Should christians serve in a military?

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  1. profile image53
    graceinusposted 9 years ago

    Should christians serve in a military?

    There are christians around the world serving in a military. Many do so because of obligation to their country. Even I, during my much younger years, served in the U.S. Army. During that time I concidered myself a christian. However, I also stumbled  a few times during my service to God during my military time. What is your opinion of christians in military service? Is it really possible for a christian to serve both God and country at the same time?

  2. Ericdierker profile image50
    Ericdierkerposted 9 years ago

    Great question Grace in us. I hale from San Diego County, which to my knowledge is the largest "military town" in the world. And I remind us that the military as a community is larger than most cities, so they have normal issues of crime and punishment. So I speak in general.
    I think you are speaking of our military so let us review: The military that is attached to UN peacekeepers. The military that rescues in times of Tsunamis. The military that has near 16 to one non combat people to combat. The military that is fighting so girls are not killed for attending school. The military that defeated Hitler. The military that contributed mightily to the fall of the Berlin wall. The military that stopped a crazy family in North Korea from taking over the South. The military that defeated the South US and stopped slavery. The military that twice freed France from occupation. The military that stops pirates and terrorists and provides as much water where needed as any major city.

    "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's". And if you have a democratically elected Caesar and enjoy the fruits of his earthly paradise render it voluntarily. There are in fact atheists in fox holes. But there are few that come out of them alive.

    And lastly, Christians have a duty to be in every walk of life. I do not mean they should be prostitutes, but they can be someone who helps them. Our military supports and defends principals and principles that still guide our country. While these principles are not always Christian in origin they are Christian in policy.

    Yes Christians should serve in a military. And the more Christians we have in the military the better off we are.

    1. Abby Campbell profile image76
      Abby Campbellposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      TERRIFIC answer once again, Eric! :-)

    2. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      ERic- Thank you again for your answer. During my military serve (many years ago)  I have witness some of the great thing our military has done. And actually been involved in a few. Those events did not conflict with my faith. In fact it reenforced it

    3. connorj profile image72
      connorjposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I was going to answer this question; however, there is no need, you Sir have provided the most excellent answer. Thank you!

    4. BuffaloGal1960 profile image68
      BuffaloGal1960posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Great answer.  When I lived in Panama and there was an earthquake in Mexico, our Servicemen rushed to aid them with blankets, water and other supplies.  Our military do humanitarian aid more than any around the world!

  3. Abby Campbell profile image76
    Abby Campbellposted 9 years ago

    I believe it's up to the individual. If he or she feels led in serving in the military, then it is his/her right. If one has God in his/her heart, then He has a relationship with Him and will know what is right for him/her... whether it be serving in the military or another job.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Abby Cambell- Many thanks for your answer.

  4. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 9 years ago

    Absolutely. Your faith in God is what will bring you through those times in combat when you are afraid. It is then that you realize if this is my time, I will stand courageously for my country and God will protect me or take me home if it is my time to go. Combat is hard enough with God. I cannot even imagine going through it without him.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      JT- Many thanks for your answer. I can't speak for all christian who served at one time or another. But I believe my time in service helped reenforced my faith in God and continued  long after I left military service. Again thanks

  5. johnsonrallen profile image90
    johnsonrallenposted 9 years ago

    I think this is a great, thought provoking question. In a nation like the U.S. where we have a voluntary military, it is up to the individual. Do you feel convicted one way or the other? I believe no person has the right to tell me or anyone else what God is leading me to do or not to do. For myself, I personally have issues with violence and guns- not to say we should outlaw them, but it's my personal feeling. In my case, I could never justify joining the military. I do have Christian friends who are STRONG Christians that serve and I believe they are also doing what is right, what God has called them to do. Just as not every Christian is called to be a preacher, missionary or evangelist by career, every Christian should follow the path God has laid on their heart.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      johnsonrallen- I am glad I had the chance to serve in the military and have the christian faith at the same time. However, sometimes christians in the military may have their faith tested. And in those rare cases there is only one answer. Thank you.

  6. MarleneB profile image93
    MarleneBposted 9 years ago

    Christians are ordinary people who have a belief system where God is our Lord and Jesus is our Savior. I don't think it is a matter of serving both God and country. I think it is a matter of obeying God. And, God asks us to serve others. God asks us to obey the leaders of our country. We pray for them and hope they are good, strong leaders. We pray for their well-being so that our well-being is not hampered. Whoever our leaders are, they are people who God has allowed to be in charge for whatever reason, and God asks us to submit to them (not to worship them, but to submit to them). If we are called to serve in the military, then so be it. We must serve. And, we must serve as if we are serving God.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      MarleneB- Thank you- It is true that it is a matter of obeying God. WE must follow His will what ever that may be. The leaders of our country are in place for a reason. And we should accept His reasons. Again thank you and many blessings.

  7. Tusitala Tom profile image65
    Tusitala Tomposted 9 years ago

    I think it matters not if you are a Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or are of any or no religious persuasion.   The decision to enlist/join or decline from military service should always be an optional one and the only valid criterion for joining or not should be one of 'intent' or 'motive.'

    The jingoism in 1914 sent countless millions to their deaths.  It can still do so to a lesser extent.  So those that 'heed the call' need to be educated and conversant with what they're getting in to.    Many young people aren't, that is why they are so easily drawn into doing things which could well haunt them for the rest of their lives.

    The bottom line is that you might well be called upon to kill, injure, maim and create misery in the lives of persons you have never met and who have never 'personally' harmed you in any way, on the orders of someone you've handed your personal power over to.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Tusitala Tom- Thank you for your answer. A number of countries around the world require the citizens (to include christians) to enter military service. So when they "Heed the call" it's not a matter of choice for them. Thank you for your answer.

    2. celafoe profile image55
      celafoeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      it is offensive to me to See CHristianity grouped with the false religions on the Christianity section of this site.    No wonder Christian participation is down.  so much opinion so little scripture used properly

  8. celafoe profile image55
    celafoeposted 9 years ago

    YES, not only do I think the answer is yes and that we have an obligation to serve, i feel Israel does it right.   ALL young people should have compulsary one or two year service requirements.   Especially today.   During my 4 years I saw many spoiled and otherwise confused  young people come in and leave as disciplined and useful citizens with an understanding of what the real world is actually like.
    with the lack of parental care, the PC correctness and the lack of discipline in the school and home it is sorely needed.   The jews had their army which God used to do mighty things.   And we heve got to wake up and do away with the wicked pseudo religion called islam which is an abomination.
    It certainly is a scriptural necessity to have a standing , battle ready armed force.   Any one not willing to serve because of their "religion" needs to give up their citizenship and move elsewhere  because it is NOT against the original religion of this nation USA.

    1. Ericdierker profile image50
      Ericdierkerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Wrong. You have not fired a gun to kill. Israel has a public serviced requirement not an armed soldier requirement.
      The rest is makes me offer my hand to help you.

    2. celafoe profile image55
      celafoeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      eric- wrong again  Military service is mandatory for Jewish-Israelis —men serve a compulsory three-year, while women join for two years —  the country’s Druze and Circassian minorities. Palestinian citizens are exempt from serving in the army,

    3. Ericdierker profile image50
      Ericdierkerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I love to be shown that I am wrong. For I learn what I did not understand before. Thank you.
      Perhaps combat is what I was thinking.

    4. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Celafoe- you are right. The military has a way of changing young people. The military has a way of " growing them up" is the best way to say it. I had parents consent and enlisted at 17. I saw a whole different world out there. Thanks for the answer

  9. ParadigmEnacted profile image71
    ParadigmEnactedposted 9 years ago

    Yes. Get out there on the front lines you fanatics. Just do what you always do, pat yourselves on the back and tell yourself that the other guy is an abomination to God. Then maybe you can go see your precious God.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      ParadigmEnacted- I've been setting here wondering how you could have made you opinion known without sounding like you hate all christians guts. Which you could have. But then again that would have required you to care. And I see you could care less.

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Pat ourselves on the back?? Do you think anyone really wants to go to war? But, you are obviously oblivious to the acts that have to be done for you to be able to spew your nonsense. Freedom is not free!!!!!!! You are welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Edward J. Palumbo profile image85
      Edward J. Palumboposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      ParadigmEnacted: That's an oddly vitriolic response. Having been a U.S. Marine in Viet Nam, I can assure you (whether we were Christian  or not) we were "equal opportunity" operators. I never asked what the opposition's religious beliefs might be.

  10. BuffaloGal1960 profile image68
    BuffaloGal1960posted 9 years ago

    It is very possible to serve both. 

    If you are asking if you "kill" someone while you are in due to war, remember we have had wars for a very long time. The Bible is full of wars and even David, God equipped to kill Goliath.

    I understand the "new oath" is not to our own Country but to the U.N.
    It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      BuffaloGal1960- Thank you for your answer. But I must state that I'm not aware of any new oath that includes the U.N. during enlistment. I've never heard of it.

    2. BuffaloGal1960 profile image68
      BuffaloGal1960posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      This is just one article out of many that I have read....but I have not confirmed this with a new enlistment.  There have been strong erumors on Facebook that gives the actual "new oath" ?? … ama-wants-

    3. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      BuffaloGal1960- Rumors on FaceBook!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess that's why I never hard of it. I would need much stronger evidence than that. The oath of enlistment is at the end of every enlistment contract. That will tell you.

  11. Ceegen profile image70
    Ceegenposted 9 years ago

    I believe Jesus allows people to serve in the military, until they see that serving in the military is wrong and get out on good terms. Serve your time if you feel you must, but know that many people don't join the armed services because they're a Christian, but because they're patriotic and such.

    Having served 7 years in the Army myself, I can say that my decision to not reenlist was based primarily on biblical principals. I got out of the armed forces trusting that God would help me find a means of sustaining myself, because there aren't a whole lot of jobs available to military people who don't have at least a high school diploma. My GED and service time meant nothing to most people, and I didn't want to get into law enforcement or anything government-related again.

    If politicians want to go to war, let them hit the beaches first. See how long wars would last, then. If no one would listen to the people that say we have to kill each other in order to "win the game", there would be no need for militaries.

    Because forgiveness is not just on an individual basis. Whole nations should be forgiving each other. We can't be angry at a certain group of people, no matter their affiliation or perceived crime, based on the actions of a few.

    Why did so many civilians have to die in Iraq? Some soldiers, really do just like to kill. They're just as evil as any thug walking down the street who would shoot you because you're wearing a different color shirt. Not every soldier is like this, obviously, and I am certainly not bad-mouthing the military in any way. I'm proud of my service, and I really did try my best. But there are bad apples in every bunch. Most of the bad apples are weeded out in the military early on, but that is mostly just physical weaknesses. The ones who "mess up" a few times but are forgiven just because they're a "good soldier" is something that isn't really talked about much, but it does happen, too.

    But none of my service time really means anything in the long run. What reason do I, as a Christian, have to fight or kill anyone? If Jesus saved me, my prize is already won; I don't need to fight or kill. In fact that is the entirely opposite thing Jesus wants us to do to each other. We can't get rid of evil by killing evil people, because people become evil.

    Why do people become evil, and, what really is evil? Do we even know?

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ceegan- I understand where your coming from. My dad had a quote that goes like this: " The one thing you will rarely see is a politician bleeding for his country." Thanks for you answer.

    2. celafoe profile image55
      celafoeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      of course this is your opinion and clearly cannot be supported with scripture in roper context

    3. Ceegen profile image70
      Ceegenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      @ celafoe

      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. No one is without sin, so, no one should be throwing stones. Maybe if everyone did just this one thing as tribute to the man who forgave his murderers, maybe the world would be better off.

    4. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ceegan- To make it clear I don't see where you get the idea the celafoe is throwing stones. celafoe did make a valid point. You did give your opinion but no scripture to support your opinion. I agree with your comment about politicians, but that's it

    5. Ceegen profile image70
      Ceegenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Throwing stones isn't just a metaphor, they were going to stone that woman to death, and Jesus stopped it. As in the days of Noah so shall the end be like it, and the earth was filled with violence then as it is now. If you need me to quote it...

  12. Edward J. Palumbo profile image85
    Edward J. Palumboposted 9 years ago

    There are no Biblical contraindications to military service despite the opportunities to address that issue. When Christ was approached by a Roman centurion with a request to heal His servant, the Lord did not object to the centurion's role. When the temple soldiers asked John  the Baptist, "What are we to do (to be saved)", John told them to be satisfied with their wages and not to abuse their authority, he did not tell them to quit their jobs or lay down their weapons. We are told,"There will be wars and rumors of war until the end times" and warfare is occasionally an instrument of judgment. Properly translated, Exodus 20:13 states "Thou shalt not murder", not (as commonly used for an argument) "Thou shalt not kill." At times, such as self-defense and combat, it is necessary to take life. I remind you, there are many other roles in military service besides combat, including medical personnel, chaplain's assistants, technical support, and dozens of other occupational specialties. As long as we serve the Lord as our "commanding officer", we may serve. There is no environment more needy of mature Christian conduct and thinking than military service.

    1. profile image53
      graceinusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Edward- Thank you very much for your comment. Like so many others I enjoyed my military service time and it helped cement my faith even futher. I believe one helped me to be better with the other. God bless

  13. Author Sam profile image57
    Author Samposted 8 years ago

    While engaging in military is purely a personal decision based on your bible trained conscience, however the bible is very clear if Christians should fight war or not which is the main assignment of soldiers.
    it is unfortunate that no single person here have used the bible to answer this question.
    some are giving example of David who fought war. However are you a follower of David or Christ? the time has passed when God overlooked such things just as he overlooked polygamous marriage practiced by the Israelite.
    1peter 2:21 says that:Christ leave us a model to follow his steps closely".
    what example did Christ left for Christians when it comes to fighting, involving in the worldly affairs, or dabbling in politics? the evidence from the bible is that both Christ and the his disciplines refrained from violence or joining the Roman soldiers nor the Jewish revolt for the following reasons:

    Please read the following account carefully:

        1. Obedience to God. The Bible says that God’s servants would “beat their swords into plowshares” and not “learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:4.

      2.  Obedience to Jesus. The apostle Peter was told by Jesus: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) Jesus thus showed that his followers would not take up weapons of warfare.

       3. Jesus’ disciples obey his command to be “no part of the world” by remaining strictly neutral in political matters. (John 17:16) They do not protest against military actions or interfere with those who choose to serve in the armed forces.

    4.   Love for others. Jesus commanded his disciples to “love one another.” (John 13:34, 35) They would thus form an international brotherhood in which no member would ever wage war against his brother or sister.—1 John 3:10-12.

       5. The example of early Christians. The Encyclopedia of Religion and War states: “The earliest followers of Jesus rejected war and military service,” recognizing those practices as “incompatible with the love ethic of Jesus and the injunction to love one’s enemies.” Likewise, German theologian Peter Meinhold said of those early disciples of Jesus: “Being a Christian and a soldier was considered irreconcilable.”

    Contributions to the community?
    No much space to write all these. But Christians before and now do obey the government as long as their demands does not conflict with the bible, and pay taxes and engage in works to better the society we live.

  14. profile image50
    Norine Williamsposted 7 years ago

    There is a difference between "murder" and "killing" and because MOST have never considered this is one reason why SOME think GOD was a "murderer" in the Old Testament. 

    Scripture tells us that the "Coming of Christ" was GOD'S ULTIMATE PLAN and ANYTHING or ANYONE prohibiting was "killed" not "murdered!"

    In Isaiah 43:13 GOD SAID, " Yea, before the day was, I am he; and there is NONE that can deliver out of my hand; I will work, and who shall hinder it?"

    As mentioned by Eric, JESUS SAID in Mark 12:17, "...Render unto Caesar the thing that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's..."

    Romans 13:1 says "Let EVERY soul be subject be subject to the higher powers.  For there is NO POWER BUT OF GOD; the powers that are ordained of God.  Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment."   Therefore, although we "perceive" the President of the United States (Democrat or Republican) "evil, slothful, weak, etc." he is in God's Plan for Scripture to be fulfilled!

    Consequently, GOD SAID "christians should serve in the military, if not, he is not "serving both God and country..."



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