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SERGEANT YORK!--By Father David       DO 849       15 APRIL 1978

       1. THE QUESTION OF ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY has always been a problem. The Chain really overdid it, but there must still be some obedience, even if it's only to the Lord, me & the Letters!

       2. THE LORD SHOWED US THAT RACHEL'S ATTITUDE WAS WRONG, BUT TIMOTHY, YOU REALLY COULDN'T DO TOO MUCH ABOUT IT, YOU WEREN'T THAT MUCH TO BLAME. Timothy, they blamed those Nazi officers who carried out orders, but every military trains you from scratch to obey without question, no matter what!

       3. YOU MUST NOT CONDEMN YOURSELF for the things which you allowed, for the plain & simple reason that she was your queen.--Romans 14:22.

       4. SHE WAS YOUR SUPERIOR OFFICER, & YOU HAD TO OBEY WHATEVER SHE TOLD YOU TO DO. Therefore, you are not to blame & you are not responsible for simply obeying & fulfilling those commandments.

       5. SHE DEMANDED, AS ANY QUEEN HAS A RIGHT, YOUR TOTAL OBEDIENCE & 100% loyalty, although she should have done it in a different spirit. Just like the superior Nazi officers were wrong & Hitler was wrong, nevertheless those underlings who were forced to obey were not so much to blame.

       6. GOD'S WORD TEACHES IT! This is something which in the months that I spent in the Army, especially in the hospital, was one of the greatest problems in the military at that time, during WWII, with all these boys who didn't really want to kill, but who knew they were being trained to kill. And so many of them, scores of them, came to me for answers.

       7. IT'S AMAZING HOW MUCH THEY LOOK TO YOU FOR HELP when you have the slightest bit of spirituality, the littlest bit of testimony. I mean, at night in the barracks, 50 boys sleeping, I would sometimes have two or three or four or half-a-dozen boys crawling in the dark on their hands & knees over to my bunk saying, "David,

       8. "WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP US? Will you please answer these questions? We're scared, we're worried, we want to know what to do!" And at first I hardly knew how to answer their questions. I said, "All I know is that

       9. "IT SAYS 'THOU SHALT NOT KILL', BUT IN THE SAME CODE OF LAWS FOR 27 DIFFERENT OFFENSES IT SAYS "THOU SHALT KILL!"--Exodus 20-23. I tried to do something to encourage the poor guys, because some of them were about to fall apart over it.

       10. SO I'D TELL THEM THE STORY ABOUT THE FAMOUS SERGEANT YORK OF WW1. During the First World War they didn't have any allowance for Conscientious Objectors at all, & he was a C.O., refusing to kill people because of his convictions against it. He, too, was a crack shot with a rifle, came from the Kentucky Mountains & loved to go hunting, so they wanted him in the Army.

       11. SO THEY DRAFTED HIM, & UNDER THE THREAT OF COURT MARTIAL OR BEING SHOT, they sent him to France & said, "Well, Buddy, here's your gun whether you want to use it or not, but they'll kill you anyway if you don't!" And they sent him right up to the front! They had a funny psychology: They figured that when the enemy starts shooting at you & trying to kill you, that's going to inspire you to shoot them!

       12. HE SAID, "I DON'T CARE, I DON'T MIND DYING, I LOVE THE LORD & I'm saved & I know Jesus." He was a real Christian. He had found the Lord before he ever left the Kentucky mountains.

       13. BUT HE WAS OUT IN A TRENCH ONE DAY & somehow or another the Germans had circled them & gotten around behind them, & there were several German machine gun nests. They had surrounded them & were just mowing down the American boys with the machine guns virtually by the hundreds!

       14. HE PRAYED ABOUT IT & GOT THE ANSWER: "SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO TAKE LIFE IN ORDER TO SAVE LIFE." So he took a bunch of hand grenades & in the thick fog he crept around right on the ground out in "No Man's Land" behind the enemy & tossed them right into their machine gun nests! Then he used an old trick that he used to use when hunting turkey gobblers:

       15. HE KNEW HOW TO GOBBLE JUST LIKE A TURKEY, & when he was out hunting he'd gobble like that, imitating their mating call, & the turkey would stick its head up out of the bushes & then he'd shoot it! So he used this gobble--he'd go, gobble gobble gobble!--Like a turkey!--And

       16. THE GERMANS WOULD STICK THEIR HEADS UP ABOVE THEIR MACHINE GUNS to see what in the world it was, & he'd pick them off with his rifle! It was a foggy night, & when he'd finally wiped out all of the machine-gunmen, the other German soldiers were practically in chaos--they thought they were surrounded!

       17. THEY THOUGHT THAT A WHOLE BRIGADE OF MEN HAD SURROUNDED THEM because this guy was picking them off everywhere! So he yelled out of the fog, "We've got you surrounded, put your hands above your head & march to the Allied Line!"

       18. AND HE CAME MARCHING OUT OF THE FOG WITH 600 GERMAN CAPTIVES SINGLEHANDED with their hands over their heads! (Maria: Is this a real true story?) Oh, it's documented fact! He got a Congressional Medal & several honours for it!

       19. (MARIA: JUST LOOK WHAT THE LORD CAN USE ONE MAN TO DO!) Yes, he prayed! He just asked the Lord what to do. And when he came marching out of the fog, his men could hardly believe it! He kept shouting, "We're coming, I'm coming with prisoners!"--so they wouldn't start shooting at them!

       20. THEIR EYES PRACTICALLY POPPED OUT when they saw him come walking out of that dense fog with 600 Germans with their hands on top of their heads!--A true story! And they wrote a book about it afterwards, & made a movie called "Sergeant York". It's very famous.

       21. HE GOT WOUNDED SOMEHOW, AN ARM SHOT OFF OR SOMETHING, & THAT GOT HIM OUT OF THE ARMY & sent back home. The Lord was merciful to him so he didn't have to do anymore. So he started getting invited by the churches to give his testimony, & he began really preaching in all the churches.

       22. THE FIRST TIME I MET HIM WAS IN MIAMI when he came to our church there, & then years later I saw the movie. His testimony of course, always inspired me; & in a way, it was an encouragement to the guys, you know, about this Conscientious Objector that changed his mind.

       23. HE WAS JUST THIS OLD KENTUCKY HILLBILLY & he sort of played dumb, but he was a sensation! So I'd tell the guys the story of Sergeant York. I said, "You know, sometimes it's necessary to kill people to save lives; take lives to save lives." I said, "After all,

       24. "THE BIBLE SAYS THAT'S WHY THE OFFICER OF THE LAW CARRIES A SWORD OR GUN: He doesn't carry it in vain--he intends to shoot somebody & maybe even kill them if necessary to stop them from committing crimes!" So I said, "Maybe that's what you're doing". Because some of them were really worried about it. I told them that sometimes in order to save lives, they might have to take lives.

       25. AND THIS IS THE JOB OF THE POLICE, this is the job of the Army. They need the encouragement of the knowledge of this. So I began to give this to the boys. I said, "Well, whatever you think about right & wrong, whether it's right or wrong, the thing is that God's Word says:

       26. "YOU ARE TO OBEY THE POWER, THOSE THAT HAVE RULE OVER YOU." * I said, "Whether they're right or wrong, it's right for you to obey; & if it's wrong, it's not your fault, it's not your responsibility, it's theirs!" See? So, in obeying Rachel you were simply obeying the commands of your superior officer. It was your duty & your job to obey, whether it was right or wrong. * Romans 13.

       27. GOD IS NOT GOING TO HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE, but her! In the War Crimes Trials they reached a wrong conclusion. They said that those inferior officers were responsible for obeying orders that were wrong; they should have defied them, & refused. Well, you know what that would have meant if they had?--I mean if they hadn't? They would have condemned them for insubordination & treason & shot them on the spot!

       28. OH MY GOD, HOW MANY TIMES THEY READ THOSE ARTICLES OF WAR to us & we sat there so tired & nearly went to sleep! They used to read them every week, all the Articles, where it accounted for all the reasons for which you could be shot--desertion & disobedience, insubordination, going AWOL, etc.

       29. THE WHOLE IDEA WAS TO TEACH YOU ABSOLUTE INSTANT OBEDIENCE WITHOUT QUESTION! So that your first reaction, in other words, your automatic reaction, was to obey without even questioning the order!--The whole idea of the Army training & close-order drill!

       30. WELL SON, I WANT TO TELL YOU, THE ARMY IS REALLY A HUMAN, PHYSICAL EXAMPLE OF WHAT GOD EXPECTS, that your first instantaneous reaction should be to obey Him & your superior officers without question, without even thinking whether they're right or wrong, because

       31. THE RIGHT THING IS TO OBEY! Do you understand? So what I'm trying to show you is that, please don't blame yourself too much for what happened, for carrying out orders or anything else, because you were right to obey your queen, even when she was wrong. Can you understand that? Really? TYL. (Toasts:) Here's to instant obedience to the Lord without hesitation!

       32. THIS TAKES FAITH TO OBEY YOUR OFFICERS. You have to believe that they know what they're doing even if you don't understand, but you obey. I believe the Lord, in a sense, permitted or created or allowed the military to be a real example of what God expects of His Army: Total absolute unquestioning loyalty!--Total absolute unquestioning obedience & faithfulness, even if sometimes they're wrong!

       33. IN A WAY I NEVER PARTICULARLY LIKED THAT SAYING, "My Family! My Family!--Right or wrong, my Family!" One of our early leaders applied it to our Family. But applied to God-ordained leadership, it's true: "My Queen, my Queen, whether she be Rachel or Maria, right or wrong, nevertheless, my Queen!"

       34. SO I WANT YOU TO STOP CONDEMNING YOURSELF for those things which you allowed, & remember that you simply were an executive officer, who was carrying out the will of your Queen. Do you understand? And if God is going to hold anybody responsible or to blame, it is not you, but her!

       35. NOW, WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE OFFICER BESIDES OBEDIENCE? I believe sometimes if the officer has a question or feels a doubt about executing the order, then it is his responsibility to voice it. Either with me, or if it was with Rachel, or it will be with Maria:

       36."WELL NOW WAIT, WHAT ABOUT SO & SO? Now I think maybe we should do so-&-so. What about, don't you think maybe so-&-so?"--It's a form of witnessing, of warning the wicked of his wicked way, if you think it's wrong.

       37. THIS IS WHERE I HOLD NAZI OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE. But of course they were dealing almost with a madman who might have just pulled out his pistol & shot them on the spot if they even questioned his judgment, & maybe that's what should have happened.

       38. BUT I THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE TRIED TO REASON WITH HIM*, & some of them did in the last days. In the early days he would not brook any kind of doubt, but in those last days when everything was going against him he did begin to listen a little bit, & his officers tried to counsel him. But in spite of that he went ahead anyhow. *Isaiah 1:18.

       39.I THINK IF YOU HAVE THE LEAST QUESTION ABOUT AN EXECUTIVE ORDER, THAT YOU SHOULD MENTION IT. If you have any compunction about it, any doubt about it, if it just doesn't seem right to you, you ought to mention it, you should discuss it, until you come to complete integral agreement if possible. Do you understand?

       40. NOW, SOME SUGGESTIONS YOU MAKE TO ME, I'M NOT TOO SURE OF, but if you have strong convictions about it & leadership is wise, they will be willing to try & test it. I must be willing to say, "Well, I don't know, maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. We'll see."

       41. I MIGHT EVEN SAY, "WELL, I DOUBT IT, BUT LET'S TRY IT & SEE." The only way we're going to know is by putting it into effect & trying it. That's the acid test. Here's to love & sex, pan y queso!--If you desire to govern, you must give the people what they need, amen? PTL? TYL! Help him Lord, in Jesus' Name, to obey.

       42. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, if I've gotten something directly & specifically from the Lord on the matter, it is my duty to obey that, & not be dissuaded or stopped by other's doubts or questions. (Maria: So what is the responsibility of the officer who questions something?) It is only to question it & to mention it & to say it, but

       43. IF THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THE MIND OF YOUR SUPERIOR, THEN YOU HAVE TO CARRY IT OUT, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR BELIEVE IT OR NOT! God says, "Obey them which have the rule over you in the Lord, for they are responsible for your souls"--even if they're wrong!

       44.(MARIA: BUT IF YOU ARE PERSUADED THAT YOUR SUPERIOR IS WRONG, are you ever obligated to report to an even higher authority?) Well, if there is a higher authority to make an appeal to, yes, of course. If there is a higher authority to whom you can appeal & bring your question & say, "I don't think this is right that they're telling me to do". If you can go to a higher authority, then that's different.

       45. HOWEVER, YOU'RE USUALLY RISKING YOUR JOB, you're laying your life on the line when you do that, because you know that if you question your superior officer & appeal to a higher authority, you know your own boss may fire you! (Maria: One way or the other, it seems like you're licked!)

       46. LORD, THOU ART ABLE TO SOLVE ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS, & all of these things are in Thy hands. (Prophecy:) "Thou dost not have to see nor understand all things, neither dost thou have to know the mind of thy father nor to understand all the words of David, for all of these things which I have ordained are already in My hands & are finished." Hallelujah! TYJ! Amen, isn't that beautiful?

       47. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OBEY! Just do what the Lord tells you to do & what I tell you to do, amen? In Jesus' name. (Toasts:) To obedience!--thank the Lord? "To obey is better than sacrifice, & to hearken than the fat of rams! For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, & stubbornness is as iniquity & idolatry." Amen? "To obey is better than sacrifice, & to hearken than the fat of rams!" (1Sam.15:22 & 23.)

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