reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

5/13/2006

Christian Soldier vs. Vietminh

The following post was written by Gabby J. -- who doesn't have a blog of her own, but has been reading The Rebelution for several months. Thank you Gabby for writing an excellent guest post.
The Vietminh—that name means nothing to most people my age, and perhaps even our parents would give a blank stare if asked what the Vietminh was. I’m going to give you a short summary of who the Vietminh was, and then share how spiritually challenged I was when I found out more about them. Before I progress I’ll pique your interest with a query: Is it possible to learn from people who believe and teach lies? Is it possible to be challenged spiritually by those whom we might see as spiritual enemies?

The Vietminh began in the 1940s as a supposed Vietnamese nationalist organization, but as it progressed in the years to come its communist goals would become apparent. The Vietminh’s goals were to throw off French rule and then establish a communist government. They achieved these goals through a process of three steps, most commonly known as protracted war. During the first stage the Vietminh were mainly concerned with purifying their own ranks and sticking to the goals. The first stage would prove to be a hard stage; they hid from the government and did almost nothing but indoctrinate the recruits they had. The Vietminh’s leaders understood that things would get worse before they got better. Though the recruits were excited to be a part of such a cause, those same recruits would lose their emotional high and some would desert. The Vietminh did get smaller before it got bigger, but it only got stronger.

Throughout the war, but mainly in the second and third stages, the Vietminh concentrated on getting the support of the common people, the peasant farmers of Vietnam. The military leader of the Vietminh, Vo Nguyen Giap, instructed his soldiers to treat the Vietnamese people with the utmost respect so the soldiers would earn the trust of the people. Specifically, to earn the people’s respect, the Vietminh strove to be different from the French colonists. The Vietminh showed themselves friendly to the friendless, loving to the unloved, and strength to the weak.

The emphasis the Vietminh put on gaining people’s trust and respect was a key to the eventual success of the Vietminh. As I had to research the Vietminh for a research paper, I was challenged in my Christian life. These men and women who fought for and supported the Vietminh fought and supported wholeheartedly even though they were, in essence, fighting for what we know to be lies. I am a Christian, part of God’s army, yet so often I find myself fighting only halfheartedly if at all. So often I get on an emotional high after reading a challenging post on the Rebelution or likeminded blog, but am I one of those recruits who will desert when things get tough? Or will I stay and endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3)

The Vietminh gathered support by being different from the French. Am I striving to be different? To be one of the peculiar people redeemed by God (Titus 2: 14) Am I loving the unlovely? Being a friend to the friendless? James 1:27 says that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Am I visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction? Am I showing Christ’s love to people when they need it?

The last thing is this: the Vietminh fought for a social system that has done nothing good for them. They have believed and fought for lies. I know The Truth. Should not I at least equal if not surpass their zeal in fighting seeing I know The Truth? What about you? How are you fighting?