Gulf Ridge Park Baptist Church
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Your Question # 28
[#28] How can you love your enemy such as ISIS and at the same time wage battles to kill your enemy?
Great question. I am retired Army. I went to Iraq in '03 at the start of the war. I remember a young Soldier who came to me after taking down three or four Soldiers when they ambushed his patrol. He told me: "Chaplain, you know we are taught in boot camp to engage the enemy and kill them. I thought I couldn't wait to get into the war and 'get mine'. Now that I have killed someone, I can only think, "Can God forgive me." As his Chaplain, we had a long talk about the difference between murder and acts of war when Soldiers are called upon to defend their country and the lives of those whom they love. There is a God given difference in Scripture.
While I was there, I was the 'religious supervisor' for 10,000 prisoners of war. I was not their Chaplain but was to help the command ensure religious rites of POW's were upheld. However, I did get to speak with several of these men and led three of them to the Lord and baptized them.
On the battle field, I can understand the need to kill for survival (I'm also a V.N. Marine veteran). But I can also see that Christian men and women can still have compassion and show mercy and grace in times of war. I can say I never 'hated' the enemy, but I surely hated some of the atrocities I saw in war. All the more reason to share the love of Christ with ALL. Only the love of Jesus can transform someone and their mindset. I may not like what I have seen enemy Soldiers do, but when I was able to sit with some, I could also sense the love of Christ overcoming my thoughts and emotions and wanted to see them saved.
I know it is an oxymoron to love your enemy and yet have to pull a trigger on them. God is the only one who can give peace and understanding in these times. As the Chaplain to combatant Soldiers, I had many conversations with them, much PTSD counseling, and I had the joy and privilege of ministering to them in Chapel services. I can say with honesty that these men and women proudly served their country, loved the Lord, and truly hated taking human life and did not relish the thought of it.
The ones I worried over were those who actually looked forward to the opportunity to get into combat and kill. But I can also say I rarely if ever saw any of them in the Chapel services.
May God give you peace and understanding. I close with this, obey the word and God will bless. "Love your enemies, pray for them, our service men and women, and for your country.
I hope this helps, if you have any follow-up questions, please let us know.