A Soldier’s Duty

Q. I am writing to ask a question that I feel strongly about but would like to support from a biblical sense. I am an officer in the army and a strong believer. I see our role in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as protecting our loved ones and country by getting rid of people who would do us harm. IE 9/11. Do you see a conflict between being a believer and being a soldier who has the duty to combat those bent on terrorism etc?

This has nothing to do with strategy and policy. I work in ROTC now on a Catholic Campus, and some actually assume that soldiers in some way are not Christians. In actuality, we are generally quite a religious bunch. But some see that concept as a complete contradiction. What are your thoughts?

This also loosely ties in to my non acceptance of the turn the other cheek mind set that means you have to be others punching bag to be a good Christian.

A. May God bless and protect you and all of our military. God has regularly used human armies to fight spiritual battles. And although it’s not politically correct to say so, the war on terrorism is a battle between opposing spiritual forces. Islamic terrorists don’t attack us because they want our lands or our wealth or our technology. They attack us because we don’t follow their religion. And their religion tells them that there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who follow their ways and those who are their enemies and must be brought into submission.

Proverbs 16:7 says that when a man’s ways are pleasing to God, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him, so one could justifiably say that terrorism against us shows that God is not happy with His people today, and the Americans are currently the most prominent of His people. But be that as it may, there is no Scripture to justify surrendering to the forces of Islam and worshiping a false god.

As to turning the other cheek, I see this as a general admonition, but don’t think there was any intent to apply it to the military. The Lord also said that wars and rumors of war would characterize the church age. Certainly soldiers are not expected to become a punching bag for the enemy they’re sworn to defend us against.

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