Doug Wilson: Military Christians Love, and Fight, Their Enemies
In late 2008 he was analyzing Greg Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation, which took pains to point out the “contradictions” of Christianity, which included the statement that
It is impossible to love your enemies and bless those who persecute you, while at the same time defending your right to political freedom by killing those who threaten you.
Wilson has some interesting responses to Boyd, who obviously thinks “Christian fighter pilot” (or Christian Soldier, Christian Sailor, Marine, etc.) is an oxymoron (emphasis original):
[As a former military man,] I know how Christians in the military are trained to think and behave, and love for your enemies is not something that is dismissed out of hand. My father knew a group of Christian fighter pilots who would meet together for prayer before their missions — not only to pray for obvious things like safety, but also to pray for the enemy. I know this seems like a logical contradiction to someone like Boyd, but I would appreciate sometime seeing a pacifist argument that seeks to show it to be contradictory, rather than just assuming the contradiction from the mere difficulty of it. Not all challenges are contradictions…
[A magazine contributor], a pacifist, was recalling his reactions to an interview with a Christian pilot who had been shot down over North Vietnam, and who had then been tortured by his captors. In the interview, he recounted how the Lord had given him genuine love for the men who were his torturers. He really loved them, and did not return malice for malice. When the interviewer then asked him if he would be willing to fly any more missions against North Vietnam, he replied, as a good military man, “Of course.” The pacifist who was recounting this admired the love this man obviously had for his captors, but could not fit this together with his willingness to continue fighting as a warrior.
Though written as a rebuttal to Boyd’s points, the content of Wilson’s article is both interesting and relevant.