On “Saving Private Ryan”
While on a personal retreat in Colorado in the fall of 2008, I had the opportunity to watch, "Saving Private Ryan" for the first time. Actually, this was a really big God thing for me to do. Besides it being an excellent movie (quite graphic, though), it spoke volumes on a number of issues. First, it did an incredible job showing the selfless and honorable basis of American soldiers giving their lives for the sake of Truth and Freedom. I was amazed how much of the Lord I saw in the basis of what these men did for not just our country, but the world. Not only that, but in reality, they also helped to save the Jews from total annihilation. For if Nazism had succeeded the Jews would be no longer be! This is exactly what Jesus did. He gave Himself up so others (the multitudes) could live. But this was even more compounded by "Saving Private Ryan". The basis of the movie was that a group of soldiers were to go and find Private Ryan and pull him from the war. The reason for this was because he was the only son left of a family that saw 3 other sons die during the war. This in itself was heartwrentching, to see the mother visited by the armed forces notification team and for her to find out that all three of her sons had died. It was the small group led by the Captain played by Tom Hanks that had to go to the front lines to retrieve and thereby save Private Ryan.
This movie struck home as to the thankfulness and admiration I have for America, especially it's soldiers, that came to rescue not only Europe, but practically the whole world! This was big. Little did I realize, until tonight, how this country took up the Cross of the ultimate redeemer, to go out and save this world from horrid and dictatorial control by non other than the Nazis, Fascists and even the Japanese, who also supported this agenda. Truly, America was great and beautiful for having done this. I owe much to this country. Lord knows what and where I would have been today (being born in Holland on 1/52, a country occupied by the Nazis during WWII), if it weren't for the selfless giving of this country's gallant soldiers and citizens.
The last part of the movie impacted me the greatest. In the last scene we see a senior citizen (Private) Ryan visiting the grave of the Captain who found and saved him while he himself died doing so. Here was "Private Rayan", paying his respects. What a representation of Jesus being portrayed! As he was speaking out those respects, he asked, as if he was praying to the Captain (symbolic of Jesus), if he had conducted his life properly and had lived up to what the word that was spoken to him. Although Private Ryan mentioned a word to him before he died on the battle field, I couldn't understand it. But it almost seemed as though he was praying. It was humbling to see him do so, especially against the backdrop of all the white crosses at the soldier’s cemetery. For me, this was very moving.
Yet, I saw at the same time how this country has lost so much of its giving nature. We have lost so much in the realm of God fearing, Godly concern about sin and most important; preserving and promoting the one and only living God of the Bible. Today, it would not be surprising that crosses would not be allowed to be shown, even on a movie or TV, as it being pulled out of our government, public schools, and society. Our culture is quite the opposite of the selfless and giving nature of the soldiers that this movie so well portrayed.
In fact, our country is very selfish lately. Truly indicative of the last days, as we have our own agenda to be concerned with. Add to this all the things that we Americans own, it almost appears we at a point of major idol worship. Add to that, 60 percent of the population getting divorces, over 50 million babies aborted thus far, increased drug and alcohol abuse at unprecedented levels, increased gambling and pornography proliferation, and a nation that has incurred one of the greatest deficits (governmental, corporate and private) ever! What a tragedy!
One of the most incredible correlations that was shown to me just occurred today (while in Colorado). In an article titled, "A Winding Trail to the Manger", found in the Truth and Triumph magazine printed by Alliance Defense Fund, it describes the life history of Dieter Bayer. Dieter was born in eastern Germany in 1934. He was a child when Nazism spread throughout Europe. During his formative years, he saw how communism wasn't much removed in principle from Nazism. Through the hand of the Lord, he escaped communist Eastern Germany in a most courageous escape. Afterwards, he was able to immigrate to America and became involved in politics. It was viewing America's challenges through the prism of his experiences under the Nazis and the Communists -he drew the attention of conservative lawmakers, and they persuaded him to run for office. When seated on the Idaho state legislature, he stood up for Christian concerns, especially pro -life. However, he did not realize the strength and power of the enemy. He began receiving hate mail with threats such as, "We know where your kids go to school" and "We'll poison your food". Eventually his foes were successful in driving him out of office. Dieter states in this Aug. 2008 issue of Truth and Triumph......"the way it happened in Germany is exactly the same reason that is happening in the United States. The controls the government is now placing on our churches here are reminiscent of 'state-run' churches in Communist countries. We must, once again, free up the mouths of our churches to preach the Word as God gives it, without fear of retaliation. Having lived through Nazism and Communism, I can only tell my fellow Americans that the hour is late - it is 'less than five minutes to 12', so to speak. Every day government is playing a bigger role. They want more and more control of the children, more and more control of the family. They are taking your rights away a slice at a time, and nobody really even notices, until it is too late."
This all but reinforces that the days of God's judgment are coming upon this nation. Often the first area the Lord brings judgment upon is prosperity. However, much of our out of control debt levels are of our own doing. Sadly, we have reached a point of no return. This but all seals our fate, and gives such validity to the ever growing sense that all will come apart in short order. In fact, the Lord has spoken to me about this in no uncertain terms. I'm thankful He has brought others who see the same handwriting on the wall.
It is my greatest hope and prayer that men and women of God will take a stand in righteousness, prayer and action. May God be with you in this endeavor.