The training I completed before this deployment was interesting, to say the least...
Colonel Grossman makes the case for violence, not as some kind of macho proof of one's manliness, but rather as the necessary corollary to the assertion that there are some people in this world who simply will not be reasoned with. He studies in detail the psychological and physiological effects that are unique to people in combat professions. While I'll be the first to tell you that I'm a desk jockey, and not the slightest bit of a badass, I am nevertheless part of the business of making bad people disappear. I'll publish a full review at a later date, but for now I simply want to reiterate that my job as a member of the US military requires me to have a pragmatic view about the subject of violence.
Psalm 144 is a psalm devoted to the glory of God, the teacher of war. King David was known as a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and yet he was also a man of blood (1 Chron. 28:3), yet despite his sins in other areas of his life, God repeatedly affirmed his support for David as King over Israel by giving him victory over his enemies in combat (2 Samuel 8). After one of his many victories, he penned the words of Psalm 144, which I quote:
1Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
3 Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
5 Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.
7 Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;
8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
I think most Christians would like to live peaceful and passive lives, free from any of the concerns about the evils of this world, content to simply pray in abstract terms for the suffering of those innocent people throughout the world who die daily at the hands of evil and unjust men. I, for one, have made it my profession to not simply pray for justice for the persecuted, although that is undoubtedly an important thing to do. More than that though, I have made it my profession to root out guilty men wherever they may hide, in the hope that scary men may visit them in the dark of the night and deliver some of the justice that others pray for.
I ask for your earnest prayers as I prepare to deploy again. Pray that I have a productive and efficacious tour of duty in the uglier parts of the world, and pray that God guides my efforts and the efforts of those fine men and women I work alongside. Above all, pray that God's will be done, and that I stay as close to him as possible during my time away.
Pray also that many bad people die, and no good people get hurt.
I'll be in touch,