Huwebes, Abril 12, 2012

On Being A Soldier

On Being A Soldier

PASUGO/May 2001

As a Jehovah's Witness, I have always believed in what was taught to us that joining the military and becoming a soldier is against the will of God.  Soldiers fight and kill their enemies.  If you really uphold the teachings of the Bible, shouldn't you also prohibit your members from joining the military since the duty of a soldier violates the teachings of God and of Christ that say "You shall not kill" and "Love your enemies"?

Roger Bayliss
Glendale, California

Editor's reply:
     Joining the military service is not against the will of God.  In fact, the first nation of God, Israel, had armed soldiers who were ready for battle (Jos. 4:12-13).  These soldiers were described by the Bible as "mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear" (I Chron. 12:8, New King James Version).  At that period, God's commandment,  "You shall not kill" was already in effect.

     But why then did Israel have an army?  Some of the reasons were for them to defend themselves against their  enemies and to protect the leaders of God's nation, as with the case of David--" ... there he [David] was joined by many experienced, reliable soldiers" (I Chron. 12:1, Today's English Version).

     The Bible also records that there were soldiers who asked John the Baptist, " And what shall we do?"  to their question. John replied:

     "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."  (Lk 3:14, NKJV)

     John the Baptist did not instruct the soldiers to leave their duty.  Rather, he gave them instructions to follow.  Indeed, being a soldier isn't against God's teachings.

     When our Lord Jesus Christ commanded, "Love your enemies," He spoke in the context of Christians being persecuted by nonbelievers and not in the context of soldiers fighting in a war or battle (Mt. 5:44).

     Thus, becoming a soldier or joining the military has never been a violation of the teachings of God and of Christ.  @@@@@

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