To End All Wars is a powerful, gut-wrenching moral tale that lays bare the core dilemma of True Christians. Starring Robert Carlyle and Kiefer Sutherland, the movie is set in the hell of a WWII Japanese POW camp in Burma, where a war rages between two factions of prisoners. It is a philosophical war between justice and mercy, complete with the crucifixion of the leader of the mercy faction.
Since 2011, our world is at war everywhere. By definition, the war against stateless terrorism defines the battlefield as having no boundaries. It is, therefore, already an undeclared, unrecognized World War III on the verge of exploding into something even larger. Every citizen of the world is now a soldier in some sense and a POW in another.
In a surprising twist, this powerful movie makes the case that the real war is not over territory or strategic resources. It is a war over the soul of every man.
To end all wars; It is a perennial quest and the hollow justification for all wars. Is there a resolution, a real answer? As with most profound questions, the answer is, “it depends on your definition”.
Here is the dilemma:
To take up arms in defense of family, freedom, justice and righteous principles?
To lay down arms and bear with unbearable courage and unconditional love, the hate of Satanic forces and by so doing, to overcome hate and evil in the only way that it can be ended?
These are the profound questions asked of each of us in this tale based on true events.
These questions are not unique to Christianity. Gandhi based his life work on reaching a Machiavellian balance between an aggressive but non-violent war and surrender to love. Thereby, he won India’s independence from England. But he did not achieve a lasting peace on Earth or even for India. The realist says such an earthly peace is beyond possible. And that is true until the war for the soul is won for all mankind. THAT is the only War with the potential to End All Wars. It is a costly and intensely personal war. Few are willing to wage it. The sacrifices it requires can not be placed on others.
New Testament, Mark, Chapter 8:
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
For anyone who has struggled with the question, “why do we need a Savior to atone for our sins?”, To End All Wars offers the answer. Because the Savior’s example of perfect, unconditional love changes us. It saves us from ourselves. But as the movie shows, it does not work for everyone, only those who embrace the example and live it. For these, the war for the soul has a happy and permanent ending even if the price is high. For the rest, war may be an eternal reality.
I highly recommend this film with a warning that neither its Christian ideals nor the graphic violence or language in it are for the faint of heart. I’m adding it to my list of the Top 100 Movies for Troubled Times.
The Village is for people who seek an end to war, specifically the war of the soul that leads to war against people and nature. That spirit is embodied in our theme, “in harmony with nature and people”. Gandhi would have been a welcome resident, though he was not a Christian. If that kind of sustainable, self-sufficient neighborhood appeals to you, ask here.