April 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 113
Why we fight!!!

    During World War II, there was a series entitled "Why We Fight". It showed the dangers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Granted, a good portion of it was American propaganda, but the real dangers were there. The atrocities, the oppression, etc. It was laudatory that the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain worked hard for peace, giving seemingly logical concessions to Hitler in exchange for a world at peace. However, as laudatory as it was, we now know that his "Peace in our time" speech (holding the piece of paper which was the treaty with Hitler) was the last gasp before the world exploded into another, more devastating, world war.

    It wasn't out of hatred for Germans or Japanese (though our own propaganda machine fueled that fire) but to save the people occupied and oppressed by the Nazi's and the Japanese military machine. We were, in short, trying to free the Germans and the Japanese as well. Many of their soldiers thought they were fighting for their nation as well, not seeing, or knowing, that to do so was to support an evil regime'.

    G.K. Chesterton pointed out that: "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." (Illustrated London News, 1/14/11)

    We fought to keep what was occurring in occupied Europe from happening here and elsewhere.

    "War is not 'the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you." -(G.K. Chesterton; ILN, 7/24/15)

    This is why we fight. Even within the Church. It isn't that we hate dissidents, or abortionists, New Agers, neo-pagans, etc. But because we love the Church, what It stands for, what It teaches, the dignity of all mankind, made in the image and likeness of God. We fight to enflame the world with the light of Christ and keep it safe from those who would darken it with sweet sounding but empty platitudes.

    "For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:12-20).

    If those aren't fighting words, I don't know what they are. Often we'll hear the very Christian sounding phrase "Just love" and anyone who stands firm for God, for Christ, and/or His Church are portrayed as 'unloving'. Just as with Chamberlain, they speak of 'Peace in our time' and either can't, or won't, see the dangers looming just over the horizon.

    "War is not 'the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you." (G.K. Chesterton - ILN, 7/24/15)

    Now we have to understand that this 'war' we're involved in doesn't call for violence. It doesn't call on us to physically harm anyone. But it is beyond doubt that we are involved in a war. A war which hopes to extinguish the cross of Christ, to render it irrelevant and consign it to the dust bin of history.

    I've heard it put forward that we've kept Christ on the cross far too long. That out of 'love' we should finally take Him down and look only at the empty tomb. It sounds good doesn't it! But to do so is to remove the greatest Sign of Love.

    "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

    What would have happened if the Apostles hadn't boldly and fearlessly proclaimed the Cross of Christ?

    "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Corinthians 1:22-23).

    What would have happened if, as many contend, 'out of love' the Apostles didn't 'fight' for the Lord?

    "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man is standing before you well. This is the Stone Which was rejected by you builders, but Which has become the Head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:8-12).

    How 'unloving' of Peter. We have to wonder, were the Apostles martyred for 'lovingly' watering down the Good News?

    When I hear those who say that we need to get rid of the cross I'm reminded of others who wanted Him to come down to 'our level', to come down from His cross.

    "So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 'He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him" (Matthew 27:41-42).

    Out of 'love' we're told that we are to forget the idea of sacrifice, of self denial, etc.

    "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:17-20).

    Why do we fight? So that the message of the Cross won't be lost in a world of indifference. So that, like a city on a hill, it shines for all mankind to see. But to try and 'water down' the message serves only to place that light under a basket, to hide it as though it were a thing to be ashamed of.

    On one hand we have those, like Ted Turner, who claim that Christianity is for wimps, and on the other hand, we have those who preach in the name of the 'spirit of Vatican II' that Christianity is to be easier. But the Cross destroys both arguments.

    As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, it isn't so much that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, but rather, it's been tried and found difficult.

    In the name of 'love' we're asked to overlook the Cross, to seek the easy way, to be silent and embrace other faiths while disregarding our own.

    "These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own" (G.K. Chesterton - ILN 8-11-28).

    "Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance" (IBID - The Speaker, 12/15/00).

    "Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice" (IBID - ILN 9/11/09).

    Why do we fight? Because to do otherwise is to let the world be overrun by 'the principalities, the powers, and the world rulers of this present darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness.' Just as Chamberlain's 'Peace in our time' only brought great destruction, the misuse of 'love' can also bring great destruction. And who would be affected? God? Not at all. His Church? Only partially. But the souls of those seeking God, seduced by this false gospel, may well follow this path to the destruction of their souls. And out of love, we can't just stand by and let that happen.

    "For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the Cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our commonwealth is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will change our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power which enables Him even to subject all things to Himself" (Philippians 3:18-21).

    ".far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).

    Our fight isn't a hatred of the world, or those opposed to us, but rather, a real, true, and burning love as shown in the Cross of Christ.

Pax Christi,

Pat Ludwa

For past columns by Pat Ludwa, see VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives

April 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 113
Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW column
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