Saturday, April 14, 2007 Faith grows stronger for some soldiers, is lost for others - Tue, Apr 3, 2007

I read this article: Faith grows stronger for some soldiers, is lost for others - Tue, Apr 3, 2007 in the Rochester Post Bulletin yesterday (was in 4/12/07 paper). It really stuck with me. I've been spending time trying to locate Peter Moeller so I might write him. Should I pay for people search engine results in order get an address to send this following note to him?

Dear Peter,

You were mentioned in an article in the Rochester Post-Bulletin on April 12 that dealt with challenges to faith for soldiers.

I would first off like to thank you for your service to our country and to protecting our citizens. I appreciate your efforts and I don't believe that is expressed often enought. I am sorry to hear of the challenges of facing death and serious injury. That has to influence a person for the rest of their life. You have made a sacrifice for your country. I wish for you that you might be able to return to a normal life and work.

I think it was very compelling to read of your challenges to your faith. I had a few thoughts that I really wanted to share in that regard.

I don't know if your training as a Lutheran included clear and direct teaching about the Gospel: the good news that Jesus died for your sins and the sins of all people and that he offers that forgiveness as a free gift. I believe that with the Gospel clearly in mind, that pure Christian religion gets separated out from all other religions of the world and even many that call themselves Christian religions. The separation is that for pure Christianity, the forgiveness comes as a FREE gift. With Islam and all other religions, favor with God (forgiveness) is something that must be earned by the individual. In fact, the muslim terrorists who are fighting against the U.S. are believing that by fighting and dying, they are going to gain God's praise. Pure Christianity, however, says that all our attempts to make God happy are really not going to accomplish that. Instead of our failed attempts to make things right with God, God comes to us and gives us that as a free gift when He gave His Son to be a man in Jesus, to suffer and die on the cross and to rise again.

For me, there is a great difference between the Muslim trying to earn God's favor and the Christian getting the free gift of God's favor. So, it isn't a minor difference that could go either way.

How do we decide which is right? For me, I know my shortcomings. I know that what I do is not ever very good in God's eyes. I know that if I would attempt to please God by what I do, I would always come up short. I know I need the free gift. Therefore, I am glad to have the free gift, because I could not do it myself. I need it to come completely from God for He IS able to do it and He did do it when Jesus died on the cross. If I were a Muslim, I'd always be asking myself, did I do enough? Did I do it well enough? How can I really be sure God is happy with me? How can I ever know I am right with Him. Only pure Christianity provides the answers and they are all answered in Jesus.

It was also a bit surprising to see that you thought of the Iraq war as Christians fighting against Muslims. I would have thought of it more like the U.S. fighting against Muslim terrorists and fundamentalists. It is true that Islam was founded on the principle of violence and war used to convert people. Now there are many liberal Muslims today who don't follow those principles. The conservative and fundamentalist Muslims are the ones we are really concerned about. They are the terrorists who are trying to attack and destroy the U.S. Again, I appreciate your sacrifice to help protect us from them.

I would be happy to speak with you about these topics further. You can call, write or email me at: xxx --- xxx


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