Yancey & The Insanity of War

The following story was gleaned from a conversation between Phillip Yancey and a friend of his who fought in World War II.


The Battle of the Bulge was so chaotic that taking prisoners (especially wounded prisoners) was impossible. Instead, a special American unit was sent out each morning to kill wounded German soldiers left on the battlefield — it wasn’t an option to allow them to rejoin the Nazi army and the Americans didn’t have the ability to treat or confine them, so killing them was seen as a mercy.

On one of these search‐and‐kill mornings, an American found a German soldier, sitting with his back against a tree — not wounded, just too exhausted to move and left behind by his brothers. The American raised his gun to shoot.

“Wait a minute,” the German soldier wearily said in perfect English. “Give me a moment to pray.”

“Are you a Christian?” asked the American

“I am,” the German replied.

“I am too.”

So the American sat beside his German brother in Christ. They read their Bibles together, shared favorite scriptures, and they prayed. They showed each other pictures of their families and then prayed for each other’s families.

So what happened?

Then the American stood up and said “You’re a Christian, and I’m a Christian. I’ll see you in heaven.” And then, he blew the German’s brains out.


This is the insanity of Christians contributing to war.

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Founder & Editor of WAL Reader |
Christian Anarchism, Star Wars, and Pizza Enthusiast |
Southwest Missourian, Book Lover, Writer

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