemy” because our government has told us that they are.  Our government is always right.  They define “The Enemy” for us.  They spend our money for us.  They generally tell us what is right and what is wrong.  It is simpler that way.  We have grown accustomed to this way.  Our government has names like “Obama” and “Bush.”  If your name is “Smith” or “Jones” you can’t be the government.  What would a “Smith” or a “Jones” or a “Brown” know anyway?

I almost forgot.  I get to vote to the pick the government every few years.  I have one vote.  One man, one vote.  That’s comforting.  I have one vote.  There are ninety-nine million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine other votes.  More or less.  My one man one vote is worth 1/100,000,000.  That’s comforting.

The machine gun emplacement across the field is not comforting.  It is scary.  It is actually more than that.  It is really quite terrifying.  And that’s how I feel now…because our captain has just told us that we all are going to storm it.  Twenty yards.  That’s not too far.  I forgot again.  The fresh plowed ground will be hard to run in.  It will slow down our advance.  I’m sure our captain has thought of that.  Really, he’ll be the one out front.  And another thing, which I reckon is obvious…it’s in the open.  I think that’s called a clear field of fire…for the other guys.  They have thrown up some dirt and stuff in front of their Russian machine gun.  They can see us real good.  We’ll have trouble getting a clear shot at them.

Something has just occurred to me.  I have a young wife and a two-year old son.  My young wife is seven months pregnant with my second son.  She is half a world away at our house in Alabama.  I am on the edge of this field.  I am about to be in the middle of the field.  It has just occurred to me that if I were to be called on to give a suitable reason why those guys over there, across this field,  are a grave threat to the health and well-being of my young pregnant wife and my two-year old son half a world away in Alabama…I’m not sure I could do it.  I am suspicious that those guys over there are probably “Smiths” and “Jones” like me.  Their government, or cause, or whatever…has defined me as their enemy, and they have believed them.  That is helpful.  We both can know exactly who our enemy is…our governments have defined him for us.  Or, us for him, according to your perspective…or place of birth.  It is all very helpful.

About half of us will die in the next five minutes, or so.  My odds of surviving till the next open field are one in two.  I will call that good odds.  If a baseball player got a hit one of every two at bats, he would be a great player, he would bat .500.  No one ever does that.  My odds are very good.  The odds of the machine gunners on the other side of the field are very poor.  They will probably all die.

What bothers me is, what if I die in this field?  There’s not much time and I’m afraid I can’t figure out an answer to my question about my young wife and kids half a world away in Alabama in the five minutes that may be all I have left.  I’ve got to think fast.  How does killing those guys across this field actually help my family in Alabama?  I’ve got to figure it out…and I don’t have much time.  What is the answer?  I need help.  Oh yeah, the government, even the majority.  They have defined the enemy for me.  That is so helpful.  Even if I never figure out the answer to my question, I can rest assured that those guys over there have been clearly defined as “The Enemy.”  I am still confused, but I am relieved.

We’ll go any second now.  Hold on…

*****************************

Well, I made it.  Our captain was told that no helicopters were available.  But, apparently, they found some.  A couple of Apaches just came in and blasted the bad guys.  I didn’t hear any “Ride of the Valkyries,” but their pass was indeed “outstanding.”  The other guys are all dead.  And we’re all not.

That’s good…for us.  But…I still don’t know the answer to my question.  Can you help me?

*****************************

James 4:1-3 NKJV 1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Luke 1:79 [speaking of Jesus] To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

2Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

1Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Titus 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

1Peter 3:11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

*The references to Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama are in no way intended to be negative to those two honest and sincere gentlemen personally.  It is simply a plea for more “bottom up” management.  The reference to the Valkyries is from the helicopter attack in “Apocalypse Now.”  It is the music the colonel had loudspeakered from the helicopters as they swooped in to rocket the village.  I guess you already knew that…about the Valkyries.  The photo is of American Civil War dead at Antietam.

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2 Responses to “The Enemy Defined”

  1. Bobby Valentine Says:

    John thanks for the positive blog. It actually brought two of my own blogs to mind. I hope u dont mind me posting link to them:

    A Prayer for our “Enemies”: Insight from Anselm.
    http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com/2006/07/prayer-for-our-enemies-insight-from.html

    That prayer is incredibly moving and profoundly kingdom centered.

    The Gospel, Prayer and World Peace (from Timothy)
    http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com/2006/08/gospel-prayer-and-world-peace-in-1.html

    thank you for the good thoughts.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  2. John Says:

    Thanks Bobby – I think your comment went to moderation because of the two links – I am supposed to have moderation turned off.

    John

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