Have you seen the movie? It came out in 2016. Marty and I went to see it in the theater as soon as it came out. We went with another couple we’re friends with from church. Although none of us are really big fans of war movies we were all pretty excited to see this one.
Desmond Doss, the main character and hero of this movie was a Seventh Day Adventist. And so are we. It was because of his tremendous, unshakable faith that he was able to do what he did. He not only believed, he stood up for his beliefs.
He firmly believed that the Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” was not a conditional kind of thing. That it wasn’t a command from God that a secular leader here on earth had the authority to overturn. He believed that so much that when he volunteered for the armed services he did so as a conscientious objector and refused to carry a weapon. He signed up as a combat paramedic.
He believed in living out the fourth Commandment as well, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it Holy.” This meant, among other things, that he would not do any work on the Sabbath (sundown Friday night through sundown Saturday night). So, what if there was a battle on a Saturday afternoon and someone needed his medical attention? In the New Testament, Jesus (who himself said that he was Lord of the Sabbath) said it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.
Desmond Doss went into heavy combat situations without a weapon. On one occasion he was in the middle of a brutal battle, unarmed, and managed to save 75 injured men, dragging or carrying them long distances through heavy crossfire and lowering them one by one down a mountainous drop using only a rope and his hands. It’s an astonishing story and well worth the watch, and then the contemplation that follows.
How strong is my faith? How far would I go to walk the walk?