Book Summary of, "SEAL of God"
Synopsis of, "Seal of God."
Chad Williams turned on a television and saw a story of his mentor, US Navy SEAL Scott Helvenston, being killed in an ambush in Fallujah, Iraq. Chad decided to avenge the death of his mentor and complete training to become a Navy SEAL. Chad served his country on SEAL Teams One and Seven for five years, completing tours of duty in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq.
Part memoir, part evangelism piece, SEAL of God follows Chad’s journey through Naval Ops training and onto the streets of Iraq, where he witnessed the horrors of war up close. Along the way, Chad shares his own radical conversion story and talks about how he draws on his own experiences as a SEAL to help others better understand the depths of Christ’s sacrifice and love.
Killing for Revenge is Wrong.
Chad saw Scott killed in battle on TV and wanted to take vengence.
p. 61 I felt myself change as a human being. It felt almost as though Satan himself had entered me. Where once I had asked myself, When I become a SEAL, could I kill someone? Could I really do that? Now my thoughts were, All I want to do is go kill. I want to kill everybody who hurt my friend. That is my goal in life.
p. 176 I still carried my motivation from Scott's death.
Comment: Chad decided to avenge his mentor's death because Scott went into a battle zone and got killed. Chad's motivation was to get back at the "enemy," or payback. Killing someone for revenge is wrong.
Chad becomes "Christian."
Chad was in the habit of getting drunk and getting into fights. Then Chad went to a tent revival meeting led by pastor Gregg Laurie.
p. 193 I quickly stood and immediately was hit by what felt like a radical transformation taking place within me. I struggle to adequately describe what the feeling was like. But I still remember the day in 2004 when I watched on television as Scott's body was being mutilated. That day, it felt like evil was being injected into me. But on this night - March 14, 2007 - I felt like God's love was being injected into me.
Chad began to read the Bible and told his SEAL buddies he had become Christian. Chad tried to convert his girlfriend, Aubrey to his form of Christianity, but failed. They broke up. p. 203.
Chad would not go drinking with his SEAL buddies and refused to go into a strip club, p. 207.
How do we know you could kill?
Chad refused to go into a strip club and drink with his SEAL buddies saying he was Christian. The SEALS ask Chad an important set of questions.
p. 207 If you can't go do this with us, how do we know you could shoot? How do we know you could kill somebody when you had to? If you can't even go into just a strip club with us? If you can't drink with us, how do we know that you're willing to cover our backs?
Chad replied, We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Comment: The SEALS demonstrate with their questions they expect each of them to shoot and kill someone. Are Christians killers? Jesus taught to love your enemy, not kill your enemy.
Chad is Beaten by Fellow SEALS for Claiming Christianity.
Chad then tells the story of how the SEALS dragged him out of his bed, kicked and punched him for not drinking with them the night before. The SEALS hauled him down a staircase and threw him into a freezing cold swimming pool. The SEALS decided to kick him in the face if he tried to get out of the swimming pool. pp. 209 - 211. Further spitting, hitting and cursing followed, pp. 212 - 216.
p. 216 The SEALS told Chad, get on your knees and put your arms in front of me like I was praying. "Now, start acting like you're praying to Allah."
I had just become a Christian, and then I got slammed by all those things, p. 217. After some investigation Chad was transferred to SEAL Team 7. All of this stateside drama over here isn't going to matter once I get over to Iraq and we just start doing operations, p. 221.
SEAL For Christ
SEAL Team 7 was deployed to the Philippians. Islam was spreading rapidly across the island chain at the time, and the Philippine military had its hands full with radical Muslims who were forming resistant forces, recruiting and killing people, p. 224.
My first tour of duty was a letdown. I had trained to go to Iraq, and I felt like I needed to go to Iraq to find whatever closure I could with Scott's death. The longer I served as a SEAL, the stronger my desire to be an evangelist grew, p. 228.
I had some success sharing my faith with the Filipino Marines who spoke English. I was able to lead several to Christ..., p. 230. Returning to California, Chad took up beach preaching on a box, p. 233 - 238. One person suggested Chad become a Navy SEAL for Christ, p. 239.
If you are training yourself to kill an enemy, how is that loving your enemy?
If SEALS are trained to kill, is Chad killing for Christ?
Chad Converts Aubrey
Chad was moved to a different platoon within Team 7. Chad viewed the transfer as a new assignment from God, another group with whom he could share his testimony and the gospel, p. 240.
Out of the blue, Aubrey called which began a series of calls, e-mails and Skypes, p. 242. Chad returned to California and arranged to meet with Aubrey. I told her I was sorry for being overzealous when I first became a Christian. Aubrey accepted my apology and accepted Christ as her Savior, p. 242 - 244.
In March of 2009 Chad was deployed to Iraq, what he wanted all along. Much of the assignment involved capturing terrorist leaders, p. 245.
p. 246 We never went out on an assignment planning to kill. Our preference was always to take the terrorists alive... become a source of great information, p. 246.
People who have not been in Iraq and other areas where we are presently involved in conflicts may find it difficult to grasp that there is real evil there. It is palpable -- you can feel its presence, p. 251.
... most of the time the terrorists were scared to death and gave up without a fight. So far we had never experienced anything more than a small wrestling match inside a house when capturing terrorists, p. 253.
Comment: Killing in the name of God is Terrorism. Therefore anyone killing for their religion is a Terrorist.
Love your enemy does not mean kill your enemy.
Chad and his group of SEALS and Iraqi soldiers were sent to capture a policeman/terrorist. This was an ambush. The terrorist group opened fire and Chad fired his 50 caliber machine gun in return, p. 254 - 258. The Policeman/terrorist surviving his wound, and we were able to obtain good intelligence from him, p. 261. But I definitely believe that the hand of God had been our cover, p. 262.
I never felt the animosity from Team 7 members that I had experienced with some of the guys on my previous team. The Team 7 members knew I was a Christian, and even though I had proved during our ambush in Iraq that I could pull the trigger to cover for my teammates, my leaving (the military) still seemed reasonable to them, p. 264.
Sacrifice does not remove sin
After leaving the military Chad and Aubrey were married.
What will you do with the ultimate sacrifice that Christ has made for you? How will you respond to what he has done out of love for you? p. 274.
When Scott's vehicle was ambushed, he was mortally wounded, his vehicle set aflame.... the most incredible man I ever knew was dragged into the street ... dragged this American hero through the streets ... where he was hung upside down, p. 276
Mark, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
Comment: sacrifice does not remove sin, forgiveness removes sin. The death of Jesus did not remove sin. The resurrection is proof of an afterlife because He could not come back from nothing.
Put away vengeance as a motive for your actions. Do not kill at all, do no harm. A Christian does not use violence.
Pope Francis renounces religious violence.
USA Today, Monday, January 18, 2016 7A:
Pope visits synagogue, rebukes violence
Pope Francis spoke to a Synagogue saying, "Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name."
Let us embrace this idea and institutionalize it.
You are Not an instrument of God if you harm others or yourself. The Seals of God are: Peace and Forgiveness. Renounce war and violence for any reason or under any pretense whatsoever.