REMEMBER TO REMEMBER

I think it is appropriate that Remembrance Day has been for the most part turned into a holiday.  Although I notice that both the US and Canadian stock markets are open.  I guess greed takes no holiday.  My bigger concern is that as we are now an entire generation removed from the last world war, many of us forget to remember. 

The price for our freedom today has come at a very high cost.  In WWI  66,665 Canadians lost their lives.  On the battlefronts in France and Belgium, it was Canadians that decided the final outcome of the war. The victory of Passchendaele Ridge in the autumn of 1917 alone cost 16,000 Canadian casualties. We have only one surviving WWI veteran still living.  John Babcock is 109 years old and living in Spokane Washington.

In WWII Canadians were again instrumental in deciding to final outcome.  46,998 lost their lives and 55,000 were injured.  We are grateful for the American contribution which tilted the odds in the Allies favour, but they never joined in active European conflict until 1943.  Canada had been there since 1939.  It was Canadian troops that liberated Holland in May 1945.

There is a war monument on Winnipeg’s Memorial Blvd. that says,” They gave their tomorrow, that we might have our today”.   I am anything but a warmonger, but I am concerned that this generation’s desire for a conflict-free world makes them indifferent to the price of peace.  Jesus himself said,   “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  John 15:13  Those who have fought and died for Canadian freedom have demonstrated the ultimate expression of biblical love.  Enjoy your day off.  But please, please remember to remember.

 

 

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22 Responses to REMEMBER TO REMEMBER

  1. Gord says:

    Pastor Mark,

    You bring up something that has conflicted me awhile now. Even the scripture you quote of Jesus saying there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for another does not resolve my conflict. While I’m sure it is within our teachings acceptable to be killed as Jesus has said, how do we reconcile the need to take offensive action like the armed services do or police officers? When is ok to ignore “Thy shalt not kill?”

    Should we be the lambs given up for slaughter by those under the influence of the devil? My gut says no, but how does scripture address this issue?

  2. Steve says:

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for our war veterans and for those who gave their lives for our country. These guys are true heroes. I can’t think of anything more honourable than being willing to risk your life for others. I honour all of you and respect all of you. Thank you world war 2 veterans for your bravery. And I thank all the troops today for their bravery as well. God bless them!

  3. Steve says:

    I met a man named Wes, a man of conviction and pride for the country his friends died for. He walked unright and happy when greeting new friends, never missing the chance to say ‘Hi’. I asked him one day how long they were in for each tour. He replied, “Each tour? When we went in, we were there till the war was over”, as the tears whelled up in his eyes he continued, “There were 6 of our platoon that came back after the 4 years we served”. At that moment I stood up, shock his hand and thanked him. Wes made it back to the 60th year celebration of the end of the 2nd world war. He told me he was looking forward to it. He was 81 years old when he passed away, and I will never forget this sacrifice. Now we need to remember the sacrfice Jesus made for all mankind, and remember what we own him, today.

  4. Steve says:

    Right on! Jesus was a warrior too! Just in a different way. This is the first Steve. I love war heroes because of their bravery and I see Jesus as the bravest warrior of all. He did battle with all of hell when He went to the cross and defeated every single demonic force. What a hero! What a brave and awesome King!

  5. Tamara says:

    Ah… mystery solved. TWO Steves. =)
    Very nicely written, Pastor Mark.

  6. Evelyn Bennett says:

    I have the utmost respect for those who fought in the World Wars.

    We must remember that there are troops right now fighting for their lives right now all over the world.

    Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We must embrace the diversity of this world before it is too late for the next generation.

    We must not ever forget the price paid for our freedom be it physical, mental or spiritual.

    Evelyn

  7. ed says:

    Eph 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints

    Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

    Luke 6:27-31 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    Matthew 5:38-40 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well

    In light of Jesus’ teaching, I am not convinced we are supposed to be involved in a war of military weapons.

  8. ed says:

    Is it possible we have confused our own political freedom with God’s freedom?

  9. ed says:

    Mat 5:38-40 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

    Luke 6:27-31″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    Eph 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

    In light of Jesus’ teaching, I am not convinced we are supposed to be fighting a military war at all.

    Is it possible we have confused our political freedom with God’s freedom?

  10. ed says:

    sorry if i posted the same thing twice…just really wanted to make my point! HAHAHA

    but really though, must be having technical difficulties over here

  11. Gord says:

    Thanks Ed, you have a much better idea where to look in the scripture than I do. It is perplexing to me. Almost like we must exercise our total faith in God to deal with the devil and those who serve him. No wars or crime because good people never oppose it physically. If God acts in our favour, it becomes the Kingdom of God on earth we all want. If He does not act to save us from tyranny, murder, rape etc , then the devil will prevail until He acts on His own or He empowers us to act. I keep coming back to “Thou shalt not kill”, and I don’t see the exceptions. I hope Pastor Mark can shed some light on the issue.

  12. Mark Hughes says:

    Are you ready for this one? The bible does not say, “Thou shalt not kill” but “thou shalt not murder”. Big difference. People who have fought in wars in the defence of their countries are not guilt of breaking this commandment. If that was the case then David and Joshua and Caleb etc. were all condemned to Hell.
    War is a tragic and regrettable consquence of the fallen nature of the human race, but sometimes totally unavoidable.

  13. Tamara says:

    I’m a Mennonite who married a Viking… this conversation takes place in our home as well. I have a heritage of conscientious objectors, and my husband has a heritage of war heros. What we try to teach our children is that we must always seek the peacable way, when it lies within our control to do that. We also teach them that standing back and doing nothing is not ‘peaceful’… it is simply ‘passive’. If we are going to take a pacifist stance, then we must be ACTIVELY seeking other solutions, and we must insist upon an equal level of sacrifice from ourselves in the pursuit of peace that soldiers offer up on behalf of us. It must be a devastating thing, to take someone’s life… and we should never imagine that is not a VERY great sacrifice to bear in one’s soul, for a soldier, or a police officer, or anyone who defends on behalf of others and is in the position to have to take a life. These people are worthy of our respect, and we should be in prayer for them.

    I once heard it said that, in matters of ‘country’, we should be free to defend with physical force as necessary… but we must never take up arms in defence of faith. For God, we must be willing to lay down our life, and be martyrs. This gets into the whole ‘separation of church and state’ thing, but it made some sense to me at the time.

  14. Steve says:

    Luke 22:36 He said to them, ” But now if you have a purse take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
    Jesus is showing us here that even though we are not to live by the sword, we still need to protect ourselves with force if necessary. In a war that is defending what is good and right and is keeping a corrupt dictator from ruling the world, then defending is what we need to do if we can. If there is nothing we can do then we need to just lay down our life for God. If it is a war that is based on pride and selfishness then I don’t agree that fighting is right in that sense. That’s the way I see it anyhow.

  15. Gord says:

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts.

  16. ed says:

    the guys going to war in the old testament were specifically directed by God to do so…where in the new testament does Jesus ever tell people to go to physical war?

    he does say buy a sword once…he says forgive, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor, several times

    if violent self defence is okay, then who gets to define what that means…george bush? there is a fine line between self defence and retaliation…traveling to foreign country hardly seems like an act of self defence – this is where we assume that what we deem political freedom must be God’s idea of freedom too, and i am not sure this is appropriate

    there are christians in the world who are killing each other both in the name of God…i don’ think Jesus had this in mind when he said ‘buy a sword’

  17. Mark Hughes says:

    Understand I would be the last person to ever defend George W but the New Testament does say, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” Rom 13:1&4

  18. ed says:

    God appointed the authorities that exist and we are subject to those governing authorities, but those we are fighting against are subject to their governing authorities as well, whether they share the same political agenda or not…i am not convinced, in light of Jesus’ teaching, that we are supposed to be engaged in a military war against people we don’t ‘agree’ with, no matter how detestable their actions may be

    regarding the verse you quoted, who is ‘God’s…avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil’? is it the usa, canada, individuals who don’t agree with each other, hitler, stalin, any number of the current nations practicing genocide? people always think they are justified…i think it is dangerous when we don’t leave the judging up to God

    i do lean towards advancing the kingdom by being lights in the darkness but, having said all that, i don’t have a firm position on physical war because i really don’t know if it is justified or not…of course i appreciate my political freedom, but nowhere near as much as my freedom in Christ..and i am so grateful that it is not based on the ways of this world

    we are to love the sinner, hate the sin, pray without ceasing, and leave the judging for God

    discussion is great as long as we don’t get distracted and divide over non-fundamental issues, thanks for stimulating excellent discussion!

  19. Steve says:

    I just want to agree with Pastor Mark and say two huge thumbs down to George Bush. And I love boxing because it is an awesome sport. Boxers don’t hate each other usually, they’re just doing their job. Same thing in war. And if a Christian’s life is threatened I think they need to defend it if they can. If someone is just slapping them in the face then I guess we need to turn the other cheek as hard as that may be, but I believe we need to defend ourselves if someone is trying to kill us or our family. Anything less would seem quite sickening to me.

  20. AllanS says:

    In reading these comments I had to do some deep thinking which is a good thing. I wonder how many people of Jewish decent believed that in WWII. If this was the case or if the world just sat by and let come what may would we have seen the end of entire groups of people. The bible does refer to wars and rumors of wars. I think also the individual reasons behind an individual make a difference,also there is room for passiveness in the same teaching as we do need peacemakers. Only God knows what is in the heart of man. I am beginning to think that its time to take up Greek and Hebrew so that we can pick out certain meaning more clearly in the Bible ie “Murder and kill”, which I keep making excuses no to do.

  21. AllanS says:

    Sorry just another quick thought. If we had not gone to war and there was a real chance of entire groups of people being annihilated.Would we have seen the direct intervention of God?

  22. ummonseras says:

    Thnkx so much for this! I have not been this thrilled by a post for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the great work. Keep on inspirin

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