I Was Just Thinking About - - -
An abbreviated meaning and intent of Rules of Engagement is: “Rules of Engagement (ROE) are rules or directives to military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied. They provide authorization for and/or limits on the use of force and the employment of certain specific capabilities. In some nations, ROE have the status of guidance to military forces, while in other nations, ROE are lawful commands. Rules of Engagement do not normally dictate how a result is to be achieved but will indicate what measures may be unacceptable to achieve the result.”
The current Rules of Engagement for the United States in the so-called war on ISIS/ISIL are vague and place considerable limitations on what the military is permitted to do. The traditional rationale for warfare has usually been the understanding that things will get broken and people will get killed. In the current effort to “degrade and destroy” ISIS/ISIL, (or the current expression is to “contain”) has had almost no impact on the so called purpose of the mission. The current administration doesn’t even know how they should define the enemy or who the enemy is that they are seeking to degrade and destroy. The past few days has seen France clearly define the enemy and declare they are now at war with that enemy. Additionally, France has stated they will respond to that enemy cruelly.
When we consider the Rules of Engagement for the Church of Jesus Christ, we find that some are all too willing to blur the objective and have become reluctant to clearly define the mission or to identify the enemy. For a moment, imagine Jesus Christ walking in the Middle-East today, particularly in Iraq or Syria. How do you think He would identify the enemy? We tend to forget that when Jesus Christ was challenged by “religious leaders” as He conducted His earthly ministry, He confronted them clearly and forthrightly. An example is given in John 8:43-44, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to accept My message. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” How was this defining of the enemy was incorporated into the Rules of Engagement for His disciples? One example is given in I Peter 5:8-9 when Peter wrote: “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.”
How or when did the Church of Jesus Christ become so weak-kneed and spineless in its assigned task given it by Jesus Christ? He instructed His disciples and followers clearly when He said, Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Why has the task been hindered and slowed down?
It boils down to there being some weak-kneed and spineless “shepherds” of God’s flock. They have become mercenaries concerned more with a paycheck and salary packages than they are with engaging the enemy. It is an old and chronic issue. In Ezekiel 34:2, “Prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?” In Verses 7-10, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock…I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths.” Where are you in terms of God’s Rules of Engagement? Consider these things with me!