"IS KILLING IN WAR AGAINST GOD'S WILL?"
received numerous letters asking if the killing of the enemy in war is ungodly.
As a military member (chaplain) myself, I hear this question often in dealing
with my fellow comrades in the uniform of the USA.
Is killing, as part of war,
immoral and sinful and against Gods Will? Is it against the commandment:
"You shall not kill?"
The Hebrew Scriptures (the Old
Testament) are full of stories about battles and wars for the defense of the Holy Land.
During that time God blessed and protected the Israelites in their battle
plans. The Christian scriptures (the New Testament) use military terms to describe
the battle between good and evil. The theological concept of a "just
war" is what should guide the conscience in this matter. In short, this
concept of a "just war" says that it must in defense of your homeland (the
"just war" theory doesnt have room for the morality of STARTING a war),
that the "good" must outweigh the evil of destruction and death, that targets
must not involve innocent "civilians," and that war is considered the last
option after "good faith" negotiations have all been exhausted.
Killing (I prefer the term
MURDER) is never an acceptable Christian option. But sometimes killing (taking life
in self-defense) is tolerated for the greater good in war. Usually, the idea of
self-defense is used to "justify" the taking of life in war. And that
would make sense. For example, I personally would NEVER EVER allow anyone to take my
life or the lives of those whom I love (such as my family). I would defend myself
even to the point of killing the perpetrator to defend my loved ones and myself.
In a role as soldier, one is
protecting ones self and loved ones from the destruction that enemies would bring to
this country if the enemies were not stopped.
The military is a worthy and
wonderful calling to serve. Of course, all of us would wish there was no military,
no wars, but that is not the reality now. We need those who can protect us and
soldiers are the ones that God calls for in this time and place to protect us all. I
must trust that God will do whatever it takes to bring peace to this broken world.
Please use the link at the top left side
of this page
to comment or be added to the mailing list.