Is What You’re Fighting For Worth Dying For?
By Rev. Dan LeRoy, District Superintendent, North Carolina East
World War II veterans are a dying breed, literally. They are passing on at a rate of 1,000 per day. They are the ones who have lived to this day to tell about it — if you can get them to.
416,800 military men and women from the United States gave their lives in World War II. That is an astounding number. But it is estimated that somewhere around 70 million people — 70 million — were fatalities as a result of hostilities in World War II.
The documentary, ‘Band of Brothers’, tells the story of ‘Easy’ Company’s heroic exploits. The 101st Airborne had parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and had fought all over the European Theater.
As the war was drawing to a close, they were part of the occupying force sent into Germany. They met little resistance as they advanced into enemy territory.
They found themselves occupying the German town of Landsberg.
Their uneventful occupation was soon interrupted by a disturbing discovery. In the woods outside of Landsberg, the United States Army paratroopers came face to face with the ugliness of human depravity.
They found a concentration camp.
The walking dead behind the barbed-wire fences were not criminals. They were civilians incarcerated by the German armed forces because of their ethnicity — Jews, Poles and Gypsies.
The title of the episode in the story is, ‘Why We Fight.’
I want to be careful not to trivialize the sacrifice of those who died and the trauma of those who put their lives at risk. I gratefully heed the words of Congressional Medal of Honor winner, WWI veteran, Alvin York, ‘This isn’t for buying and selling.’ (He was a former Wesleyan, by the way.)
I just have to wonder how much we put others’ eternal future in peril when we disengage from the good fight — the one that is fought not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and darkness and spiritual wickedness — to engage in some of the petty stuff we allow ourselves to get entangled in?
Is what you’re fighting for worth dying for?
For the sake of the kingdom and its honor, let’s fight the good fight, and refuse to be drawn into the carnal skirmishes that shame us and cast a poor light on our Savior.
Let’s always remember who the enemy is and let’s take the fight to him. Not each other.