Atrocity and you, why it matters…

I am reading a book by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman entitled “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.”

I came across this paragraph yesterday in the last 1/3 of the book that deals with atrocities amongst soldiers and civilians.  An atrocity is defined as “the killing of a noncombatant, either an erstwhile combatant who is no longer fighting or has given up or a civilian.” (pg. 193)

Grossman is writing about those in America who have claimed the holocaust never happened:

…Those who were deceived are mainly good, decent, highly educated men and women.  It is their very goodness and decency that cause them to be so completely incapable of believing that someone or something they approve of could be so completely evil.  Perhaps denial of mass atrocity is tied to our innate resistance to killing.  Just as one hesitates to kill in the face of extreme pressure and despite the threat of violence, one has difficulty imagining – and believing – the existence of atrocity despite the existence of facts.

But we must not deny it.  If we look around the world carefully we will find somebody somewhere wielding the dark power of atrocity to support a cause we believe in.  It is a simple tenet of human nature that it is difficult to believe and accept that anyone we like and identify with is capable of these acts against our fellow human beings.  And this simple, naive tendency to disbelieve or look the other way is, possibly more than any other factor, responsible for the perpetuation of atrocity and horror in our world today.

To which I am reminded of James 4:1-10

What is the source of the ware and the fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?  You desire and do not have.  You murder and covet and cannot obtain.  You fight and war.  You do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure.

Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.  Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit He has caused to live in us yearns jealously?

But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Therefore, submit to God.  But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!  Be miserable and mourn and weep.  Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.Egyptian Christian Persecution

To my Christian brothers and sisters.  Let us do all that we can within in power, prayer first and foremost, and anything else as the Lord lays it on you, to help our Egyptian believers in their time of need.


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One thought on “Atrocity and you, why it matters…

  1. Kim Laurence says:

    It is much easier to bury our heads in the sand, and try not to think about the things going on in Egypt. I have read some things, mostly on Facebook, but haven’t really, really gotten on the news to find out what is going on. You are right, Keith. This is important. The people in Egypt do matter. Scripture tells us to pray for Egypt, and they do need prayer. And I wonder if there are organizations that are doing more, that I can at least support financially? Thanks for speaking the truth. I am convicted, and will look into this and find out what I can do, and then do it.

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