The 250 members of the independent Church of Christian Liberty in the Chicago suburb of Prospect Heights mean it when they sing “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Their pastor, conservative Paul Lindstrom, recently dispatched an armed fighting unit to eastern Rhodesia. Its immediate goal is to reopen mission stations that have been closed by attacks from Robert Maguabe’s guerrilla troops who operate from neighboring Mozambique. The venture was prompted by the murder last June of twelve Britons at a mission station in Umtali, which is run by the Elim Pentecostal Church.
Giles Pace, a 34-year-old former Green Beret who Lindstrom calls a “born again believer,” leads the fighting unit, which will eventually number 300. Pace told reporters in Rhodesia recently that he was “not interested in dialogue or detente. We will shoot the bastards [black guerrillas] on sight.”
Lindstrom makes no apologies for Pace’s comments, saying that the guerrillas, according to Hebrews chapter 12, are illegitimate in God’s eyes. They are “not unsavable,” Lindstrom says, but they are “unregenerate murderers of missionaries and self-declared enemies of the work of Christ.” Suspicious persons seen carrying guns within the borders of mission stations controlled by the church-financed troops will be met with force, says Lindstrom—“not out of retaliation, but according to righteousness and justice.”
Lindstrom’s policy of mixing bullets with the Bible did not begin with his most recent venture. He once threatened to send mercenary troops into Viet Nam to rescue American prisoners of war.
The Prospect Heights minister gained national recognition as head of the Remember the Pueblo Committee. He actively fought for the release of the eighty-three American soldiers held ...1
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