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View Full Version : Black and White...Or Grey?



Romulus
10-06-2003, 06:32 PM
It is my personal belief that at one point in time (and still today in many non-compromised cultures) a man was merely expected to be all that he could be within his ordained and accepted field of expertise. However, I find that living in a western society (U.K) much like your own there are many areas of speciality which have been frowned upon as negative and counter-productive to the work of Christ and the Christian message in general.

If I were to take up work as an accountant and immerse myself in literature associated with that particular subject, nobody would really raise an eyebrow and apart from an exhortation to store up treasures in heaven I would be left to my business without too many feathers being ruffled.

Since however my assignment is security and not accountancy the liberty for me to do likewise within that field is severely restricted by the main stream population of the Church. Now correct me if I'm wrong but the great King David, was such because of his combined attributes of being faithful and hungry for his God and because he was an exceptional warrior who led by example.

It seems to me that many great men recognised within scripture were immortalised for this same reason, Joshua...Uriah...etc etc.

Now we know that in order to become proficient in anything there must be a certain degree of practice. It has rightly been said that "all skills are perishable," so David for one must have spent time learning how to use his sword to kill efficiently. The significance of his defeat over Goliath shows us that he was exceptional with a sling shot so there again hours and hours of practice would have gone into that. Israel never had a slap dash army full of incompetents who only succeded because God Almighty lent a hand, people trained and went to war and were highly successful due to the time they invested in honing their skills. I'm not suggesting that to have a covenant with God means nothing, neither am I trying to imply that a man's skill at arms is enough to carry him through any altercation. No, all that we do is first birthed in prayer and carried out in the knowledge that God will seal our victory.

So that brings me to my query. It is clearly evident that David killed hundreds and hundreds of men in war, and yet you won't hear people speak of him negatively because they only see the fluffly charecteristics of the ruddy shepherd boy stringing his harp. What I would like to know is where are the hardening effects that come from killing in the lives of these men? The desensitisation and the apparent "losing of one's own life" with each that you take? What difference is there between a man in covenant with God, who kills when duty requires him to do so and a man outside of that precious mercy who does likewise for the same reason? Why would I not experience the emotional/mental after effects of killing and the revisited horror of repetitive dreams I'm told accompany a man who has taken a life to save his own simply because of my faith and relationship with God?

How much of this life is black and white and how much coloured grey?

Thankyou in advance forum members for your time and wisdom in answering my questions.

michael
10-06-2003, 07:17 PM
Hi Romulus,
My personal opinion is that some Christians are called to be warriors, just like others are called to be pastor/teachers, etc. Not called in the sense that it is a spiritual gift, which warriorship is not, but called because your skill and training obligates you to protect the weak and infirm. In my former occupation as a police/SWAT officer, I "saw the elephant" and survived. I never felt the least bit bad about it, suffered not one minute's lost sleep or remorse. We were required by my former agency to see a psychiatrist for one visit, which I did. I think they thought I would suffer effects at a later date, but as of now, 6 years later, I have not nor do I expect any. It was his choice to make, not mine, and I did what was required to protect myself and my teamates. As long as you are justified, both legally and morally in what you do, I don't believe that you should feel ill effects. You may and many do and there is certainly nothing wrong with this, but I think some of it is due to the fact that the liberal media, public and psychologists, almost make it a "required" thing to feel bad about it. I firmly believe that many do because they think they are supposed to feel bad. I don't agree. I am certain that King David, Joshua and others prefected their skill at arms on a regular basis. Probably during their time though, CNN wasn't breathing down their necks watching everything they did!

Sam Spade
10-06-2003, 07:44 PM
So that brings me to my query... What I would like to know is where are the hardening effects that come from killing in the lives of these men? The desensitisation and the apparent "losing of one's own life" with each that you take? What difference is there between a man in covenant with God, who kills when duty requires him to do so and a man outside of that precious mercy who does likewise for the same reason? Why would I not experience the emotional/mental after effects of killing and the revisited horror of repetitive dreams I'm told accompany a man who has taken a life to save his own simply because of my faith and relationship with God?

How much of this life is black and white and how much coloured grey?
Last question is easiest. It's all black and white, as will be demonstrated at the final accounting. We, in our imperfection, create the grey and may be incapable of seeing the truth, but the truth of the matter is still there.

The difference between a man in covenant and one not so revolves around the interjection of one's pride or ego. When you have a clear understanding of your duty to God--not to your own desires, or to another man, or a system created by man--you are free to act without pride or selfish desire. Then, acting to bring about justice, you free yourself from recrimination.

Look again at David. Holding Saul's life in his hands, he did not take it, though we might be able to paint it as a justified killing. There, he would not strike God's annointed, subjecting his own ego and self-preservation to God's will. Everything worked out just fine. On the other hand, the one death that came back to haunt him was the one driven by lust, and it was not even by his hand.

In other conversations, people have taken me to task for not believing that shooting to stop really means shooting to kill. They're wrong, of course, perhaps because they injected their own ego and desires into the equation. I'm not looking at taking a man's life--I'm looking at preserving the innocent. If I do this properly (and it's worked so far) then there is nothing for emotional flashbacks etc, to attach themselves to.

John Silver
10-06-2003, 08:10 PM
Very interesting concepts here.

First, I am sure many are called to warriorship not through any spiritual calling, but through obligation of occupation. That's not my situation. I'm not a paranoid, dont' go around with every weapon at my disposal tucked everywhere, but I'm back to learning and refining my skills because I believe God has told me to. My job doesn't require it, and I wasn't looking for it, but it's a weight that has been placed on my heart. Don't know why, and I'm not sure it matters right now. When a door is opened, you go.

As for psychological trauma, I think Christianity does play a part. During the pre-WWII times, we did not look to man for mercy. We understood the brutality of man, the hard nature of life, and that grace came from God. Even those members of society who did not believe in Christ understood the nature of man in general and had seen hard things growing up. People worked hard, new hardship and death from an early age. Those WWII vets still are affected by what they went through, but they haven't been destroyed by it, and looking at the explosion of wealth in this country after the war, were obviously strengthened by their experience. They did what they had to, and they moved on with the confidence winning a violent encounter can give a person.

By the time Vietnam rolled around, our country had found it easy to make fun of Christianity as weak, and we were exploring the concept of the relative nature of man and looking for the good in all mankind. Take a person with such a background, who lived in one of the most prosperous nations in the world, had no idea of how evil does walk the land, thinks everyone is wonderful, has grown up soft and sheltered, and put them in a killing situation. They are just not mentally prepared for it - it goes against all that they were told was true.

Obviously, this is a generalization, and not meant in anyway to classify all Vietnam vets or defame anyone in anyway. But, it was with that war that America really faced the idea of "post traumatic stress" or whatever you choose to call it. We have never been able to conquer it, because socially we still want killing to be bad. And, it just isn't always bad. Sure, it can be, but it can also result in great good, too.

God understands this, and we understood it once, too. God expects skill and learning to only come from practice, and he will call certain people to certain fields. If he calls you, or you find yourself, in a situation to be needful of violent skills, there is nothing damning about practicing those skills.

Romulus
10-07-2003, 04:05 AM
Thankyou Gentlemen,

My questions have been answered clearly and my original belief that justification and correct conduct are what makes the difference.

It is a tough subject for some, but if you have been wired up with the specific circuitry for the kind of work which may require the taking of life and you do so because your choice not to has been removed, then there is no reason why we should suffer.

I will consider your replies again in more depth, especially in relation to David as a charecter study.

I refrain now from edging toward the grey mindset, it is tempting to veer that way when answers are not clear, but as has been said here, right is right.

Thankyou.

Gray
10-09-2003, 04:30 PM
I think that a fundamental problem is that mankind rebels against the sovereignty of God. We do not "enjoy" the fact that it is He, and not us Who decides the parameters of right and wrong. We like to bring our opinions to the table with an expectation that they have some type of value separate from God's revealed standard. We (generally speaking as created beings) like to play at being more righteous than God by declaring certain things (like violence) as somehow being un-Godly and sinful, failing to understand that it is God that declares what is clean and unclean. When created subordinate beings rebel against the knowledge of God, all kinds of foolishness ensues. In the face of that, God says that even His foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom.

Violence is contextual in value; it is declared to be good or evil based upon it's use as declared by a sovereign omnipotent Creator. God ordered the theocratic government of Israel to destroy pagan idolatrous nations, and in the process to kill men, women, children and animals. If we opine that this command was wrong, we are placing ourselves in a position of judging God. How audacious! All murder's are killings, but not all killings are murders.

Some attempt to use this principal to inject a sort of moral equivalency into the current "troubles" with Islam.
They do this because they have adopted a syncretistic value system that places idols as equals with God. (He sent an entire nation into captivity for that very practice.) How silly to think that covenants only contain blessings; judgement starts first in the household of God.

Men have obligations to provide and protect their own; these are emplaced by God and not subject to negotiation. Duty is an anachronistic term to post-modern society. God is not amused by these musings. He says that a man that does not provide for his own is worse than an unbeliever. How bad is that? Enough that eternity is insufficient to recompense.

Vig Creed
10-15-2003, 04:10 PM
Like Sam, it's all black/white to me, and always has been.

creed

DBK
10-22-2003, 02:29 PM
Its all black and white to me, as well. To see gray means I am not sound in my principles. Things are black and white, right and wrong, its that simple.

Simplicity comes with a price. That price is admitting when you are wrong, accepting responsibility and being accountable for your actions.