The miles Christianus allegory (mid 13th century), showing a knight armed with virtues and facing the vices in mortal combat. The parts of his armour are identified with Christian virtues, thus correlating essential military equipment with the religious values of chivalry: The helmet is spes futuri gaudii (hope of future bliss), the shield (here the shield of the Trinity) is fides (faith), the armour is caritas (charity), the lance is perseverantia (perseverance), the sword is verbum Dei (the word of God), the banner is regni celestis desiderium (desire for the kingdom of heaven), the horse is bona voluntas (good will), the saddle is Christiana religio (Christian religion), the saddlecloth is humilitas (humility), the reins are discretio (discretion), the spurs are disciplina (discipline), the stirrups are propositum boni operis (proposition of good work), and the horse’s four hooves are delectatio, consensus, bonum opus, consuetudo (delight, consent, good work, and exercise). (from)

A comment from insanitybytes22 left me puzzled.

insanitybytes22 said:

I don’t think that is quite right, Tom. However, it does explain why I am so often in disagreement with you, Branyan, and SOM! I can see the roots of these ideological conflicts. First of all, Jesus never came here preaching the Christian “religion.” He actually had some choice words to say about the religious leaders of His day! Second, He never told us we could achieve happiness. In fact, the precise opposite. He said, “in the world you will have trouble.” And lastly, we don’t achieve peace and civil harmony by acquiring moral virtue. If that were what it was really all about, good people would not have suffered, martyrs would not have been executed. Wearing our own “moral virtue” is like wearing nothing but filthy rags, it has no meaning, it is woefully inadequate. Besides, most everyone usually thinks they are right in their own eyes.

May 27, 2022 at 6:48 pm

What was that comment about? insanitybytes22 was reacting to a comment I had made about wisdom and virtue. Why did her comment leave me confused? I understand Christianity is not really a religion. Christianity is about forming relationship with God.

  • A religion is a bunch of rules, a bunch of do’s and don’ts. If we obey the rules, we save ourselves from hell and go to heaven.
  • A relationship is about loving someone. We don’t love someone to save ourselves by obeying a bunch of rules. However, if we love God, we will demonstrate our love for Him by striving to obey Him.

Why is a relationship with God important to our salvation? When we repent of our sins and turn to God and love Him, He indwells us with the Holy Spirit. What exactly does that mean? The Bible says a fair amount about the Holy Spirit, but I don’t pretend to well understand what the Holy Spirit does. I do know that the Holy Spirit gives everyone different gifts, and we are most effective when we share our gifts and help each other (see 1 Corinthians 12). I know that I understand the Bible better because of the Holy Spirit, and that most certainly is a gift, even if my understanding is not especially great.

I also know that the Bible speaks of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5). We only bear fruit if we use our gifts properly out of love for our neighbors.

Galatians 5:22-23 New American Standard Bible

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

So, what has all this got to do with Memorial Day? Is this earth part of the Kingdom of Heaven? As Christians we declare that we belong to Jesus Christ, but this is the domain of Satan. Here Christians are soldiers. Here our Lord calls upon us to bear His armor (see Ephesians 6:10-18). And sometimes our warfare is both spiritual and physical. Sometimes we become both spiritual warriors and actual warriors, and some have given their earthly lives in the defense of those they love. That is what this post has to do with Memorial Day. That is, the most important fruit of the Spirit is a love so strong that we risk or even give our life for another.

Years ago I wrote A Memorial Day Devotion for Christians. That post points to a better post by Rob Barkman. Please take the time to read Barkman’s post.

Back to insanitybytes22‘s comment. Why does she think that I think we can achieve peace and civil harmony by acquiring moral virtue? Well, to some extent I think we can. The Bible teaches us wisdom, and if enough of us study and believe the Bible we will achieve a higher degree of peace and civil harmony. Afterall, why would God give us His Word if He did not expect us to learn something from it? Why would men and women volunteer to risk their lives for this country if they did not see something in it worth preserving?

Of course, so long as Satan rules we cannot make the United States of America Heaven on Earth. However, previous generations have made the United States a place where most people believe that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. That important bit of wisdom is one bestowed upon us by the Bible. God loves all of us. All of us are important to Him, and that is why so many for the sake of their family friends and neighbors have risked and even given their lives to protect this country the freedoms we enjoy, especially the freedom to worship God as we each think best. And that is why we celebrate Memorial Day and take a moment to remember those dearly departed souls.


  1. I believe the reason insanitybites disagrees with many of us is because, like the atheist, she sees herself as the measure of all things and thus, thinks herself wise. Below is a refutation of her commentary. All of her ideas are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christ.

    In fact, Jesus did preach the Christian religion. We call that the Gospel. He instituted all of the sacraments: baptism, matrimony between a man and a woman, Eucharist, confession (Reconciliation), to name a few. And he practiced keeping the Lord’s day holy. And offered himself up as a blood sacrifice to atone for our sins.

    Jesus did tell us we could achieve happiness. Saint Paul writes about it in his letters. Insanitybites equates “trouble” with not being happy. It is through Jesus Christ that we can face our troubles with confidence and courage (a cardinal virtue).

    Human beings do achieve peace and civil harmony by acquiring moral virtue. Christian communities are peaceful and harmonious. Godless towns and cities are not. Martyrdom is the greatest of virtues. Clearly, Insanitybites does not know what virtue is. People do not “wear” their moral virtue. Moral virtue is what we become and live out through our actions.

    Insanitybites projects her human condition upon others when she says, “most everyone usually thinks they are right in their own eyes.” That is true, but people who practice the Christian religion work against their human condition by joining with Christ through his teachings. Such is called, discipleship, the discipline of The Way.

    1. I have never met anyone I was in complete agreement with about everything.

      I find much to admire in insanitybytes22 and much that puzzles me. It is impossible to get into someone else’s head. I have no idea why she thinks we cannot learn wisdom and how to be virtuous. Is experience important? Yes, but so is studying the Bible.

      Because we are all somewhat prideful, there is a diversity of beliefs about Jesus’ teachings amongst Christians. I have my own beliefs, but it is not my job to fix other Christians. Instead I look at 1-3 John, and I try to identify and stay away from apostates. Insanitybytes22 obviously doesn’t qualify as one of those.

      My complaint is she forgets that everything is relative. She isn’t going to find perfect Christians. We haven’t been sanctified; we are being sanctified. Therefore, when she criticizes other Christians, I wish she would focus on the sin she abhors and the particular sinners she wants punished. Instead, it sometimes seems like she is warring against the Conservative Church and Conservative movement. What is the point of that? Yet people often wound their friends.

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