Our kids get a vitamin supplement. It’s not that Mom doesn’t try to provide well-balanced meals. It’s just a wee bit of insurance in case they missed something. (Finicky kids are prone to do that.) But we know a family that totally trusts in the vitamin tablet. Their kids might receive snacks; however, vitamins are “in” and meals are “out.” Come chow time, there is no food on the table, only a little chewable tablet.
This is the typical Christian family. The vitamin supplement (upon which most hopes are cast) is the Sunday School. And the missing meal?
The Shema describes it:
And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you rise (Deu. 6).
Now, much makes up that well-balanced meal but the meat and potatoes of it smells of Scripture. (Do your kids feast on it? Do you?) The missing meal could well provide the fix’ns for a family-time joint venture.
Before we consider putting the food on the table, we need to sit down with a checklist: 1) Sit in house, 2) Walk by way, 3) “brush your teeth,” 4)”up and at em!” Aside from those spontaneous moments when we speak of the things of God, where does the disciplined instruction of precepts fit? Or, what takes its place?
Take for example, 1) Leisure in the home. How much time is sacrificed to the demon Television [or computer/phone screen]? Can we set aside time here to slip in a wholesome meal?
For starters, tell you kids, “Recite the Ten Commandments.” If the staples are missing, health suffers no matter how many vitamins you take. Knowing basic Scriptures gives true vitality to life.
It is noteworthy how this knowledge surfaces in the black of night. In Loving God, Charles Colson tells of POWs who struggled to recall Scriptures in the midst of torture and deprivation. At great risk, in solitary cells, they shared verses with one another by Morse Code tapped out on stone. Though starving, they hungered for God’s word.
But we take it for granted. If we do not teach our children key verses during those “golden years of memory,” we have missed the tide. We need to sound the trumpet for a Back To Basics movement in the Christian home.
So, try this radical proposal: Stop memorizing verse numbers. Then, whenever we turn to find a verse, we must scan the chapter until we are familiar with it.
Scripture stood for more than a millennium without verse or chapter number. Then, in the 13th Century A.D., someone (Cardinal Hugo de St. Caro or the Archbishop of Canterbury) put in the chapter numbers. The New Testament verse divisions we use were jotted down en route to Lyons when Robert Estienne (Stephanus) left Paris astride of a horse—that in the 16th Century.
Tools like these numbers serve us well until they distract us. John 3:16 will always be shorthand for this beloved verse. But after that, few verses are readily recognized by the numbers. Romans 8:28, one of the few, would contend for second place among memorable verses: “And we know that all things work for good to those who love God…”
If we teach our children just “Romans 8,” they might notice that the context of “all things” is the “sufferings” of verse eighteen. (We might do so, also!) We have heard Christian adults reason that if all things work for good then why not go ahead with a divorce, thus ignoring both the primary context and the larger one, that, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14). But keeping commandments presupposes knowing them.
Dropping the verse number from our memory will not only point to the importance of context, it will eliminate that troublesome transposing of numbers–”Was that Luke 4:8 or 8:4?”
As we teach our children key Scriptures, they need us to take the time to read the whole passage, and to explain the setting. We had better prepare first or we will bore them to death. (If our children applied themselves as diligently to school lessons as we do to our study of Scripture, they would all flunk out.) But we also must distinguish between hard work (discipline; being a disciple/learner) and boredom. Some things, the important ones, require effort. Life is not TV pablum passively received by the kid who plops down in a plush chair.
Whole meals in the home provide the basic food groups. Our children need to know key Scriptures and to know them clearly and in context. Included should be the Beatitudes; verses about both the way of Salvation and about our duties as Christians; parts of the Shema, and the Ten Commandments, which, as Ted Koppel noted in a commencement address, “were not the Ten Suggestions, they are commandments. Are, not were.”
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament makes a striking comment on the Ten Commandments: “No one has to spend a lifetime in search of them.” (This being the result of a gift—God’s revelation to us.) We must ensure that our children know them rather than search for them. Society’s immoral mess suggests that, in some respects, this generation seeks for these. Rebellion has progressed to ignorance. “My people perish for lack of knowledge” was on the lips of both Isaiah and Hosea. Filling the void, the erotic and exotic religions of today reap the darkness which they have sown: STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), suicides, and senselessness.
In contrast, Christ’s light (his people, his church) shines in the darkness. How brightly it shines depends on willing vessels. Christ “puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore…lest he come suddenly and find you asleep” (Mark 13).
A dying world needs us to display God’s word. Our first step is to learn it well. And few children in Christian homes know it well.
‘Reverence for God’s word stands out in those times marked by the bright light of Christ. In his sermons on the Catechism, Martin Luther pointed to the Ten Commandments and told fathers, “Exhort your households to learn them word for word, that they should obey God…For if you teach and urge your families, things will go forward.”
Bengtsson was born in Trollhättan, Sweden, in 1935. He holds a PhD (1964) in meteorology from the University of Stockholm. His long and productive career included positions as Head of Research and later Director at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading in the UK (1976 — 1990), and as Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg (1991 — 2000). Bengtsson is currently Senior Research Fellow with the Environmental Systems Science Centre at the University of Reading, as well as Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.
Bengtsson’s scientific work has been wide-ranging, including everything from climate modelling and numerical weather prediction to climate data and data assimilation studies. Most recently, he has been involved in studies and modeling of the water cycle and extreme events. From his twin home bases in the UK and Germany, he has cooperated closely over the years with scientists in the US, Sweden, Norway, and other European countries.
Bengtsson is best known to the general public due to a dispute which arose in 2014 over a paper he and his colleagues had submitted to Environmental Research Letters, but which was rejected for publication for what Bengtsson believed to be “activist” reasons. The paper disputed the uncertainties surrounding climate sensitivity to increased greenhouse gas concentrations contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports. Bengtsson and his co-authors maintained that the uncertainties are greater than the IPCC Assessment Reports claim. The affair was complicated by the fact that Bengtsson had recently agreed to serve on the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a climate skeptic organization. When Bengtsson voiced his displeasure over the rejection of his paper, and mainstream scientists noticed his new affiliation with the GWPF, intense pressure was brought to bear, both in public and behind the scenes, to force Bengtsson to recant his criticism of the journal in question and to resign from the GWPF. He finally did both of these things, but not without noting bitterly in his letter of resignation:
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting [sic] such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting [sic] anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Bengtsson is the author or co-author of over 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as co-editor of several books (see below). In addition to numerous grants, commission and board memberships, honorary degrees, and other forms of professional recognition, he has received the Milutin Milanković Medal (1996) bestowed by the European Geophysical Society, the Descartes Prize (2005) bestowed by the European Union, the International Meteorological Organization Prize (2006), and the Rossby Prize (2007) bestowed by the Swedish Geophysical Society. Bengtsson is an Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a Member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK), and a Fellow of the Swedish Academy of Science, the Finnish Academy of Science, and the European Academy.
2. John R. Christy
Christy was born in Fresno, California, in 1951. He holds a PhD (1987) in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Christy is best known for work he did with Roy W. Spencer beginning in 1979 on establishing reliable global temperature data sets derived from microwave radiation probes collected by satellites. Theirs was the first successful attempt to use such satellite data collection for the purpose of establishing long-term temperature records. Although the data they collected were initially controversial, and some corrections to the interpretation of the raw data had to be made, the work — which is coming up on its fortieth anniversary — remains uniquely valuable for its longevity, and is still ongoing. Christy has long been heavily involved in the climate change/global warming discussion, having been a Contributor or Lead Author to five Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports relating to satellite temperature records. He was a signatory of the 2003 American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) statement on climate change, although he has stated that he was “very upset” by the AGU’s more extreme 2007 statement.
Christy began voicing doubts about the growing climate-change consensus in the 2000s. In an interview with the BBC from 2007, he accused the IPCC process of gross politicization and scientists of succumbing to “group-think” and “herd instinct.”; In 2009, he made the following statement in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee (altogether, he has testified before Congress some 20 times):
From my analysis, the actions being considered to “stop global warming” will have an imperceptible impact on whatever the climate will do, while making energy more expensive, and thus have a negative impact on the economy as a whole. We have found that climate models and popular surface temperature data sets overstate the changes in the real atmosphere and that actual changes are not alarming. And, if the Congress deems it necessary to reduce CO2 emissions, the single most effective way to do so by a small, but at least detectable, amount is through the massive implementation of a nuclear power program.
Christy has not been shy about publicizing his views, making many of the same points in an op-ed piece he published with a colleague in 2014 in the Wall Street Journal. In an interview with the New York Times published that same year, he explains the price he has had to pay professionally for his skeptical stance toward the climate-change consensus. However, Christy stands his ground, refusing to give in to ad hominem attacks or the exercise of naked political power, insisting the issues must be discussed on the scientific merits alone.
Christy is the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters (for a selection of a few of his best-known articles, see below). In 1991, Christy was awarded the Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement bestowed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his groundbreaking work with Spencer. A Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), since 2000 Christy has been Alabama’s official State Climatologist.
3. Judith A. Curry
Curry was born in 1953. She holds a PhD (1982) in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). In 2017, under a torrent of criticism from her colleagues and negative stories in the media, she was forced to take early retirement from her position as Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, a position she had held for 15 years (during 11 of those years, she had been Chair of the School). Curry is currently Professor Emerita at Georgia Tech, as well as President of Climate Forecast Applications Network, or CFAN (see below), an organization she founded in 2006.
Curry is an atmospheric scientist and climatologist with broad research interests, including atmospheric modeling, the polar regions, atmosphere-ocean interactions, remote sensing, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research, and hurricanes, especially their relationship to tornadoes. Before retiring, she was actively researching the evidence for a link between global warming and hurricane frequency and severity.
Curry was drummed out of academia for expressing in public her reservations about some of the more extreme claims being made by mainstream climate scientists. For example, in 2011, she published (with a collaborator) an article stressing the uncertainties involved in climate science and urging caution on her colleagues. After having posted comments along these lines on other people’s blogs for several years, in 2010, she created her own climate-related blog, Climate Etc. (see below), to foster a more open and skeptical discussion of the whole gamut of issues involving climate change/global warming. She also gave testimony some half dozen times between 2006 and 2015 to Senate and House subcommittees, expressing in several of them her concerns about the politicization of the usual scientific process in the area of climate change. Writing on her blog in 2015 about her most-recent Congressional testimony, Curry summarized her position as follows:
The wickedness of the climate change problem provides much scope for disagreement among reasonable and intelligent people. Effectively responding to the possible threats from a warmer climate is made very difficult by the deep uncertainties surrounding the risks both from the problem and the proposed solutions.
The articulation of a preferred policy option in the early 1990’s by the United Nations has marginalized research on broader issues surrounding climate variability and change and has stifled the development of a broader range of policy options.
We need to push the reset button in our deliberations about how we should respond to climate change.
Finding herself denounced as a “climate change denier” and under intense pressure to recant her views, in 2017 Curry instead took early retirement from her job at Georgia Tech and left academia, citing the “craziness” of the present politicization of climate science. She continues to be active in the field of climatology through her two blogs and her many public lectures.
Curry is the author or co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as the co-author or editor of three books (see below). She has received many research grants, been invited to give numerous public lectures, and participated in many workshops, discussion panels, and committees, both in the US and abroad. In 2007, Curry was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
4. Richard S. Lindzen
Lindzen was born in Webster, Massachusetts, in 1940. He holds a PhD (1964) in applied mathematics from Harvard University. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT.
Already in his PhD dissertation, Lindzen made his first significant contribution to science, laying the groundwork for our understanding of the physics of the ozone layer of the atmosphere. After that, he solved a problem that had been discussed for over 100 years by some of the best minds in physics, including Lord Kelvin, namely, the physics of atmospheric tides (daily variations in global air pressure). Next, he discovered the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), a cyclical reversal in the prevailing winds in the stratosphere above the tropical zone. Then, Lindzen and a colleague proposed an explanation for the “superrotation” of the highest layer of Venus’s atmosphere (some 50 times faster than the planet itself), a model that is still being debated.
The idea for which Lindzen is best known, though, is undoubtedly the “adaptive infrared iris” conjecture. According to this model, the observed inverse correlation between surface temperature and cirrus cloud formation may operate as a negative feedback on infrared radiation (heat) build-up near the earth’s surface. According to this proposal, decreasing cirrus cloud formation when surface temperatures rise leads to increased heat radiation into space, while increasing cirrus cloud formation when surface temperatures decline leads to increased heat retention — much as the iris of the human eye adapts to ambient light by widening and narrowing. If correct, this phenomenon would be reason for optimism that global warming might be to some extent self-limiting. Lindzen’s hypothesis has been highly controversial, but it is still being discussed as a serious proposal, even by his many critics.
Lindzen was a Contributor to Chapter 4 of the 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment, and to Chapter 7 of the 2001 IPCC Working Group 1 (WG1). Nevertheless, in the 1990s, Lindzen began to express his concern about the reliability of the computer models upon which official IPCC and other extreme climate projections are based. He has been especially critical of the notion that the “science is settled.” In a 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he maintained that the science is far from settled and that “[c]onfident predictions of catastrophe are unwarranted.” For his trouble, Lindzen has suffered the usual brutal, ad hominem attacks from the climate-change establishment.
Lindzen is author or co-author of nearly 250 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as author, co-author, or editor of several books, pamphlets, and technical reports (see below). He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS).
5. Nir J. Shaviv
Shaviv was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1972, but was raised in Israel. He holds a doctorate (1996) in physics from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He spent a year as an IBM Einstein Fellow at the highly prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (2014 — 2015). He is currently Professor and Chair of the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Shaviv first made a name for himself (see his 1998 and 2001 papers, below) with his research on the relationship between inhomogeneities in stellar atmospheres and the Eddington limit (the equilibrium point at which the centrifugal force of stellar radiation production equals the centripetal force of gravitation). This theoretical work led to a concrete prediction that was later confirmed telescopically (see the 2013 Nature paper listed below).
Of more direct relevance to the climate-change debate was a series of papers Shaviv wrote, beginning in 2002 (see below), detailing a bold theory linking earth’s ice ages with successive passages of the planet through the various spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, and with cosmic radiation more generally. He has also expressed his conviction that variations in solar radiation have played an equal, if not greater, role in the observed rise in mean global temperature over the course of the twentieth century than has human activity (see his 2012 paper, below). He maintains, not only that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have played a smaller role in global warming than is usually believed, but also that the earth’s climate system is not nearly so sensitive as is usually assumed.
In recent years, Shaviv has become an active critic of the results and predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other organizations supporting the consensus view. In particular, he rejects the often-heard claim that “97% of climate scientists” agree that anthropogenic climate change is certain and highly dangerous. Shaviv emphasizes (see the video clip, below) that “science is not a democracy” and all that matters is the evidence for these claims — which he finds deficient.
Shaviv is the author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters, of which some of the most important are listed below.
November 11th, marks the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, ending the warfare in 1918.
The Great War. The War to End All Wars. World War I. (It prepared the seedbed for its sequel, World War II. We still live with a century of consequences.)
Conservative Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., called it an unnecessary war. Another called it Satanic carnage.
Stanley Weintraub, in A Stillness Heard Round the World, chronicles the celebrations that broke out on that day. Work ceased, bells rang; sirens and whistles pierced the air. Buildings were emptied and throngs filled the streets, celebrating with cowbells and drums; horns and tin pans. Singing and shouts filled the air. Newsboys shouted, “EXTRA!”
The First Lady picked up her mother and sister and drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, to the delight of the crowds. Orville Wright wrote, “We all rejoice this day…”
All this was on November 7th, the day of the famous False Truce.And it began all over again on November 11th.
“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive.”
(The epigraph in Stanley Weintraub’s book.)
On the battlefront, when the cease-fire came, one young lieutenant wrote home of his Marines, “The poor boys, some of them just dropped and cried.”
Few, today, realize that what is now Veterans Day began as Armistice Day—a holiday of thanksgiving for the end of the brutal fighting that ravaged Europe for over four years.
In the 1960s our clueless Congress changed the date to the fourth Monday in October (part of their three-day holiday weekend project). The World War I generation would not hear of it. I remember my grandmother firmly stating that Armistice Day was November 11th, NOT the fourth Monday of October. After a decade of standing up and speaking out by those who knew the true date and meaning, Congress restored the November 11th holiday, forty years ago, in 1978.
In his day, Charles Spurgeon asked, “Why does a peaceful nation bluster and threaten for a few months, and even commence fighting, when in a short time it sighs for peace, and illuminates its streets as soon as peace is proclaimed? The immediate causes differ, but the abiding reason is the same — man is fallen, and belongs to a race of which infallible revelation declares “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known.”
In the West, November 11thalso marks the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, whose most famous words are, “I am a soldier of Christ. It is not lawful for me to fight.”
The Lord’s battles, what are they? Not the garment rolled in blood, not the noise, and smoke, and din of human slaughter. These may be the devil’s battles, if you please, but not the Lord’s. They may be days of God’s vengeance but in their strife the servant of Jesus may not mingle.(“War! War! War!” May 1, 1859)–Charles Spurgeon
Hiroshima After the Bomb, 1945; 70th Anniversary, August 6, 2015
I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.
—Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (to Sec. of War before the dropping of the bomb)
The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.
— Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.
— Major General Curtis LeMay
The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment … It was a mistake to ever drop it … [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it …
— Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr
Link to Key Quotes on Christians and war by Charles Spurgeon. Evangelicals ought to have the integrity to read what this giant of the faith said on this subject,
Gro Hillestad Thune, a Norwegian lawyer by profession, was a member of the European Commission of Human Rights for 17 years. She is regarded as Norway’s leading expert on human rights, and her name is recognized internationally.
Gro Hillestad Thune, in her article last week, “The child welfare services have become family controllers”, explains that the concern messages that child welfare services receive are often very trivial, and although Norway’s CWS can help people who need help, in many cases, they create more problems than they solve.
According to Thune, the notes that employees make in the pre-schools are very often inadequate and full of errors, that give a totally wrong picture of the child’s situation. They are simply not educated enough to question and ask children about the home care situation.
“A message of concern from pre-school provides an access card to a family. The child welfare services can call them, visit them and demand that they come to the office. They can talk to children and parents separately. They have free passes into family life.
The “interrogations” are often initiated with a number of leading questions, and the children feel compelled to answer something to satisfy the caregivers in the pre-school, and then the imagination is fuelled. Often, what the children are talking about is also misinterpreted. It can have disastrous consequences for the child and the family,” says Gro Hillestad Thune.
When countries like Romania, Poland and India speak up for their citizens
…in Norway, it usually isn’t long before Norway does the right thing and returns innocent children back to their able and caring parents.
But, what about “pure Norwegian” cases?
A Norwegian citizen was sent a number of warnings from church members because of what she had been sharing, regarding Norway’s Child Welfare System (NCWS), Barnevernet, on facebook.
Some were convinced that this mother was in trouble herself with NCWS. Others told her to stop criticising NCWS, because they believed her family would be targeted and they didn’t want that to happen.
This mother replied to the detractors with some simple questions. Why don’t you join me? Do you think it’s really OK to go after families who criticise NCWS?
The detractors said they believed in the right to express oneself, but with NCWS, this wouldn’t be possible.
The mother again replied, “do you really believe we have the right to say what we think in Norway?”
This mother asked a second time, if they considered joining the uprising or were they willing to let NCWS scare them half to death, and into silence?
She also tried to show the detractors the danger they were in, but they were certain they would stay safe as long as they didn’t criticise NCWS.
It’s all very backwards.
The trouble in Norway could be partly attributed to the infamous Norwegian politeness – the best way to treat people with respect is to leave them alone. This behaviour is very evident when other people are in trouble, so the “politeness” becomes self defense and ignorance and acceptable to leave “those NCWS-families” on their own.
When NCWS make horrendous errors of judgement, many Norwegians still don’t see any reason to do anything. You don’t criticise NCWS unless they are after you personally. And those who don’t know anyone personally who has been targeted by NCWS, still think they are safe, like many other families thought before NCWS knocked on their door.
Norwegians often won’t believe it and act, unless they feel it and see it for themselves.
In the aftermath of “Vietnam,” war-weary Americans imbibed a playlist of anti-war movies. All seemed lost for despairing warriors. But, then, STAR WARS burst onto the scene and took the world by storm.
The mud and blood, and the smell of gunpowder and napalm gave way to this cool, clean, antiseptic environment, and lightsabres.
In another time warp, Cap’n Kidd has again weighed anchor. With the huge success of Hacksaw Ridge, amidst the carnage, Desmond Doss emerges as a real-life hero of the faith. As a pacifist Christian who refuses to ‘bear the sword’ with his fellow soldiers, he suffers alongside them, binding up their wounds and rescuing many from death.
Butnow we sight the Jolly Roger sailing toward us from beyond the horizon. Under the flag of The Gospel Coalition, Cap’n Kidd’s cannons capture our gaze—enter Sergeant York.
And, yes, Alvin York, like Desmond Doss, was a devout Christian. And both were awarded the Medal of Honor.
“I always rejoice to find a soldier a Christian, but I always mourn to find a Christian a soldier,” wrote Charles Spurgeon [of Jaws fame (link); this is Jaws 2].
Like Desmond Doss, Alvin York came from a pacifist church. In 1914, Alvin York became a new Christian at a Church of Christ. The Great War would soon deliver him (and thousands of other men) to boot camp where “an officer convinced him that the Bible endorsed a Christian’s participation in a just war.”
[How many times, recently, have we ‘learned’ the lesson of a person, in authority over others, taking advantage and convincing someone under them to do what they did not want to do?]
On The Western Front in 1918, a month before the truce, the sharpshooter Corporal York earned the Medal of Honor, killing German soldiers the “way we shoot turkeys at home” and capturing over 130 of them.
“But York still struggled with the killings, not entirely sure that God approved of his actions.”–Thomas S. Kidd.
Sgt. Alvin York struggled after the war with the question of giving permission to Hollywood to make a movie about him. He eventually relented in order to support a Bible School. And Gary Cooper won the Academy Award for Best Actor. It was 1941, just in time for WWII.
A big part of the support for WWI came from Christian pastors. (If you would like to get the feel of that, read Mark Twain’s The War Prayer.) Wm. Buckley wrote that World War One was an unnecessary war. It was not a just war. Another described it as “satanic carnage.”
The salt lost its savour. The War to End All Wars and Versailles prepared the seedbed for the rise of a Hitler and World War, Part Two.
Charles Spurgeon [quotes link] concluded his above remark about soldiers with this: “The followers of Christ in these days seem to me to have forgotten a great part of Christianity.”