Bringing the Text to Life

How to Play Fair in Foul Play Mark 8:27-38

We have all felt the sting and bite of unjust treatment and criticism. Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do, we can''t win. So why try? What''s the use! The people who are criticizing you aren''t out there on the road, spending their time and money in trying to do the right thing. They''re just sitting around, holding meetings, and backbeating one another. How can the Christian play fair amid foul play?

Sitting down in a civilized manner to determine just how brutal we may act during the uncivilized act of war is a ludicrous undertaking. Even stranger, of course, is the reality that during the actual outbreak of war there is absolutely no way to enforce these previous agreements. We must simply rely on the sense of honor and integrity of our enemies to abide by our mutually-agreed-upon ethical standards. So if we trust our adversary that much, and they are that trustworthy, why are we trying to kill each other?

In the war in the Persian Gulf, old questions about "fighting fair" reasserted themselves. One of the greatest ironies of warfare is that while humanity is too selfish, vain, arrogant, and generally sinful to settle its differences without bloodshed, we have just enough of a sense of justice and mercy and compassion to compel us to lay down some governing guidelines for it. We voluntarily set boundaries about our aggressions, determining who and what is proper cannon fodder...

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