Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lone Survivor

Watching Lone Survivor (the movie about “Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005.”), it caused me to ponder a few things. I know, imagine that.

Looking at them as military personnel (not focusing on whether they were specifically Navy Seals), it shows the comradery and training many (even if not to this extent) of our military personnel go through and have with each other. It is a bond that perhaps some may never have experienced, whether absent from the military or never truly have had that close relationship with a friend. For they were a group of friends, a band of brothers, ready to stand together and give their lives for each other. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Do we, as Christians, do that? Do we bond ourselves to other Christians, as friends and brothers in Christ? Do we stand with them and sacrifice ourselves for them in the cause of Christ? A good many American Soldiers are lost, yet they still serve and fight to protect one another and for all Americans, even when they may have tiffs with one another or even possibly disagree with the orders. Can that be said of us? To see their comrades in suffering and death causes distress, drawing empathy within the sternest of souls, while they press on to complete the given mission with all that lies within them. Do we?

When faced with those they considered the enemy, they chose grace and mercy toward life rather than judgment and wrath toward death. They were unarmed, untrained, and not aggressively attacking Marcus Luttrell and his fellow soldiers. Sure, they could and would lead others, who did desire to physically harm them, to their position, but they themselves were not true soldiers by definition. Just as many who contend against the things of God are merely mimicking that which they have seen and heard. They are not the militant anti-theistic who have directly waged war against God and Christianity. We should show them mercy and use opportunities given us to lead them to Christ. Attacking them with vengeance does not make us more Christian, nor does it endorse the cause of Christ. How America would be perceived by their actions was important to Marcus Luttrell and his team, just as it should be to us concerning the world’s view of God through us.

As usual, when we try to group all persons, sexes, races, nationalities, etc. together, we are often surprised to find detractors. When Marcus Luttrell was on the verge of capture, help came from where he least thought it would. From those he already counted his enemy. What he found was those who, though they did not know him nor really understand his orders and purpose for being there, had an oath by which they governed their lives (which was also unknown to him). As Christians, we should see this in those who are not Christian. Quite possibly they may be good people, persons of morals which do help us even in our times of need. We should not merely discount and avoid them, but rather try to understand them and befriend them that we may share the orders we have been given of the Lord.

Marcus Luttrell never intended to be the “Lone Survivor” and neither should we. We should prepare to obey the orders of our Lord, determine to stand with our brothers, and adamantly give all that we have on the battle field, even if we do end up being the last soul standing. We should stand our ground when necessary and show mercy when appropriate, striving to take the narrow high road at all costs.

Praise God for our military personnel, and may we desire to see them all come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While they are sometimes called upon to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country (ultimately for each one of us), likewise should we give all that we have to ensure they receive the gospel call to repentance and salvation. We are soldiers. We need to act like it.

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