Friday, November 02, 2007

Godly Men Are Not Cultural Cowards

One thing my father taught me and taught me well was to honor my mother. I did not dare to disrespect her in any way, lest I face his wrath. But even more than that, he modeled for me what it was to love and honor my mother. By extension, he taught me what it looks like to honor all women as women. So you will understand my reaction to what I read this morning...

Amen! Amen! Amen!

That's what my heart was saying as I read a newly released little article by John Piper entitled "Co-ed Combat and Cultural Cowardice."

We live in a military community and many of you are in the military yourselves. That fact makes us on the front lines of this issue. What issue, you ask? The issue of women in combat. Here is how Piper begins: If I were the last man on the planet to think so, I would want the honor of saying no woman should go before me into combat to defend my country. A man who endorses women in combat is not pro-woman; he’s a wimp. He should be ashamed. For most of history, in most cultures, he would have been utterly scorned as a coward to promote such an idea. Part of the meaning of manhood as God created us is the sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of our women. How true. Any man with a speck of God-given decency in his soul would rather die than let a woman go into danger.

Consider the closing lines by Piper: What cowardly men do we thank for this collapse of chivalry? Browne suggests, “There are a lot of military people who think women in combat is a horrible idea, but it’s career suicide to say it.” In other words, let the women die. I still have my career. May God restore sanity and courage once again to our leading national defenders. And may he give you a voice.

This is a challenge directly for us, HCBC. If we don't have the manliness to address this issue, who will? Godly men are not cultural cowards.


Melanie said...

I read Mr. Piper's article and I agree 100% that women shouldn't be in combat. I'm constantly commenting to Tim that women shouldn't even be in the military (except for supporting roles, like nursing).

But I think Mr. Piper should be careful who he is blaming for this problem and who he is calling a coward. It's certainly not the military leaders. As I recall, they fought hard against having to integrate women into their training programs, academies, etc. But they are under the authority of Congress, who forced them to take in women. This is the same Congress who is elected by and representing the people of America. The military just obeys orders. They don't get to chose what the orders are. "Godly men" should have been more involved in the political process back when these types of decisions were being made.

Jason Parker said...

This is a very good point, Melanie. I think talking about "the military leaders" in general may be misleading. There are some military leaders who are opposed to women in combat and some who are entirely for women in combat. Not too long ago I watched a documentary on the Marine Corps., and there were several male leaders bragging about how the Marines had fully integrated women into their operations and how women could do everything men could do (at least in theory). It is these kinds of men who are morally wrong.

We can't go back and undo the decisions that have been made in the past, but we can stand for what is right now. I am most concerned that *we* are not the ones who are cultural cowards. This is going to come down to us speaking the truth when and where we can, and making the decisions that are in our power to make in the right way.

Here's an example: Let's suppose I was a young captain in an Army support unit. Let's say I worked with fueling. I have four women under my command. My Lt.Col. gives me an order to get a little convoy of trucks through a tough zone where I know we are going to face IEDs and possibly small arms fire. I could not in good conscience before God take those four women into that combat situation. I believe it would be morally wrong for me to do that. I would have to disobey orders.

I would get canned, to say the least. But what else can I do? As Christians, we have to obey God rather than men, and no man, not even the commander in chief, can give me an order to sin.

Because we do have women in the military (I completely agree with your second sentence.) we are in a real pickle here. But the only way to get out of it is for Christians to start doing what is right, right now, where they are at. This applies in the civilian world too, by the way. The issues are just more intense in the military.

So, you are right that military men do not get to choose what the orders are. And they must obey orders even up to death itself. ***Unless*** those orders would be to do moral wrong, then at that point, they must disobey orders no matter what the consequences are. We always serve the Lord Jesus Christ first and foremost, not the United States of America.

Thanks again for your good thoughts.