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Christians in the Military

It has been long debated and talked about for decades. The question of can Christians serve in the military? People have related many aspects of the Christian lifestyle to that of a soldier and say that they cannot match up. People talk of how Jesus was non-violent and it is wrong for a person to go into an organization that uses it.  This article will examine this very issue, by going to God’s word and reading what the Lord’s opinion is of government, armies, and the soldiers that serve in those armies.  

In the days when Jesus walked the earth, the Roman Empire ruled the world. The glory of Rome was not so much its political structure but rather its vast army. Conquering anything in their path, then maintaining peace in that conquered land was a skill unique to the Romans. After Jesus had delivered His sermon on the mount, he entered Capernaum to find a centurion asking Him to heal his servant, who was paralyzed (Matthew 8:5-13). A centurion is a Roman captain who is in charge of 100 men. This centurion knew that Jesus could just say the word, and his servant would be healed. He says, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” Even though this man was a soldier in the Roman army, Jesus marveled at him, and claimed that he had “great faith”. This man was only one of two people that Jesus said this to, the other being the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 8:24-30). We have other examples in the scriptures where soldiers showed a great faith towards God. In Acts 10, we find a man named Cornelius who is praying to God. Luke describes Cornelius as a devout man, one who feared God with his entire household, and gave alms generously, while praying to God always. You would be hard pressed to find even a Jew who could be described as Cornelius was! Nevertheless, he was a Gentile soldier, and Peter was sent to preach to him the gospel. Being this man of faith, Cornelius obeyed with his entire household, being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27). Cornelius is now a Christian, but he also is now a Christian who is serving in the military.

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Wars and Rumors of Wars

(Editor’s Note: When brother Huddleston wrote this article and sent it to me, the war with Iraq had not yet begun.)

It is looking more and more like the United States is going to war with Iraq. With all the talk and hype, many people are getting very worried and anxious. The US government is telling its citizens in the USA to carry on as usual and not to get too anxious or paranoid. They did advise citizens to be more alert about what is going on around them and to exercise good security measures at home, when traveling, at work, etc. Many are buying plastic and duct tape to seal up their homes, buying can goods to last for weeks and on and on. Of course, it is good to be prepared, but many are going overboard. Many have let fear get the best of them and will not travel by plane or travel overseas. Should we let infidel terrorists scare us to the point that we stop evangelizing overseas? As Christians we are to be concerned with what the Bible has to say about these things.

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