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This Week at JMPC 2.16.2020

I took a class at seminary on the New Testament letters. My professor was one of my favorites. I don’t remember how it came up, but she was critical of the United States for being the only country to ever use nuclear weapons. She was, of course, talking about the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. I challenged her on that criticism by telling her about my dad. Jim Tindall joined the Marines in 1944 when he was only 17 years old. He fought in the Philippines with the VBM 611 bomber unit. His job was to capture and secure airfields for the bombers. When the Philippines were retaken, his next task, along with the rest of the Marines in the Philippines, was going to be the invasion of Japan. Had that invasion taken place, casualties on both sides would have been astronomical. One study estimated that invading Japan would cost 1.7–4 million American casualties, including 400,000–800,000 fatalities. There was also an estimate of five to ten million Japanese fatalities. The odds were against my dad surviving that invasion. That invasion did not happen because we dropped those bombs. While still horrifying, the use of those bombs saved hundreds of thousands of people. Were we justified in using those weapons? In the United States today, there is a great debate about gun violence and whether we should be able to regulate guns as a society. Are we ever justified in using weapons against other people to kill or injure? We have been asked “What does the Bible say about guns?” in our congregational survey. Come and hear about it on Sunday, February 16 at 8:30 or 11 when Pastor Jeff preaches about it based on Luke 22: 36-39. We will look forward to seeing you.

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