Standing for Truth, Kneeling in the Barracks

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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Yesterday I was up at Blaine, on the border between Washington and British Columbia, cleaning up my boat in its dock after a lazy afternoon sail with some friends. I began to chat with my neighbor on his powerboat. To my surprise, I found that he was also from England and that he and I had served in the British army at the same time—back in the 1950s. The big difference was that for three years he had fought the communists in Malaysia (Britain had its own Vietnam) while I had stayed in Britain, in a much more cushy job, teaching basic electronics to recruits. These same recruits were to go out to Malaysia, operating portable intercoms in the jungles. We were both excited as neither of us had talked about that period with anyone for at least 30 years.

Our conversation brought back memories of boot camp, the miseries and challenges of army life, and of “kneeling.” Why “kneeling”? Well, it was in boot camp that I became a committed Christian. Sometimes we must lie on our backs before we are willing to look up. Misery was turned to joy. Suddenly life had meaning, and in my newfound faith, I would kneel by my barrack-room bed to pray each evening. Taunts and sly remarks came, but in my new exuberance, they were like water off a duck’s back. Oh, yes, and our little band of unutterably ecstatic believers even went up to London, to Hyde Park Corner, to share our newfound faith with the world on a soapbox!

All these memories came flooding back as I scrubbed the fiberglass. I began to think our high calling as Christians is to stand for God’s revealed Truth against all odds.

My little act of “witness” brought only minor sufferings, but suppose my being a Christian had caused me to go out to the Malaysian jungles? Or to prison? Or even to possible death? That is exactly what many face who stand for Christ today. We in the “West” know so little of persecution when it comes to declaring our Faith, but we still have the challenge of declaring it through our LIVES. Are we willing to stand for Truth when it costs us dearly? Where is the breaking point?

Is Christ so central in my life that all important decisions radiate from His being there or from “the convenient path”? In a landscape of shifting sands, Christ’s words stand as an immovable rock: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kind of evil against you because of Me.”

While on the topic of kneeling, I find it a helpful position for worship. One of my favorite hymns, reads:

At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him King of Glory now;
‘Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call Him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the Mighty Word.
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