Cleansing Fire

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What about Spiritual Medals of Honor?

August 1st, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

President Trump just made his first Medal of Honor award — to a true hero.

ScreenShot660To try to capture even a small part of what Vietnam War medic, Specialist V, James McCloughan of the US Army, did to deserve such recognition would inevitably understate his heroism. It is well worth the 21 minutes to view: https://youtu.be/kw4LrmzFMlM

After the entrance strains of “Hail to the Chief,” the words from the podium came from John 15:13:  Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Christ said it; we believe it. And it is not difficult to see that martyrdom fits this description, if one is “friend” of God.

But what has a higher “value” than one’s own life? The answer is clear: one’s own soul!

But it seems that God does not accept that gift of sacrificing one’s own soul. Two instances arise in Sacred Scripture which are worth considering:

  • In Exodus Chapter 32, verses 31-33 provide some perspective.  After Aaron and the people had sinned in creating and worshiping the golden calf, Moses goes to God to try to obtain His forgiveness.  “So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin–and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which Thou hast written.’  But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.’”  So Moses offered to give up his own eternal life and God refused the gift.
  • In Romans, Chapter 9, verse 3, Paul states: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race.” Paul, having the advantage of knowing what Moses said, and how God had responded, is more selective in the way he speaks, not to offend the God and giver of soul, yet still to write deeply of his love and care for the Jewish people. He “could” wish, though he seems not to so wish.

And, in these words, we confirm that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend; it is not acceptable to lay down one’s soul, though the soul is greater than the earthly life. Yet, life is often lived inconsistently with this truth. Parents would jump into the ocean to save a child (even if the parent can’t swim) but will not risk potential alienation by correcting that same child’s adult moral lifestyle decisions. Friends, who might risk their own lives to save a friend from a terrorist attack, are too afraid of losing the friendship to speak clearly against a friend’s planned abortion.  A preacher hesitates to condemn a sin from the pulpit, lest the capital campaign falter. The examples are numerous. Esau traded his spiritual heritage for a bowl of porridge; the absurdity continues into today’s values, and lack of values, in effect offering their own souls, and others’ souls for the porridge of having ‘nice’ relationships.

A medal of honor is indeed a time to ponder where the virtue of courage works in our own lives, where we place priorities, and how we value not only our souls, but the souls of those who need to hear truth. Awesome!

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One Response to “What about Spiritual Medals of Honor?”

  1. avatar christian says:

    Thanks for sharing the video, Diane. Thanks also for your wise and inspiring words.

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