Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering "Our" Troops?

Is it just "our" troops that we should remember this day? What about the civilians, children and women, whom "our" troops have killed? Should we remember them as well? Or what about even the soldiers whom "our" troops have killed? Were their lives not as valuable as American soldier's lives?

As a believer in Jesus, coming from a long line of followers who began in the first century proclaiming Jesus is Lord (implying at the same time that Caesar is not), I have a hard time reconciling the current nationalism that I see within the church with the Scriptures and very beginnings of Christianity. It was common knowledge that someone being baptized in the first century was changing allegiances, and coming under a new King and becoming a citizen of a new Kingdom. The Christians of the first few centuries (pre-Constantine) were intensely non-violent and also strongly opposed to involvement in the state.

Blind nationalism has no place in Christianity, because a Christian's main allegiance is to the kingdom of God. Cries of nationalistic pride and sentimentalism over flags and songs should hold no power over a believer in Jesus. We know that every kingdom will be destroyed by Jesus, as it is promised at the end of Revelation. Babylon, Babylon the great is fallen!

My desire is that we WOULD remember OUR troops: the Christian martyrs who have gone before us, laying down their lives in non-violence for their king Jesus to spread the gospel of the true God who came down to save His people. I love to reflect on their lives. And if we must think of war, let us grieve in our hearts over so many people perpetually dying because of wicked foreign policies, of the greed of humanity, of the lust for power, and the very thing that causes so much war: blind nationalism. And let us cry come Lord Jesus, come!