Today the world is on the brink of ruin because the Church refuses to be the Church, because we Christians have been deceiving ourselves and the non-Christian world about the truth of Christ. There is no way to follow Christ, to love as Christ loved, and simultaneously to kill other people. It is a lie to say that the spirit that moves the trigger of a flamethrower is the Holy Spirit. It is a lie to say that learning to kill is learning to be Christ-like. It is a lie to say that learning to drive a bayonet into the heart of another is motivated from having put on the mind of Christ. Militarized Christianity is a lie. It is radically out of conformity with the teaching, life, and spirit of Jesus.
When I think of the spiritual strength we cultivate with God and others through prayer, I think of the image of the mighty sequoia tree. One might think that the roots of this giant tree reach deep into the ground to anchor it. But in reality the roots of this tree are relatively shallow. It is said that this tree gathers the strength it needs to soar high above other trees by stretching its roots far and wide. Sometimes the roots spread out to encompass an entire acre. Along the way, the roots of one sequoia find the roots of another. These roots wrap around each other, connecting one tree to the next. And the next. And the next, until the entire forest of sequoias joins together in an interwoven system of support buried beneath the surface. When strong winds blow and storms seek to topple them, it is the strength of these interconnected roots that holds the trees upright.