LEST WE FORGET

(August 21, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges us not to forget…

Last Saturday in various countries throughout the world commemoration services were held reflecting the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945 which signified the end of World War 2.

World War 2
Below is a photo taken shortly after that day back then in which a celebration party was arranged for the children in the street where I lived in Belfast.

I just about remember that day… the street lined with tables filled with ‘goodies’ 
that, because of food shortages had been in limited availability during the war years, yet the mums somehow managed to turn the meagre supplies into a celebratory meal! I do remember the sense of joy in all the mums who, after six years of suffering, were so elated to celebrate this wonderful news with their children.

And what a time of suffering those six years were. My father worked at night in an engineering factory in Belfast and most nights German planes tried to bomb it. When my dad went out to work neither he nor my mum knew if he would be returning home the following morning.  Just before I was born, German fighter planes would try to shoot civilians; my parents described their fear as they covered my brother and the unborn ‘me’ with their bodies as they watched the bullets rip along the ground close to where they were under cover.

World War 2 was the most lethal military conflict in history. Around 75 million people died (that is about 3.3% of the world population in those days) and that included around 20 million of those who served in the military and 40 million civilians, many of whom died because of deliberate slaughter, mass-bombings, disease, starvation and limited medical services.

We must not forget the horror and the social consequences of those years and the years that followed nor must we forget the sacrifices that brave men and women made to rescue us from ruthless domination.  It is right that we from time to time reflect on those events – lest we forget!

The Covid-19 War

The world today is facing another war at different fronts – one that is different in so many ways from WW2 but which has also caused major social disruptions and the taking of many lives. The Covid-19 crisis of 2020 has seen the deaths of thousands of people worldwide.

However regrettable those numbers are, they take on a different perspective when compared to those of WW2. Yet the relentless tsunami of fearful media reports has created a state of paranoia among many people.

One of the casualties of war is ‘truth’ and in this ‘war’ against the Covid-19 pandemic truth also seems to have been a casualty. Who and what do we believe? What agendas are being pursued?

The second front of this war is political. I would suggest that of even greater concern than Covid-19 are the leftist, atheistic social revolutionary agendas of the Black Lives Matter movement and similar ideologies that exploited the emotions of people by fanning the flames of prejudice and social revolution while attacking the Christian faith and undermining its moral values. In recent news from Portland, Oregon we learn of anti-law and order demonstrations, rioting, looting and Bible-burning.

Spiritual Warfare
In reality what we are observing is the outworking of spiritual warfare that is referred to in the Bible. ‘Spiritual warfare’ is the biblical concept of fighting a war against evil that opposes God, turns people from God and works division and hostility in the world.

Paul describes it in these words, 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
’ (Ephesians 2:12). In the previous verse he
instructs us to take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who took his stand against Hitler and the evil he was promoting, was imprisoned in a concentration camp and then executed in 1945. He wrote, ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.’

Whether we like it or not, Christians are caught up in this ongoing war that manifests itself in various evil ways through the ages and God calls us not to be silent in the face of evil.

Jesus came to confront and to conquer evil and to redeem humankind (John 3:16-17) – but how much he suffered in doing that for us. He was rejected falsely charged, convicted, mocked, spat on and then nailed to a cross. But three days later he rose from the dead as victor over sin, death and hell.

Sometimes, I think, as Christians we can become blasé about what that really meant and the cost Jesus paid.  So we seriously need to reflect on that – lest we forget!

Lest I forget Gethsemane
Lest I forget thine agony
Lest I forget thy love for me
Lead me to Calvary

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Dr Jim McClure, author of several books such as the enlightening Grace Revisited and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives.

Grace Revisited is highly recommended – as are Looking for Answers in a Confusing World, Overview of the Old and New Testaments, Love, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, The Masonic Deception, Word of Life in the Old and New Testaments and Interpreting the Letter of James. All are available in electronic version in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats with hyperlinks and offered free. Link for orders and questions: jbmcclure@gmail.com

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