[* This tract should be read in conjunction with "Weeds".]


Two conflicting expressions, used frequently in the war in Iraq, are chosen for a title to this little tract.  The first of these - ‘Blue on Blue’ - is what every soldier on active wartime duty dreads and strives to avoid; the second expression - ‘Hearts and Minds’ - was believed by the commander-in-chief of the armies fighting in Iraq, to be the correct strategy for winning the war against Saddam Hussein - the cruel dictator who was believed by the ‘United Nations’ to be a major threat to world peace and stability.


Let us examine each of these expressions in turn, and endeavour to draw a number of very important lessons in relation to the Christian warfare against "the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 6: 12).


1. ‘Blue on Blue’.


This is a military expression used to describe tragic situations of mistaken identity, when friendly forces are actively engaged and determined to kill or cripple other friendly forces fighting on the same side, and for the same cause. The colour Blue, represents themselves and their colleagues-in-arms; and red is the colour which identifys an enemy: ‘Blue on Red’ therefore, is the expression used to describe the desired and correct engagement against an enemy.


Numerous good examples of dreaded ‘Blue on Blue’ occurrences have already been reported during the past conflict in Iraq.* For example, aircraft returning to base, after having successfully engaged the enemy, have been mistakenly shot down and completely destroyed; tanks have been hit by ‘friendly fire’ resulting in the tragic deaths of occupants; infantry soldiers on the battlefield also have fallen victim, resulting in many being killed or seriously injured.  There is no doubt in my mind, as long as war continues, we may well see and hear of more tragic and unfortunate deaths and injuries due to similar circumstances of mistaken identity.**


[*At the time this tract was written, Tim Shipman in Qatar, wrote: "One man died and two others were last night fighting for their lives after an American A-10 ‘Warthog’ tankbuster strafed their armoured vehicles in broad daylight near Basra." ... “The accident, which brings the British death toll from the war to 23, was chillingly similar to the incident in 1991 when the A-10 blasted two Warrior armoured vehicles, killing nine members of the Royal Fusiliers.”


"... Despite that disaster," Shipman said, "British armoured vehicles are still not routinely fitted with the electronic Identification Friend or Foe system that is used in American machines."  Warplanes like the A-10 in yesterday’s encounter have to rely on visual markings to avoid so called ‘blue on blue’ disasters.  Just four British servicemen have died in combat since the war began, the other 19 victims having been killed in a catalogue.


** The most recent ‘blue on blue’ incident was reported when another soldier was killed, and an injured colleague described the A-10 American pilot as "ignorant": "a trigger happy cowboy just gone out on a jolly."]


Several major factors, are unquestionably responsible.


(1) In the ‘fog of war’, wrong decisions are being made and inaccurate instructions are issued by officers who are confused and sometimes panicked by unforeseen, shocking, and fearful circumstances.  (2) Another contributing factor is a breakdown in accurate and up to date intelligence information relative to the positions of friendly forces.


We know of similar circumstances in the Christian warfare.  Some regenerate believers, who have been force fed over the years on a diet of Reformed Theology; and are not at all happy with some popular teachings by Liberal theologians within the Church: but they themselves know, there are certain teachings which they believe which should not be surrendered, which are entangled with other teachings, which they know should be recognized as responsibility truths needed to be taught to regenerate believers.


For example:-


(a) Distinctions are not being made between the free gift of God (eternal life), and God’s  rewards for faithfulness.


(b) Over the past number of years there has been a noticeable shift away from faith in a Millennial Kingdom of Messiah/Christ.


(C) Justification by faith is seldom - (if ever) - distinguished from justification by works; and the practical righteousness necessary to attain the latter, as a necessary qualification for the ‘First’ or ‘Better’ Resurrection and entrance into thatkingdom of God, is being ignored, disbelieved or undisclosed by those who know!


(d) The time of a believer’s death has now (supposedly) replaced that of resurrection; and the former is assumed by the vast majority of regenerate believers to be the only prerequisite necessary for a saved soul’s entrance into the presence of God in heaven.


When all of these mistaken teachings are proved erroneous from plain statements in the Word of God, panic and confusion immediately sets in, and wrong decisions are taken.* Inaccurate instructions are issued, and these inevitably result in actions which can accurately be described as a ‘blue on blue’ scenario - fierce resistance from a 'brother in Christ’ fighting against another 'brother in Christ,  supporting and upholding unpopular scriptural truths.


[* Unscriptural excommunication of believers who teach kingdom truths is a common mistake: "We excommunicate you from the Church militant upon earth," cried the priestly executioners of Savonarola. "But not from the Church triumphant in heaven!" answered the lonely hero.   Mistaken leaders, inside the Church of God, will have to bear the responsibility for their choice and action at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  "The bridal robe for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is, not the imputed righteousness of Christ, but "the righteous acts of the saints" themselves (Rev. 19: 8): therefore the believer's invitation is not for acceptance merely, but a summons to righteousness for the kingdom." (D. M. Panton).]


Mr. George Muller once said to Dr. A. T. Pierson: "the Lord has given you much light on Scripture, and will hold you correspondingly responsible for its use: obey Him, and walk in the light, and you will have more; fail to do so, and He will withdraw the light you have." Matt. 13: 12.


Numerous statements, made by mistaken leaders in the Church, are being issued with an intention to encourage hostile reactions.  No doubt these are given with the best of intentions to protect (as they suppose) other believers from examining their own doctrinal beliefs, and teachings held by their particular Christian denominational group.


A major contributing factor responsible for wrong decisions against friendly forces working within the Church, is a lack of scriptural knowledge and understanding.  Erroneous behaviour is often attributed to those who hold popular but unscriptural doctrines: and when a child of God falls into some sin, he/she is looked upon as never being regenerate in the first place!


Ask the average believer, who has been fed on a diet of Calvinism, of the importance and consequences attributable to good works in the life of a Christian, and he will automatically link them to his eternal salvation, and conclude that without the good works, there can be no eternal salvation.  Follow the former question with one concerning the position of a backslider or an apostate, and ask what the outcome of such un-forsaken behaviour will ultimately lead into, and they conclude that such persons were never regenerate in the first place!  Is this what the Scriptures teach?  No.  It is not!


Some time ago, a local Anti-millennial Baptist pastor was described to me as a man who had ‘his feet firmly planted under the table’.  The expression, was meant to indicate to me that he was very good at his job, feeding Christians with nothing but the truth.  But, the fact of the matter is, it takes more than just a ‘nice’ man, who says only what his congregation wants to hear (or likes to hear), to qualify as a good servant of Christ.  And there are multitudes of ‘nice’ people in the ministry, living in the lap of luxury, who might well be accurately described as: "trigger happy cowboys on a jolly."  That is, unable to distinguish whe the enemy is!


Multitudes of regenerate people automatically believe and accept everything they are being taught without any private examination of what the Word has to say.  God’s challenge is to leave behind ‘old beaten paths,’ which may have served multitudes of believers in their day, but are now wholly inadequate for our present day circumstances, or for entering into a larger vision of HIS WORLD-EMBRACING PROGRAMME FOR WORLD PEACE AND WORLD RIGHTEOUSNESS.*


[*At the time of the Reformation, the truth that eternal salvation without works was established; and good works, as a result of faith in Christ was the accompanying result.  But very important issues like: the future salvation of believers, the prospect of a believer failing to attain unto the out-resurrection, or being ‘accounted worthy’ of the ‘age to come’, were all left virtually untouched at that time.  As far as the majority of Reformers were concerned, their theology taught that bare faith in Christ alone would qualify every believer for all things.  Consequently, the effects of evil works, backsliding and apostasy, on the future position of one who is already justified by faith, and therefore in possession of eternal salvation, were not at that time considered.]


This challenge becomes all the more urgent when it is viewed against the background of the Church’s failure to evangelize the world by the gospel and establish a lasting world peace.  Sadder still is the overwhelming evidence that the crimes committed at home, within the Church, and in Christian lands - (by regenerate believers themselves) - are doing more to nullify Christian testimony than all the opposition of non-Christian lands combined.


Is it not plain to see and understand, that we must begin such a work AT HOME and abroad, as has never before been known, to help and prepare the Lord’s people for His return and rule of righteousness?


We are now living in days of MASS production, mass distribution, mass consumption.  Why then do we not have the mass production, mass distribution, and mass consumption of neglected truths and conditional promises of God?  Today we have mass production of crime.  Why do we not have the mass production of truths which will help bring about its most effectual Antidote?  The hour has come for regenerate believers to wake up from their slumber; for His return and "our salvation* is nearer now than it was when we first believed" (Rom. 13: 11).


[* The word "salvation" in this context, does not refer to initial or eternal salvation which is received through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.  The words here were (and are presently) addressed to believers who were (and are presently) in possession of that!  See also Phil. 2: 12; Heb. 1: 4; 2: 3; 2 Thess. 2: 13, 14 etc., for other good examples, where the context, (as in every instance), will determine the correct interpretation and meaning of the word.

When we say, ‘death came as a salvation’ for one suffering, we do not imply that the person was eternally saved, but that he was released from his suffering which he endured during the time he was alive.]


In the story of His REDEMPTION - in the cross, the tomb, the risen and ascended Lord - we desperately need to hear and proclaim also THE COMING EARTHLY GLORY OF OUR KING.  We should not neglect this most important truth, which has been throughout the centuries a great source of encouragement in times of severe persecution of the saints of God.




These words were frequently used by allied forces to describe the genuine desire of all who are committed to overthrow the past regime in Iraq, and liberate its people from Saddam’s dictatorial rule.  Initially this policy had little or no effect, and for a number of good reasons: the main one being America’s broken promise to help the Iraqi citizens under an identical policy in the past.  Has the situation improved relative to a lasting world peace?  No.  As one late politician once said, it will only disturb a hornet’s nest, that will take decades to settle.


In the Christian realm, can we expect anything other than a like result, when many of the Church’s leaders are unable to recognize a ‘blue on blue’ when they are actively engaged in one; and when they believe some politician (like Gordon Brown) will ‘save the world’?


The fact is that the people of God have entered a zone of great spiritual danger.  "It is impossible to be too true to the truth; but it is possible to defend the truth as to sin deeply.  Extreme lucidity in the statement of facts and truths is no enemy of love, so long as mercy rejoices against judgment.  Love cements all differences and watchfulness without love is merely the stopping of a razor: love without watchfulness ends in the betrayal of the Lord."


Stern facts have to be told, and when there is a silence and doubts about a Millennial Kingdom of reward in the pulpit, infidelity will sit in the pew, and must sooner or later empty it.  Take away the Christian’s 'prize' and there can be no contenders in the 'race,' or any 'reward of the inheritance.' 1 Cor. 9: 24; Col. 3: 24.


A ministry of Defense spokesman said: "We can confirm that we are investigating an incident of possible friendly fire as a matter of urgency", (29th March, 2003.)


It is now high time for leaders inside the Church of God to launch a similar investigation!  Failure to identify ‘Friend or Foe’ is also ‘a matter of urgency’ in the battle of ‘the faith’, which can only result in a similar rebuke from the Lord, our Commander-in-Chief, as recorded in the book of Hebrews: "Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest " (Heb. 3: 10, 11).


Finally, another very good reason and explanation why the "winning hearts and minds" policy is not the success it was once imagined it would be, is because more Iraqi citizens appear to be content living under their present regime.  If their attitude persists, and the allied forces remain resolute in changing the present government in Iraq, alternative policies will need to be implemented: and this in turn will cause more loss of life.


We see an identical situation in the battle for ‘the faith’.  Multitudes of Christian leaders, accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle under present world government by Satan, are not prepared to exchange it for a position of honour with Christ in 'the age to come': and more than a bare faith in Christ as Saviour will be required for participation in that:-


"You are those who have stood by me in my trials.  And I confer on you a kingdom just as by Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in MY KINGDOM and sit on thrones, judging" (Luke 22: 28-30; Rev. 11: 15; 20: 4-6; 1 Cor. 15: 25).


Christian friend, make no mistake about it, this present world government under Satan, will soon be replaced by one of righteousness and peace under Christ:-


"I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ ... and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron septre, you will dash them to pieces like potters.’ Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear" (Psa. 2: 6, 8-10; cf. Rev. 2: 26, 27; 3: 21).