A Veteran's Homily
Cory, like my comment, I too am flawed at my core. My comment was not intended to correct your thinking, but I wrestle with this issue internally and took a chance on offering my immediate thoughts. Perhaps that was a mistake, as I don’t have your ability to express myself as well as many. Still, I am learning and in process. Thanks for responding.
I am still conflicted after reading this piece on war and Memorial Day. I appreciate the attempt to separate war from being God’s plan to being our last-ditch human response to what we see is unjust (in cases such as Ukraine’s plight). No, God is not a fan of war and I would go so far as to say that God is never the instigator of war (I am not a biblical literalist) -- we flawed humans do that for so many reasons. Nevertheless, so long as we are unable to grasp and put into practice God’s beloved community, and so long as we are motivated by greed and a lust for power over others, we will continue to justify the practice of war. But why should we try to make it seem okay by reframing war as a forgivable sin? Yes, Christ died for all and is able to forgive the most egregious sins of war, but war is still not what God desires of us.
I wish I had a better way to say this, but this world (all of us, including the church) are a long way off from beating the weapons of war into implements of peace.
I find this argument deeply bizarre. On the one hand, I am very grateful to hear patriotism called out for the idolatry it is, and (during a Memorial Day service, no less) war called out for the murder it is. But the idea of a serviceman positioning himself and his comrades in the place of Jesus, taking on themselves the sins of their nation---that's one I haven't heard before. Continuing to wear a uniform and draw a pension for what one openly admits is mortal sin I think is missing the point of the saving work of Christ, who also told us, "Go and sin no more." Is this "perseverance of the saints"?