As the president of DIAKONIA World Federation, I had come to Fiji to make a presentation at the DIAKONIA Asia-Pacific conference. “The traditional welcome ceremony will begin soon,” our hostess said, and she ushered me into a lovely room where I quickly showered and changed into a skirt.
As a combat veteran, I find it tragic that election day always falls just before Veterans Day. Every couple years, the nation waits breathlessly to see who will sit in Washington for them. Nobody seems to have any energy left a week later to remember those who sat in foxholes for them.
On Easter Sunday, Jake Tapper interviewed Rick Warren on ABC’s This Week, asking the influential pastor a series of questions on faith and politics. Of particular interest were his comments on soldiers and war (which did not make it into the aired segment but are available here). At the end of the interview, Warren exclaimed, “God hates war, but loves every soldier.”
As a combat veteran, I was impressed by and grateful for Warren’s statement. The Bible makes clear that war is at best a necessary evil--the idea at the core of the just war tradition. And yes: God loves each and every soldier. But I want to look more closely at the latter thought, especially in light of the suicide epidemic that currently afflicts our nation’s veterans and soldiers.
After Solomon built the Temple, or rather, after his laborers built
it, he stood and offered a prayer for its dedication. In his prayer, he
admitted that the Temple, for all its human splendor, could not contain
or limit God.