The soldiers’ truth John 18.28-19.16

The soldiers were hardened to inflicting pain and misery. All compassion had left them. They had a casualness regarding the value of life. For them torture was sport. They had lost an inner guiding sense of morality if it had ever existed. Those who live in such an environment have divorced themselves from personal accountability. They were not displaying some form of primeval lack of ethics that we have left behind in history. The same behaviour is repeated across the world today. In similar extreme terms it is seen in the life of gangs, in prisons in many countries and in the persecution of minority groups particularly when those in power are despotic dictators. Christians are often, but not exclusively, that minority group and in that way share in the sufferings of Christ. If challenged the soldiers might have used the age old excuse of only following orders as did the SS guards in concentration camps following the second world war. The soldiers’ truth was they could do anything to anybody as long as they had the power to do so. Ridicule, cruelty and ultimately the casual disposal of life was their day to day currency and brought them satisfaction.

Have you experienced people who have become desensitised to the impact of their own cruelty?

How should the Christian or Christian church react when such cruelty occurs?