Yes. I look forward to rejoicing one day with a Pearl Harbor attacker. Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and talk about it.
I did know that yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, but I honestly couldn’t think of something to say I hadn’t before. That is, until I got in my car to go home from work at the Seminary Post Office and heard them talking about how long ago it was and how people today are still learning from it and what it would be like today. Then I thought back to something else. I remember reviewing From Pearl Harbor To Calvary by Mitsuo Fuchida.
I don’t remember how high ranking he was, but he was one who was extremely high in the ranks on the attack if not the main one behind it. It was years after the event that he came to become a Christian. This is something even more incredible since Japan is so under-evangelized by Christians. (Can we start doing better people?)
What does that mean? It means that one day, Fuchida will be rejoicing in the presence of God with some of the people whose deaths he was responsible for. It means that any fighting he did in the war against people he considered bitter enemies who were Christians are ones that he will be rejoicing with. It means that their families who could understandably hold ill will towards him and want to see him dead will rejoice with him.
Years ago, skeptics were sharing a meme that I wrote a response to. It involved a little boy in Heaven and Jesus showing him a man and saying “He murdered you and your family while you were asleep, but he’s repented and he’s here now. Let’s go say hello.” Skeptics assume that fear or hatred towards people will reign supreme still.
It won’t be. It’s love and forgiveness. It’s a city of grace. There will be no antagonism. Could people still remember Pearl Harbor? Possibly, but they will see it through the eyes of grace and love. We could say they will even see it through God.
This is a victory that the gospel can bring about. The gospel is about God reconciling the world to Himself through Christ, and the world is certainly opposed to Him. If those greater reconciliations can take place, surely the lesser ones here can. It might seem odd to refer to the Pearl Harbor attack as lesser, but compared to the act of divine treason, yes it is. It is still a horrific evil and worse than many others, but not worse than divine treason.
This is also the great power of Christianity and the resurrection of Jesus. It is His love and forgiveness in us that enables us to live that way towards others. I have said before that I still pray for my ex-wife every night and it is not the prayers of judgment and wrath on her. I don’t wish ill on her, at least not for the sake of ill. I often think that if judgment must come, then in wrath remember mercy.
So yes, one day I will be rejoicing with a Pearl Harbor attacker. If you’re a Christian, so will you. Christian veterans will one day be rejoicing with people they would consider enemies on Earth.
There will be no enemies at the throne. There will only be reconciled friends.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)