Shooting Past Each Other

A battlefield is a bad place for the naïve, but once there was a young man who through a series of circumstances found himself in just that position. He was not fearful, but in his naiveté he thought that the great conflict going on around him was simply an enormous misunderstanding.

The reason this happened to him was that he mistook the propaganda the enemy was circulating as a serious and honest statement of intent. Being naïve, he also believed the statements issued by what should have been his own side in the conflict. This led him, in short order, to the confused and hopeless position of standing between two armies, hands upraised, trying to make them all see that they were “talking past each other.”

But they were not talking at all, they were shooting. And they were not shooting past each other either, except by accident; they were shooting at each other.

The weapons of warfare are not the reasons for warfare. The reasons for war must be found in Scripture, which in turn points us to the human heart. That heart hates righteousness and whenever that righteousness appears (by grace alone), a fierce warfare comes against it soon enough. Refusal to say that this is what is really occurring is one of the central weapons used by the enemy.

Of course, not to decide is to decide, and if God has settled that the conflict must be between two armies, a confused young man with hands upraised cannot alter the severe realities all around him. And this is why this particular young man fell on the battlefield, but without the honor of having fallen in battle.

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