Saturday, December 26, 2009

War and Peace - from Heaven's viewpoint

I mentioned how I volunteered to help with a Salvation Army Toy Drive a few weeks ago. Imagine my shock at reading a rant from a poster online about how callous and vile the Salvation Army was - desiring homosexuals to die from AIDs was the charge.

That lit my fuse, to be honest.

Then I read this, just two minutes ago:

Salvation Army major shot in front of 3 children

(AP) By TOM PARSONS, Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Salvation Army worker was shot and killed Christmas Eve in front of his three young children during an attempted robbery outside the charity's community center in North Little Rock, a Salvation Army official said Friday.

North Little Rock police said they were looking for the two men who accosted Salvation Army Maj. Philip Wise outside the community center about 4:15 p.m. Thursday. No arrests have been made.

The two men fled on foot into a nearby housing development, police Sgt. Terry Kuykendall said Friday. Police don't know whether Wise, who was active in the community, knew his attackers, he said.

Wise, 40, had gone to the community center with his children to pick up his wife — also a Salvation Army major — to drive to his mother's home in West Virginia, said Maj. Harvey Johnson, area commander of the Salvation Army. As Wise neared the side door, two men approached.

Both men were carrying handguns, police said. One demanded money and shot Wise, Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Wise's wife, Cindy, was inside the center and called 911.

Blood stained the sidewalk outside the center Friday.

The Wises had just adopted their children — ages 4, 6 and 8 — last year, Johnson said. The three were siblings who came from an abusive family. They were receiving counseling after their father's death, he said.

Kuykendall said the children were standing beside their father when he was shot, but there was apparently no interaction between the youngsters and the two men.

Wise had worked for three years in Baring Cross, a low-income neighborhood troubled by gangs and drugs, Johnson said. He ran youth programs, a food pantry and church services.
Read full article here

So here I am, reading about wanton cruelty and vilification against one of the most respected, more charitable Christian organizations in the world, KNOWN for getting food and clothing to the poor, and you know what, poppets?

I want to declare war on such perfidy.

God has been good to me; He has provided me with a good home and opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus. Yeah - I'm a religious nut. But ONLY because Jesus Christ opened my eyes and has been so very FAITHFUL to me.

I have to realize though, that evil is real and it hates the good.

War broke out in heaven when Jesus was born - did you know that? Oh, its in the book of Revelation, but it is a vision given to John of what happened when Mary ["The Woman"] gave birth to the Savior of Mankind.

Revelation 12:1-9
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

The great dragon was hurled down —that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Do you ever wonder what makes men so evil? What makes them hate God and His laws so much?

Pride. "It was through Pride that the devil became the devil," writes C. S. Lewis.

The Great Sin
From Mere Christianity by C S Lewis

I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most sharply from all other morals. There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.

I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the center of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now, we have come to the center. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

Does this seem to you exaggerated? If so, think it over. I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?' The point is that each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree.

Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not.

The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.

There was no reason for that Salvation Army major to be shot and killed. It had no financial benefit -unless they relished it.

Unless they had known of him and despised him as a 'do-gooder.'

What they despised was, in my personal opinion, his humility. His willingness to serve.

Well, he's in heaven as I write this and three adopted-now-orphaned children from abusive homes need help.

Would you pray for them to see that God is good, even if men are evil?

Would you pray that this Christmas they see the truth and reject Satan's lie: that meekness is weakness? That God is absent?

Let them see that when goodness is manifest, evil rages against it - and even King Herod charged out to kill the Child of God.

Pray they will have the strength and courage to face all the evil they have experienced for being children of a major in the Salvation Army.

Not all warfare is limited to the Earth, kids. Most of our battles are far deeper - spiritual and emotional in nature. And sometimes, just sometimes, the Enemy of Mankind and the Accuser of the Brethren tips his hand. I suspect these children are VERY important to get such a 'double-attack' so early on.

"Nice work, Kingpin - you shouldn't have signed it!"

In the end, we are either at War Against God -or at War With God.

Choose wisely and live it out.


p.s. Enjoy this music by Phil Keaggy please:

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