Without Carrying a Gun

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:42 PM

War veteran Desmond T. Doss Sr. passed away at the age of 87 on March 23rd. Though you would have had to dig into page 8 of the newspaper to find his story it is worth recalling.

Mr. Doss was a conscientious objector and refused to carry a gun during WWII. A veteran friend said in the paper that Doss wanted to serve; he just didn’t want to kill anybody. It was more popular to serve during WWII than it has been in recent wars thus being a conscientious objector was not very popular.

Patti Parks said of Mr. Doss that he had to endure ridicule for his beliefs but that he “remained true to his convictions even when it was not the most popular thing to do.”

His convictions said he didn’t want to kill anyone but his heart wanted to serve his country and serve he did. While under fire on the island of Okinawa Mr. Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400 foot cliff and lowered them to safety. A latter story tells of how during another attack he was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade. But as he was being carried to safety he saw a more critically injured man and crawled off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other wounded man.

For his service to his country he received the highest military honor from President Truman in 1945. The only conscientious objector to be so honored during WWII.

A man objected but still found a way to serve; I find that refreshing in a world filled with plenty of objectors but few servants. No matter if you agreed with Mr. Doss’s philosophy on carrying a gun at the very least you can appreciate the fact that though he disagreed he still found a way to serve.

The Christian community would be well served by people who find ways to serve even though we may disagree with some aspects of leadership and the decisions they make. It is rare if not impossible to agree with everything one human being does. We need to work our way past the thought that everything must go our way before we can serve.

We need to keep in mind that there is still a battle going on and there is still a place for us to serve in that battle. There are still people wounded by the heartache and hurt that this world has to offer. We need to jump in the battle and start carrying people to the safety of the cross. No matter if we agree with the order of service, the style of music or how our Sunday School teacher teaches.

Perhaps in America we have lost our witness because we have become so object able. What we have become known for is what we disagree with not what we do. In the headlines you see more about how we feel we are mistreated than about any service that we do.

The world is not looking for that and surely there is little impact in an ‘object able’ attitude. For one minute do you think those 75 men who were carried to safety by a man not carrying a gun cared that he was a conscientious objector, no way! They just wanted to be saved and that is exactly what the world is looking for.

Disagree if you must, there is a right way to do that. But never let it stop your service for your Lord. There is a high honor in heaven awaiting those who overcome the objections and obstacles of service and willingly give their life to the Lord.

Got convictions, good stick to them, but remember you don’t have to carry a weapon with you while you do.


Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

Proverbs 20:3, “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us the desire to serve you and the willingness to do that in spite of the obstacles we face. Give us courage and help us to point a lost and hurting world to you. We ask these things in Christ name, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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