Lessons of war


I’ve been reading Winston Churchill’s The Second World War. I’m still in 1935 so don’t tell me how it ends. Just kidding, of course.

Churchill calls WW2 the “unnecessary war.” He says that as late as 1934 the war still could have been avoided without bloodshed. All it would have taken was the victors of the First World War setting down their proverbial foot regarding the rearming of Germany.

Looking back makes one look at today. We live in a very dangerous world where the weapons are much more deadly than in the 1930s and where a global economy and communications system have made the distances that separate countries now irrelevant.

There is so much to be learned from past mistakes, but these also are unique times. We believers do not see history merely repeating itself; we see it moving to a determined end.

So how do we live today in a dangerous world? We surely want no more unnecessary wars or other unnecessary suffering. I think we simply seek to be Christ in our circumstances. Christ surely relieved suffering, both spiritual and physical, during his life in the flesh.

Christians who are raised to leadership in the world have a special opportunity to bring to bear on this world the mind of Christ, and let’s surely pray for them. But all of us have enumerable opportunities to bring Christ into this world.

The Prince of Peace seeks to reign in a warring world, whether on the world political stage or on our smaller personal stages. There are many unnecessary wars being waged, and some of them are in our homes and in our churches. And like a shooting war, those home and church wars leave wounds, scars and hurts that can last a lifetime. Christmas points us to something much different, much better.

One Response to “Lessons of war”

  1. David Troublefield Says:


    Who knew it’d be such a hit? Actually, when Irving Berlin penned the holiday classic White Christmas in 1942, no one believed the song stood much of a chance for fame—as a matter-of-fact, it nearly was not included in the film for which Berlin wrote it (Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby). Later, only 18 minutes were spent by the production company recording the song for popular release. But it so appealed to World War II soldiers listening overseas to the Armed Forces Radio Services, and to others since that time, that Berlin’s simple White Christmas became the top-selling single of any music category for more than 50 years. Crosby’s version of it alone sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and it was ranked as the #1 holiday song of the twentieth century by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in 1998. Berlin confessed that he had struggled to pen the song; the timing was right, though–a war-weary nation needed its message and warm wishes.

    The Lord Jesus was born quietly in a crude stable, in a little country, to poor parents–who’d have thought He’d become such a hit? But the world Christ entered miraculously was ready for, and so needed, Him. The peace Rome had established by force (Pax Romana) still held but was challenged seriously with revolt; the empire now was a dictatorship, not a republic. Rome’s economy was crumbling, and so were its families. People were searching for answers and turning to the world’s various religions for them; Judaism hardly could help–its position of high priest was going to the highest bidder, and its lay leaders were distracted by such questions as, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” Into that kind of world, at what the Bible terms “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), Jesus Christ came—and folks by the thousands were drawn to Him and His loving, life-changing message to come back home to God’s forever family. Today, more than 530 million people worldwide are whole-hearted followers of Christ; we meet together weekly in about 6 million locations to praise Him, learn of Him, and prepare to serve Him by ministering to others. We’ve told another 3 billion people about Jesus, and are trying to get the good news of Him to the rest of the earth’s population. He is the One Solitary Life against whom all the odds appeared to be stacked but, still, has more powerfully affected the life of man upon this earth than all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, and all the kings who ever reigned—put together. Jesus Christ is Lord.

    Friend, is Jesus popular with you? Do you know Christ personally? Have your family and neighbors had the opportunity to invite Him into their lives as Savior? It’s what Christmas really is all about—the God who loves us Himself coming to tell us so. That’s a hit with me; isn’t it with you? Make the good news of Jesus Christ known this year.

    David Troublefield
    Minister of Education
    Lamar Baptist Church
    Wichita Falls, TX

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