Tag Archives: prisoner

For the record

There seems to be some confusion these days as to what Christianity consists of, what Christians believe, and how they behave. This is nowhere more true than in the political arena. I do not wish to join in anyone’s political arguments or mudslinging. But, as someone who lives by the Bible and practices the Christian faith, I want to make a few clear statements, for the record.

God is not a God of coercion. He is not a God of injustice. He is not a God of cruelty. And to that end, let it be understood: torture is an act of Satan. To put a person in agony by forcing the sensations of drowning and suffocation upon them; to commit torture of any kind; to justify it, defend it or excuse it, is to blaspheme God’s character, take His Holy Name in vain, and break His commandments.

If you believe you love and follow Jesus, remember this: that when Satan could think of nothing worse to do to the Son of God, he instigated human beings to torture Him, intending to force Him to say what He would not say, and sin against His Father. God does not use Satan’s methods, and He does not excuse them.

Friends, there is a Judgment. It is not far ahead. It will be exercised on behalf of the oppressed, the discriminated, the cheated, the brutalized, the marginalized, and yes, the tortured. God, who knows when a sparrow falls, is not ignorant, and He is not indifferent to cruelty. He cannot be swayed by votes, or influenced by lobbyists. He will not hold those guiltless who take His Name in vain and call upon Him to justify their crimes.

“Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow.” Cursed is the one who mistreats the helpless, the vulnerable, the prisoner, the foreigner, and the down-and-out.

“And all the people shall say, Amen.”

Text from Deuteronomy 27:19, Authorized King James Version

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Say it with me

Welcome home, Bowe Bergdahl.

I’m not talking about politics. I’m not talking about trades. I’m not talking about desertion, or treason, because you know what, there are plenty of people talking about every one of those things.

I’m talking about you, man and boy, an American, a soldier–friend and son and brother.

I’m talking about a boy who struggled with his deployment, wrote from the bitterness of his soul about the ugliness he saw, raged against colonial-style racism, walked away for a moment because … God knows why.

I’m talking about an American whose every known word has been thrown to judgment without a chance to speak any more words, who has been demonized and vilified by political bone-pickers; who doesn’t yet know that he’s hated, questioned and taunted before he even comes back to … God knows what.

I’m talking about a soldier who did everything he had to do to survive, until he almost forgot who he was–whose fragile life may still be undone by the cruelty of his own countrymen. God help him.

I’m talking about a friend who still has friends, a son who has parents, a brother to everyone who’s ever questioned injustice that he saw with his own eyes and heard with his own ears, even if he didn’t say it the way someone twenty years older might have said it.

I’m saying loud and clear, welcome home. With open arms, welcome home.

With one more word for the men and women with stones in their hands and stones for hearts:

“Go learn what this means: I will have mercy and not sacrifice.”