So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Pied Piper of Saipan

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

On his first night on the island of Saipan in June 1944, Marine Private Guy Gabaldon slipped out of camp on his own and returned with two Japanese prisoners. His commanders told him that if left his post again, he’d be court-martialed. But the next night he disappeared again and came back with 50 prisoners. After that, his superiors let him go on his “lone-wolf ” missions whenever he wanted.

Gabaldon wasn’t simply after prisoners. He was trying to save lives. American troops had stormed Saipan, in the Marianna Islands, to break the Japanese defense line in the Pacific and secure a site for an air base. The Japanese tried to hold the island with desperate suicide charges. Gabaldon figured that more prisoners meant fewer casualties.

Just eighteen years old, Guy Gabaldon had learned street smarts from growing up in East Los Angeles barrios. He also knew some Japanese, thanks to a childhood friendship with a Japanese-American family. His strategy was simple. Working alone, he would creep up to an enemy-held cave or bunker, call out that the Marines were nearby, and assure the Japanese that they would be treated with dignity if they would lay down their arms.

“I must have seen too many John Wayne movies, because what I was doing was suicidal,” Gabaldon later said. But his plan kept working.

One day Gabaldon persuaded some 800 Japanese soldiers to surrender and follow him back to the American lines. His astounded comrades nicknamed him the “Pied Piper of Saipan.” Before being wounded by machine-gun fire, he captured perhaps 1,500 prisoners.

Gabaldon’s bravery earned him the Navy Cross, and Hollywood made a movie, Hell to Eternity, about him. But his greatest reward was knowing that, in the midst of a bloody Pacific battle, he had single-handedly saved many American lives.

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. You’ll read about heroes, their achievements, and key events that took place “On This Day” in American history. Click here to subscribe.

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