is not for a diversified readership. Obviously, from the title,
it is an exclusive message; however, anyone of course may read
Christians in particular
are the focus for this missive. Why? Because it’s based
on the Christian ethic.
Jesus Christ is
God worshiped by Christians. His counsel as recorded in the
Gospels provides spiritual hope and insight for daily living.
He gave His disciples numerous words of wisdom by which to mold
their thinking, then craft their actions.
For instance, Jesus
said His own lay down their lives for others. Jesus laid down
His life for all.
Giving up one’s
life in love for another is counter to a self-absorbed life.
It’s foreign to the worldly mindset. It’s meant
to be for Jesus came to reveal eternal verities that cannot
be discovered anywhere else. He is God; therefore, He as God
speaks of the God mind, not the spiritually fallen world think.
it comes to such endeavors as Iraqi Freedom Operation, the Christian
may approach this complex situation with some legitimate questions
such as: Was there enough preparation for rebuilding? Did as
much prep go into aftermath as went into conflict? Are human
frailties evident in the present attempt to construct the New
Iraq? And so on and so.
Yet in addition
to these reasonable questions, there must come to realization
the end result that millions have been liberated because others
laid down their lives for that liberation. Iraqis otherwise
would still be corralled into Hussein’s hellish caverns
— maimed, murdered, and tortured. It’s fact that
they’ve been freed from the dungeons.
Of course, there
are other nations in the world where such liberties should be
enjoyed. Of course, the United States cannot see through the
missionary work of freedom-to-every-hamlet. Of course, there
will be those Iraqis who still don’t get the big picture,
particularly with the daily stress due to one spiritually fallen
world factor or another.
But for the Christian,
there should be thanks to God that through zigzag of human events
there are scores now who breathe fresh air because humans laid
down their lives for others. And those same Christians no doubt
hold onto the faith that as time passes — given the Holy
Spirit’s gift of patience — more New Iraq improvements
will be forthcoming.
Naturally the Christian
expects obstacles, intrigues, deaths, and onslaughts from the
enemy. Why? Because the Christian believes that there is not
only Almighty God at work but also Satan and his demons. Devils
do not appreciate millions breathing freedom. Demons are not
at all pleased that terrorists are put to flight daily. Therefore,
as there is the light, so there is the darkness.
Then it is that
the Christian particularly can take to heart the September 2
counsel of US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld when he said,
"All over the world, people long for what we have, for
what you, the men and women in uniform standing before us and
their associates, defend: liberty, democracy and a future without
fear. That is why we must prevail."
hear and understand especially the September 2 words of US Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge to the American Enterprise Institute:
"Terrorists have lashed out in Iraq and elsewhere not because
we are failing, but because we are succeeding. ... every victory
in far-away lands makes us safer here in the land of the free
... That is how important the global war on terrorism is to
it all, Christians in particular understand the joy of laying
down in love one's existence so that another can live, just
as Jesus gave His all that we may live.
Grant Swank, Jr., is the Pastor of New Hope Church in
Windham, ME. He is a a graduate of an accredited
college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at
Harvard Divinity School. Pastor Swank has been married
for 41 years and he has 3 adult children. He is
the author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various
Protestant and Catholic magazines, journals and newspapers.
He writes a weekly religion column for PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
newspaper, Portland ME. His columns have appeared on IntellectualConservative.com,
VIOdaily.com, AmericanDaily.com, MensNewsDaily.com, BushCountry.org, Chalcedon.com,
ConservativeTruth.com, FreeRepublic.com, WoundedShepherds.com, among others.
this Article to a Friend