LOVE YOUR ENEMY
Online Book: Why It's Right Not To Fight by Alan Bane
Today, in response to my Sergeant York: Is it Right to Fight?
post, I received an email from a Christian friend who opposes my "do not kill" stance.
Below are my replies within her email:
The only thing with this message is: Jesus told the soldiers to obey the authority over them and to do their work as to the Lord, he never did tell them to get out of the military, and we know that the Roman armies were very corrupt (See Matt. 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-9, Luke 3:14, Acts 10:1 for a few).
I read through each scripture you noted and could not find Jesus telling soldiers to obey their authority. Jesus does say, '"Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." And Luke 3 is about John the Baptist, not Jesus, but what John says I found interesting: 14 "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man
, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."
It may be wise to tell someone that they need to really pray and consider what the Lord would have them do before going into the military and once they are in, to be certain that it is the place He wants them to stay (as we can ALL do). but to generally say that no one should be in the military is taking scripture out of context.
My premise is that Christians should not kill. Period. Please explain how this is taking scripture out of context?
In Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus is speaking specifically of a believing individual turning the other cheek to another who is persecuting them or abusing them. That is a whole different thing than your career as a military person. It could be that the military needs some solid believers who can bring some sense of morals and ethics into the field.
Why is it different? As far as I can tell, most everyone who goes into the military is given a gun. Why? To use. For what? To shoot. At what? You tell me. A Christian does not need to be in the military if there is the possibility of killing someone.
A government is regarded WHOLLY different than an individual believer. Remember that the scripture says that HE places leaders and raises them up and removes them.
And we Christians have a free will to choose to go into the military or not unless there's a draft, then I suppose someone could become a conscientious objector - not sure if that is an option these days.
Actually, there WERE places in scripture where Jesus said he would "send his armies and destroy them" (speaking of He would send the Roman army to destroy - which is to kill others), See the parable in Matt. 22:1-7. It is a parable but it is a prophetic parable in that is what exactly happened when Rome invaded Jerusalem sometime after Jesus' death and resurrection. It was actually a judgment on God's people for their denial of the Messiah. Furthermore, the Old Testament couldn't disagree with this thought more. David was a man after God's own heart and yet he was the bloodiest king and leader of the army of Israel than any other (not that I like that idea!).
This example is twisting scripture. Jesus does not say he, Jesus, would send his armies and destroy them. First, it's a parable and in it, Jesus says "But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city." I do not believe Jesus is saying that you and I are part of God's armies to go and kill people. I think this is about judgment day and the armies are the host of heaven, His heavenly army.
Just wanted to give a little input... its important to make sure that when we speak about what "God thinks" that we use His well-rounded and complete Gospel.
I DO believe that some may feel that for them, to serve in military service would go against their conscience (a disputable matter that the scripture does not clearly lay out as a sin - such as eating meat sacrificed to idols, drinking wine, etc. - things that some have a clear conscience in and others do not)... It is perfectly fine to mention one's own opinion on a matter but being sure to say that scripture does NOT call it sin or wrong.
I believe the Bible clearly says that it is a sin to kill a person - in or out of the army, makes no difference and I find no scripture saying otherwise.
Is this ok? I don't want to "come against" you in any way but when I feel that scripture is being a little distorted, I hope to bring a gentle correction...
No problem at all. Actually by what you have written, looks to me like you have distorted the scripture which I believe clearly tells us to be peacemakers and not violent.
I certainly understand your feelings on the matter and for you, it is a matter of conscience. For another it isn't, but it really isn't clearly spelled out in scripture as a wrong thing or a sin.
It couldn't be clearer: Mark 10:18,19 says, "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill
, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother."
Paul says it in Romans 13:9 "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill
, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
James says it in James 2:11 "For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill
. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."
The Bible does Not say, "Do not kill EXCEPT when in war". The Bible does NOT say, "Do not kill EXCEPT in self defense". The Bible does NOT say, "Do not kill EXCEPT..." you fill in the blank. It says DO NOT KILL. Period.
That's pretty spelled out to me!
So no, it's not a matter of conscience, it is the Truth from the Word of God.
Remember, in Matt. 5 with the Beatitudes and such, Jesus is speaking to individuals, not to the army of Israel or any other army.
An army is made up of individuals, each with a free will and with a soul. Jesus makes it very clear that not only killing but hating is sin:
Matt 5: 21,22 "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
So the danger I see is with this line of thinking that "it's okay to kill" may open the door for Christians, if they act on it, to loose their salvation because there is an agenda out there to provoke Christians to take up arms and defend them self, their family and their country. This is definitely NOT in scripture.
What it does say in 1 John 3:15 is, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."