As the Revolutionary War was raging, the British violently banished Rebecca Motte and her children from their South Carolina mansion and ordered them to live in a small outbuilding. The Redcoats seized her property making it their military post. They referred to her home as Fort Motte and proceeded to dig a trench and build a dirt wall around the perimeter to defend themselves against patriot attacks.
In May of 1781, patriot commanders Francis Marion and Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, decided the best way to get the British to surrender was to burn the house down. Francis Marion, also known as Swamp Fox, secretly sent one of his men to inform Rebecca Motte of their plans. With no hesitation, she told him she would gladly sacrifice her home to help the cause of independence. She then handed them a quiver full of arrows she had been given as a gift from the East Indies.
They fired two of the combustible arrows from a musket, but they fizzled out. The third, however, hit its mark and immediately set the roof ablaze. Fearing they would be blown up if the gunpowder stored inside the house caught fire, the British poured out of the house waving their white flag.
Ironically, the Patriots and Redcoats put the fire out together and then Rebecca Motte prepared a meal for officers from both sides. She humbly served her guests as the enemies ate in peace.
For years after, she was praised as a hero for her willingness to give all she had for freedom, yet she always responded, “Too much has been made of a thing that any American woman would have done.”
This patriot lost her husband during the early part of the war and as a result, her estate was encumbered with a load of debt. Her sacrifices had been great, but she persevered, showing her strong work ethic and resolute character. Before her death, her debts were paid in full.
Just a few days ago, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a video to social media that quickly went viral. This husband and father of three who was only three years away from a comfortable retirement risked it all when he demanded that he wanted “accountability of my senior leaders when there are clear and obvious mistakes that were made” during the U.S. military’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan. After serving as an infantryman for nearly two decades and having known one of the soldiers killed in Kabul, the unnecessary deaths of 13 U.S. service members is very personal to him.
In his first video, he audaciously mentioned senior military leaders including Marine Commandant Gen. David H. Berger, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark. A. Milley.
At one point Scheller said, “I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?”
“America has many issues…but it’s my home…it’s where my three sons will become men. America is still the light shining in a fog of chaos. When my Marine Corps career comes to an end, I look forward to a new beginning. My life’s purpose is to make America the most lethal and effective foreign diplomacy instrument. While my days of hand-to-hand violence may be ending…I see a new light on the horizon."
Without a doubt in his mind, he knew his military career would abruptly come to an end at the click of a button as he submitted his video. He also said, “…I want to say this very strongly. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”
Soon after his voice was heard, he humbly updated social media on Friday, August 27 to say that he had been relieved of his command. The brave Marine was not spiteful in the least as he stated, “My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes.”
Wanting to be considered an honorable soldier, in a second video, he officially resigned for publicly criticizing his military leaders.
Now, whether you agree with how he carried this out or not, it’s obvious this is a courageous warrior. He was willing to ask hard questions and speak the truth knowing there would be immediate consequences…lifelong consequences all because he demanded honesty and desperately loves the country he has defended during his adult years.
Our culture now specializes in silencing those who seek truth, but this is not a new concept. In Acts 4, Peter and the apostles were adamantly “teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2)” after a lame man was healed in chapter 3. The priests, captain of the temple guard, and Sadducees threw them in jail. The next morning, they were brought out to be questioned. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they boldly answered their questions and continued to proclaim Jesus- unintimidated by the power and authority those leaders possessed and the risks they faced.
The prideful leaders knew that Peter and John were uneducated, untrained men, but they could not deny they were speaking the truth. Their calm assurance convinced them they had truly been with Jesus.
Fearing they would lose their positions of power because they had been exposed and threatened by truth, they ordered them to leave their presence saying,
What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name. And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:16-18).
However, Peter and John answered with confidence,
Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20).
They knew the consequences of beatings, imprisonment, and even death awaited them, yet they stood on their convictions.
I don’t know Lt. Col. Scheller. I don’t know whether he is a believer. I don’t know what his future plans are, but I do know that his service to our country was not in vain. His search for truth in these dark days is vital. His strength is an encouragement. His commitment to his country is unwavering. His stand on his convictions is admirable.
It’s obvious if we are Christ-followers or seekers of truth, we will be asked to sacrifice.
Pastors, are you willing to call sin what it is and potentially give up your comfortable positions?
Politicians, are you willing to promote quality legislation and stand against any legislation that would infringe on our rights and liberties even if it cost you your coveted seat of power?
Physicians, are you willing to question the CDC and the other overreaching federal institutions attempting to dictate how you practice medicine and provide care that has been proven to work, even at the price of your license?
Principles and educators, are you willing to stand against indoctrination through wicked ideologies such as Critical Race Theory, LGBTQ curriculum, and deviant sexual education, even if it means sacrificing your paychecks?
Popular Christian musicians, actors, and artists are you willing to stand on the Word of God when asked hard questions and give up your name and fame?
Patriots and Christians, are you willing to be persecuted for the name of Jesus or punished for your desire to seek accountability from the corrupt, self-serving men and women in leadership?
Mrs. Motte gave up her living quarters for the sake of freedom.
Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller gave up his livelihood for the sake of freedom.
Thirteen military members gave their lives for the sake of freedom.
What are we willing to give in order to seek truth, live in the most blessed nation in the world, spread the gospel, and protect our children?
No matter if it’s the first century, the 1700s, or present-day, taking a stand for what’s right is never easy. It will always cost us something and in the end…we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people (Thomas Jefferson).