I watched the movie last Saturday night. I remembered my high school years. I studied in Adventist schools my whole life, my dad being a pastor of the Adventist Churches. One of the things that occupied my time when I was a Junior and Senior was the Philippine Military Training. I underwent the Cadet/te Officer Leadership Training when I was a Junior and eventually became the Company B commander when I was a Senior.
We never had any training for holding the rifle because we were told that we are being trained as medics because we were conscientious objectors. Our training never consisted of violence. Punishments would only include doing push-ups, squats, helicopter, and “drop like a log”. Instead of rifles, we were trained to carry stretchers properly. Knot tying and bandaging were also part of the training.
I never wondered were they all started. I thought it was just a stand of our church. Watching Hacksaw Ridge, I realized why all Adventist Schools with military training had to be trained that way. I am blown away by how one person stood his ground on what he knows is right and changed everything for the next generation of Seventh-day Adventist believers. It made me realize how important it is as a Christian or as a person in general to know what you really believe in. It is easy to get swayed in any direction if you don’t.
There would always be challenges when you are different from everyone else, when you don’t do what everyone else does. Keep holding on. Stand firm. Stay true. Do not compromise.
On a different note, when I saw that Mel Gibson was the one who directed the film, all the blood and guts in the movie made sense because while I was watching, the thought that an Adventist movie would not be so graphic was running through my mind. Also, could Mel Gibson be using the film medium to face his Christian struggles? Maybe. I’m glad he did if that’s the case.
Another note, upon checking the Hollywood version versus the true story, Mel Gibson chose not to show some parts of the true story because viewers would find it hard to believe. For most adapted stories in Hollywood, they would exaggerate things that happened in real life for cinematic effects. In this case, even Hollywood could not handle the real accounts of the story. Truly, the human mind could not and will never be able comprehend the extent of what God can do.