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Must Christians quit the military, law enforcement

Started by kkrepps, 07/12/2011 09:34AM
Posted 07/12/2011 09:34AM Opening Post
What think ye? I think not:

In the Old Testament justice was displayed in "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" Every sin receives it's just desserts. But this is only foreshadowing the New Covenant. Looking to Paul we see a new admonition to love our enemies, just as Jesus taught:

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

The reason we do not need to repay evil for evil is because we trust the Lord’s promise to provide justice for everyone. Sin is not merely forgiven, as if it never happened. There is justice meted out for every wrong we commit. The Old Testament principle has not changed. This was demonstrated by Jesus on the cross. He paid "An eye for an eye" for our sake.

As a Christian:
When someone wrongs me I can rest assured that every sin has been paid for on the cross, or will be punished in this life or the next. We don’t have to seek revenge, because God will be our just judge.

This teaching is often misconstrued as applying to the proper use of military, or law enforcement, or even personal defense of self and family. However, that is not the case.

"Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13)

The law is still God's standard to show his righteousness, maintain order in society, and protect the innocent. The Christian in the military, or law enforcement, or defending his family is not seeking revenge...he is defending righteousness and protecting the innocent. How the sword of the magistrate should be applied is considerably debated, but I beleive it's purpose is sound.
Posted 07/12/2011 09:51AM #1
Kevin Krepps said:

What think ye? I think not:

In the Old Testament justice was displayed in "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" Every sin receives it's just desserts. But this is only foreshadowing the New Covenant. Looking to Paul we see a new admonition to love our enemies, just as Jesus taught:

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.�

The reason we do not need to repay evil for evil is because we trust the Lord’s promise to provide justice for everyone. Sin is not merely forgiven, as if it never happened. There is justice meted out for every wrong we commit. The Old Testament principle has not changed. This was demonstrated by Jesus on the cross. He paid "An eye for an eye" for our sake.

As a Christian:
When someone wrongs me I can rest assured that every sin has been paid for on the cross, or will be punished in this life or the next. We don’t have to seek revenge, because God will be our just judge.

This teaching is often misconstrued as applying to the proper use of military, or law enforcement, or even personal defense of self and family. However, that is not the case.

"Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13)

The law is still God's standard to show his righteousness, maintain order in society, and protect the innocent. The Christian in the military, or law enforcement, or defending his family is not seeking revenge...he is defending righteousness and protecting the innocent. How the sword of the magistrate should be applied is considerably debated, but I beleive it's purpose is sound.

I agree. Romans 13 pretty much plainly answers the question. God places the civil authorities in the role of sword bearer and avenger. I think for Chistians, God could place us in this role as your 'work' in this life. The question then becomes when Christians are 'wronged' by some one, what is the proper response. Of course we allow the civil authorities to do what they have to. However, as Christians, to we take it further? For example, some one accidentally damages your property and is fined by the local authorities. Do we as Christians leave it there and forgive, or do we bring a lawsuit against them for damages? What about something more significant. You are injured by another person who was negligent or on the job using defective equipment and perhaps lost a limb. That person receives the 'wrath' of the authorities over him. Do we as Christians leave it there and forgive or do we bring a lawsuit against them and take them for whatever we can get in return?

Doug Matulis
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"I need something to put here, can you help? wink "
Posted 07/12/2011 02:03PM #2
Like anything else, I think the answer is an individual one and not something one can make a blanket assessment of.

Yes, many times in these professions one is in the act of defense. However, it gets a little grey at times...like a pre-emptive strike, or being ordered to kill not having knowledge of the entire plan so you are trusting that the moral/ethics of you commanders are correct in the situation.

In the end, it does give one lots of ethical dillemas to struggle with. When I was in the military many of us discussed this often, the conflict between following one's interpretation of their faith, thou shalt not kill, with one's duty to country and having to do exactly that. Anyway, it was very much a difficult path to find and walk to have to reconcile both, but we all struggled and most did, making them both better soldiers and Christians/religious in the process IMO.

If you go through life never having to make any hard choices, you end up not growing as much as you could I would say. Every hardship has blessings that you can often not attain any other way.