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Can Christians Be Soldiers

The earliest Christians leaders were all against war of any type. Yahshua told us to turn the cheek and love our enemies. Can one be truly Christian (not Constantines coercive pagan Christianity) and support or fight war?

Moderator - Our governments fight the wars and as citizens we obey.

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 ---erik on 5/12/06
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"I was assuming," trav. Yea I noticed that you do a lot of that.
But... I am glad to see that we won that war "on paper." Do you even remember what it was about.
My job was delivering elephants. So now, Mr. Experence, what does that mean to you?
PS. Are we fighting that war again?
---Elder on 4/4/11

Tav, it is evident that you were not there. ("I'm glad we won that war. We killed a Biblical number. ---Elder on 4/3/11

I respect your call to duty. From those that pumped gas the nurses and those that gave the ultimate.
Technically we did not "lose" advisors we pulled out. Enemy lost an estimated 2,000,000 and probably more.

Your M.O.S. was?

Psalm 74:23
Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.

With a good ole ex mil friend like you elder,what have i got to worry about. Hint,(A higher class of friends)
---Trav on 4/4/11

If a Viet Cong medicopter was flying...)
Oh really. How many "whirley birds" do you suppose they had?
I can only say to you.... you number 1 buko dinky dong.
---Elder on 4/3/11

Yeah well, I was assuming most could imagine a GOD-less communistic enemy flying over them in "AMERICA".... noted an elder one could not imagine it.
They would not get geneva convention blessing of right of way from me.
If they would from you...then ur numba 10 noi ban ruou lau of who I would not want around the straw hut anyway.
Psalm 108:13
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 119:139
My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
---Trav on 4/4/11

So Trav, what is a "biblical number" of human beings to kill?!
---Mary on 4/3/11

So Mary, the word is "ENEMIES".
If you the math from scripture.
Lev 26:8
Five of you shall chase an hundred, an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

Psalm 139:20
For they speak against thee wickedly, thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Psalm 143:12
And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

One kind is a "foot stool" and don't know it.
Luke 20:43
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
---Trav on 4/4/11

So Trav, what is a "biblical number" of human beings to kill?!
---Mary on 4/3/11

Tav, it is evident that you were not there. ("I'm glad we won that war. We killed a Biblical number. If a Viet Cong medicopter was flying...)
Oh really. How many "whirley birds" do you suppose they had? A majority of the time we didnt even see Charlie.
I can only say to you.... you number 1 buko dinky dong.
---Elder on 4/3/11

//In battle it is better to wound an enemy than to kill them.//

in fact, the Viet Kong were trained to wound and not kill when possible. they knew that American soldiers would drop there weapon and help the wounded rather than concentrate on the task at hand.

the logic... if you wound many, you fight a few. if you kill one, you fight many.
---aka on 4/3/11

Trav -- I got your point. I just consider it an invalid one. Until Vietnam, enemies at war did not attempt to attack medical vehicles on the other side.

We did not fight that war out of any "hatred" for the Vietnamese. As for myself, I signed up because I'm a nurse and war causes many injuries.
Thanks for the good explanation, Elder.
---Donna66 on 4/2/11

Donna so many here don't understand anything it seems.
In battle it is better to wound an enemy than to kill them. It takes more man power and money to care for him/her than to bury a dead soldier.
So that being said, to fire on an medical/aid vehicle is not only vicious but stupid.
Death is good for the psychological and moral effect but over working personal and creating expences wins wars.
Thanks for being there to
"patch us up."
---Elder on 4/2/11

You are absolutely wrong. I would NOT be "ecstatic". We gave medical treatment even to Viet Cong wounded
---Donna66 on 4/1/11

You missed the point. You believe in GOD,you believed in your cause. We have/had superiority of technology. We bomb one run and throw food and aid out with the other. We can. We (were) GOD fearing "Blessed" as promised.
There is no fair fight with our technology.
Reverse the situation....the GODless are bombing your hut/babies and rice'd shoot them down. Since your gonna hesitate...I'll do it until you figure it out. Run out and save those crash survivors....bombing our grand babies.....while I shoot another down. Hand me a full clip please, before you go.
---Trav on 4/2/11

//If a Viet Cong medicopter was flying over my rice paddy here in America in war. It would be game on. You'd be ecstatic that I felt that way, provided your American.
It's a matter of perspective//

You are absolutely wrong. I would NOT be "ecstatic". We gave medical treatment even to Viet Cong wounded that we found. And despite the danger I've mentioned, our medics VOLUNTEERED to fly into villages to treat civilians. We did not NEED to do that!
How stupid we were!
---Donna66 on 4/1/11 the Viet Cong, it was a target.
---Donna66 on 3/30/11

I'm glad we won that war. We killed a Biblical number. If a Viet Cong medicopter was flying over my rice paddy here in America in war. It would be game on. You'd be ecstatic that I felt that way, provided your American.
It's a matter of perspective.
Exodus 23:22
But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, an adversary unto thine adversaries.
Leviticus 26:8
Five of you shall chase a hundred, a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
---Trav on 4/1/11

Jerry ... Agreed that the UK and Europe owes a debt of gratitude to the US, as does Europe to the UK.

UK military fought for the whole of WW2.
---alan8566_of_uk on 4/1/11

//Jerry ... "There are no finer people on earth than American military personnel"

I would dispute that !!
---alan8566_of_uk on 3/31/11 //

Why Alan? If it weren't for them, you'd be speaking German now.

I agree that the Brits and the Aussies are among the finest as well.
---jerry6593 on 4/1/11

But while the whole world knows what a red cross on a white background means on a military the Viet Cong, it was a target.
---Donna66 on 3/30/11
Yep! Really sick.

Alan, as a Brit said to me about the Falklands war. "Mate, if we go... YOU go!"

I think the Orders were ready to go out, pending a request from PM Thatcher.

Concerning my post on the 135AD rebellion by Bar Kochba. I now believe the reason the Christians refused to fight was mainly because Bar Kochba was considered The Messiah by the Jews. They knew by scripture He would appear around that time. They rejected Jesus, because they wanted a military earthly victory. The rebellion was crushed and Kochba was killed.
---John on 3/31/11

alan-of-UK -- The Brits are great too.
---Donna66 on 3/31/11

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Defending yourself is acceptable, and defending your home or homeland against violaters and marauders is also acceptable. But not all men are aggressive nor can they be given a gun and taught to be bloody men when they are gentle-men. The army knows this, and I think that nonRough men are called "conscientious objectors" or "pacifists". And God showed this distinction in the two kinds of people to Gideon in Judges 7:5-7, where he chose only 300 warrior men out of all the men to go to war with Gideon against the over one hundred and thirty-five thousand Midianites and Amalekites Judges 7:12+ 8:4,10.
---Eloy on 3/31/11

Jerry ... "There are no finer people on earth than American military personnel"

I would dispute that !!
---alan8566_of_uk on 3/31/11

jerry6593--//There are no finer people on earth than American military personnel// Thanks, Jerry.
---Donna66 on 3/31/11

John--It didn't happen often. But while the whole world knows what a red cross on a white background means on a military the Viet Cong, it was a target.
---Donna66 on 3/30/11

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//Thank you Donna66 for serving our country and protectng our freedom!!!
...G-d Bless You!
---John on 3/30/11//

AMEN to that!!!!

There are no finer people on earth than American military personnel.

God does in fact condone his people fighting in wars. Just read the Old Testament, and remember that Jesus is the God of the OT. There is a commandment against murder, but not against killing for the defense of self, family or country.
---jerry6593 on 3/31/11

If a soldier became a Christian, they were forbidden from wielding the sword.-Daniel on 3/26/11
This is an incorrect statement.
---micha9344 on 3/31/11

Thank you Donna66 for serving our country and protectng our freedom!!!

I heard many times nurses had to pick up guns to protect the wounded troops in the make shift Hospitals as the Viet Cong did NOT respect the wounded.

G-d Bless You!
---John on 3/30/11

Erik, it seems you are correct in your asessment of True Christians.


Because we know the Early Christians refused to join in the rebellion of Bar Kochba (135AD) against the Romans.

This was the beginning of the split between the Jews and Christians.

Good Question
---John on 3/30/11

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Erik. It is perfectly fine if you believe that Jesus would passively ignore those deprived of liberty and religious freedom, cruelly treated, oppressed by cruel dictators. It's your right to believe this.
But Jesus didn't teach us to say, "Am I my brothers keeper?"

Jesus went to extreme lengths to rescue us from darkness and the curse of the devil. Some Christians are willing to give their lives, that others may breathe free. God bless those who have! The freedoms we enjoy today did not come out of nowhere. Men shed their very blood to make them a reality. And we have no guarantee that blood will not be required, once more, to preserve them.
---Donna66 on 3/29/11

1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme,

1 Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
---francis on 3/28/11

I served in the military for 12 years before I understood Jesus' teachings. There are hundreds of ways to justify in ones mind the taking of another life, but the New Testament says much about not resisting an evil person. It speaks of loving ones enemies, but not once does it justify violence. Anyone who studies pre-constantine Christianity will understand that the church forbid a Christian from joining the military. If a soldier became a Christian, they were forbidden from wielding the sword.
---Daniel on 3/26/11

Jantz -- 1953-Vietnam was granted independence, but was divided into an anti-Communist South (who received aid from the US) and a Communist North. In 1958, the north (Viet Cong) began military incursions into the South. We sent a few American advisors to help. The advisors were killed. We sent more, who were also killed. Finally, we sent troops to protect the advisors...and so it went.

We, too, believed "there is a God who has created the universe and He is supremely interested in Justice for all people"

The North Vietnamese had the backing of massive Communist China. We did not feel it was "just" to leave a small freedom-seeking people helpless in the face of powerful nations who sought to oppress them.
---Donna66 on 7/16/09

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Can one be truly Christian and support or fight war?

(Christ=Annointed Christian= Annointed ones)

All of our righteous Wars we will subdue. Righteous...being the key. May GOD bless our Men of Valor.
Isaiah 30:17
One thousand shall flee at rebuke of one, at rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, as an ensign on an hill.
Jeremiah 33:20
Thus saith the LORD, If ye can break my covenant of the day, my covenant of night, that there should not be day and night in their season
Sun still shining.
Exodus 34:12
Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in midst of thee: (our mistakes)
---Trav on 7/16/09

Easy Janze, I am conflicted and if there was a draft I wouldn't pull a Cheney. Hopefully it would be an issue of defense and not an invasion of another such as Iraq.

Does my view have holes and inconsistencies, yes.
---larry on 7/16/09


Please explain how your position as stated in the sentence:'If my country calls I'll answer the bell remaining a strong believer in Christ' is not in mortal conflict with what you ackowledged as God's Will: (God )'hates the shedding of innocent blood....'

Are you saying that it is more important to present yourself as a loyal American than to live by what you are convinced is the Will of God?

You know, the amazing and unsurprising thing, genuine and demosntrable self defence is consistent with the Will of God. Expediency, the lust for power, revenge and the need to satisfy the demands of the greedy are NOT self defence justifications. They are simply wrong and therefore, ungodly!
---Janze on 7/16/09

Of course even if the country is in disobedience.
Soldiers or Marines are individuals and judged by God by their hearts. Though God intervened and directed battles involving Israel we know he hates the shedding of innocent blood so killing is not done without consequences. We see vets who return home suffering from signficant mental and spritual damage.

On a personal note, I thought the invasion of Iraq was unwise and ungodly, as we bombed a city the size of greater Chicago into sawdust. Still I would fight for the stars and stripes if called. I hate war but would never seek 5 deferments like VP Dick Cheney. If my country calls I'll answer the bell remaining a strong believer in Christ.
---larry on 7/16/09

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Military operations are the lucrative business of killing men, women and children and they are motivated by the lust for power and wealth.

The Americans started an ideologic war in Vietnam, where about 60,000 Americans were died and between 3,000,000 and 7,000,000 Vietamese were killed. Those of you who have been involved in that war have no need to repent because you were doing god's work. Well, if killing millions of people is god's work, perhaps, your god is a Jewish American. However, there is a God who has created the universe and He is supremely interested in Justice for all people, and I know that there will NOT be any medals for murdering civilians and there will NOT be any Heavenly rewards for the merchants of death.
---Janze on 7/15/09

You go, girl!! :) God bless you for your service Donna, I LOVE LOVE and LOVE vets!! :) Especially the one I'm in love with today but I love all vets! :) Thank you soooo much for your service to America. :)
---Mary on 7/15/09

I don't know about "the earliest Christian leaders", but there is no record of JESUS ever disapproving of someone because they were a soldier..He dealt with many soldiers..never told them not to go to war (only to be worthy of their wages).
It was a Roman soldier who proclaimed at His crucifixion "Surely, this must be the Son of God"

Go ahead, be a pacifist if you feel you must.

But unless you have faced death for something you believe in, you have no right to criticize.

I was a nurse in the Viet Nam conflict and I do NOT REPENT of it!
---Donna66 on 7/14/09

Not only do I not "repent" of my military service, I was ready to sign up again on Sept 12, 2001...but I was too old!
---Donna66 on 7/14/09

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Yes Christians can and should be soldiers. Cornelius was a soldier.
---Jon on 7/13/09

Rachel!! Oh my goodness! My cousin was killed over in Iraq, fighting Bush's war and you're telling me he should have "repented" instead of laying his own life on the line?! AGH!
---Mary on 7/6/09

You cannot follow Jesus and generals. Jesus does not have a country. I believe soldiers need to repent of their military service. If Jesus asked for forgiveness for soldiers, they were obviously sinning at the time. With ninety seven percent of all the killing in Iraq being civilian, American soldiers are killing people as innocent as christ every day.
Military chaplains make people twice as fit for hell as they are themselves.
Without repentance, there are not soldiers in heaven.
---Rachel on 7/6/09

erik: What "early Christian leaders" are you talking about? They were against murder, senseless violence and obviously pagan kings claiming to be God since Jesus is LORD and only the God of Scripture created all there is! But I don't see a command that Believers couldn't be in a military - even the Roman army; if their orders weren't against God's will. Some positions may not be right for us indivdually though; e.g., I'd refuse to launch nuclear weapons. Are medics in the military or not?
---Daniel on 6/9/08

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I became a Christian at 17, was in the USAF 20 years. Don't regret becomming a Christian, and don't regret serving my country. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!!!
---Rev_Herb on 5/30/07

As Christians we are enlisted in God's Army. Our weapons are the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit (the Bible). Our enemy is Satan, the world, & our flesh. Our mission is to fight the enemy in a spiritual warfare. The Kingdom of God suffer violence, and the violent take it by force. This is VERY Biblical.
---Leslie on 1/3/07

David had mighty men. The Lord is called a man of war. A Centurian was saved when Peter spoke. It says obey Governing authorities. The Lord has ordained those to fight wars and protect others. It's referred to as "spiritual warfare" and Paul instructed Timothy to be a good "soldier." Death in this life is temporal. Spiritual death in spiritual battle for soldiers is eternal. When a shepherd defends his flock from ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing his words may bring eternal death.
---Frank on 7/4/06

The name of Jesus is above every name in heaven and earth and every Knee will bow to that Name,there is no salvation in any other name or healing. Isaiah 52:6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.Isaiah 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
---exzucuh on 7/3/06

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We the people of the are no longer the government. The government is a corporation. Ever wonder why your name on all gov. documents is in capital letters? You are just paying the antichrists bills.
---Lynn on 7/3/06

Dave where did you get this name you are so adamant about? Chapter and verse please. How did you translate it.
---joseph on 7/3/06

first of all the creators name is not "jehovah" reason? the letter j was not in any language until the 14th. century! and he is a lot older than that! the other thing is he actually does have a name and funnily enough it is a Hebrew one! his name is YAHUWEH AND HE WILL ACCEPT WORSHIP IN NO OTHER HE SAYS SO!
---dave on 7/3/06

True christians will remain neutral because jehovah God doesn't want bloodshed. A person can still respect the laws without having to give into "Uncle Sam"it's called a constitutional religious rite!imo. but yes a person can do as they feel,freewill, but to truly follow God they will not become a soldier.
---candice on 7/3/06

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tom2, This question brings to mind what John the Baptist said when asked by the Roman soldier what they should do. John said to be content with their wages, accuse no one falsely, and do violence to no man. He spoke this to soldiers. Luke 3:14 Do you think if they had tried to force Jesus into the military he would have served? The debate on war has been long going and it will continue. I was never called during the Vietnam war, but if I had been I would have served.
---Thomas_D. on 6/25/06

erik's comment about Constantine's "coercive pagan Christianity" shows his erudition in church history, almost as good as Dan Brown's.

Actually, there were many soldier martyrs before Constantine: George, Sergius, Bacchus, Theodore the Recruit, Theodore the General, the Martyrs of Sebaste.....
---Jack on 6/24/06

There are LOTS of wars going on in the Bible. Wars and violence and killing of inocent people because of war. All that stuff.
---sue on 6/24/06

How about in Ex. 32:26-27 When the Lord told Moses to "slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour...and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men." -this was not war but thier own people.
..and sometimes God would do it himself like in Num. 16:30-35 Where the Lord made the earth swallow up "all the men that appertained unto Korah" and then sent a fire that consumed "two hundred and fifty men"
---tofurabby on 6/8/06

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the original word for kill in the 10 commandments was though shalt not murder.Gods word say that the authorities over you have the right and obligation by his word to wage righteous war to protect you.our sovereign God waged war all thru the old testament.
---tom2 on 6/8/06

MikeM: Yes it can a difficult decision (and should be) for each individual Christian about this issue, but don't ever say that all those in WWII Germany were true Believers! There was a great deal of religious propaganda by Hitler; mostly aimed at those Catholics and Lutherans who didn't really give their lives to Christ and could be manipulated. Though far fewer in number, there were Christians who despised that and some who joined 'resistance movements' against the Nazis!
---Daniel on 5/15/06

I meant a spiritual war. Also spreading the word, being a good witness.
---Nellah on 5/15/06

Gods chosen people - the nation of Israel have to battle every day and have had to for quite some time. If they were to turn the other cheek, they would have been wiped out many times over.
---chris on 5/15/06

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Late in WW2 American solders were compelled to attend church in Germany. "In God we Trust" was on a banner across the podium of the church, formerally under German control My Father noted a sign, taken down, in the back. It read, "Gott un mittence" (God is with us)" same church, same religion. Does God take sides in such conflicts? Who is confused, man, or God?
---MikeM on 5/15/06

Some Amish and Mennonites refuse all war, living free do follow their religion to the sacrifice of others, who serve and die. Histories battlefields are littered with Christ's followers on both sides of a war.It is your duty to make some 'other' woman husbandless, some 'other' child fatherless, leave some 'other' mother sonless. This is something to ponder.
---MikeM on 5/15/06

So if you are a Christian in the army, you go to war to defend what your country stands for, in battle you meet and are supposed to kill that other Christian, also defending what his country stands for. (This is an age old question, with no easy answer, most run from this question, until on the battlefield.)
---MikeM on 5/15/06

Mikefl: Malchus, the man of whom Peter cut off his ear, was not a Roman soldier. Rather, he was a servant of the high priest. (Mk. 14:47; Lk. 22:50; John 18:10 )

NVBarbara: Definitely counts...great cookies! :-)
---Leon on 5/14/06

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Ya darn tootin, I'm a soldier! I'm a soldier for Jesus Christ. Onward, Christian soldiers! We have a war to fight.
---Nellah on 5/14/06

Rickey, No to your question, Langley, Guam, Korea, Airzona, to mention a few, but never FL.
---Rev_Herb on 5/14/06

God has led His people into battle throughout history and we know that it is written that there WILL be a final battle.
---christina on 5/14/06

Aurunoday: I still have no qualms about turning keys or planning a SIOP laydown. A former SAC missile operations officer.
---notlaw99 on 5/14/06

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How come the Book of the Revelation speaks of the Armies of Heaven that come back with the Lord? The lie that Christians should not be military members sounds like a mental attack on Christians who are in the military.
Peter was allowed to carry a sword. Even though he used it wrong Jesus never told him to "disarm" himself.
---Elder on 5/14/06

When John the Baptist was preaching repentance and baptising, people had questions. Luke 3:14 (KJV) "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him saying, what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages" There was no objection to their occupation, only to do violence to no "man" (singular).
I served briefly in Army Nurse Corps. Remember when "conscientious objectors" served gladly in non-combat positions.
---Donna2277 on 5/13/06

Christians cannot be soldiers. Its a subtle issue and can be offensive to others. Let the dead bury their dead (matt 8:22). I disagree with the moderator, as citizens we necessarily do not know nor agree with everything the government does. we ought to obey the law as long as its within the permissible levels of God's law, what can you say about theocratic nations and its citizens. Probably some of you joined the forces when you aren't that christian, how many of you are prepared to kill now?
---Aurunoday on 5/13/06

I for one am thankful for the men and women who serve God and country to preserve our freedoms.
I was a Girl Scout, does that count? I always sold the most cookies!
---NVBarbara on 5/13/06

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A Roman soldier lost an ear to a "soldier" of Christ...though he was rebuked. Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. We are also told by scripture to obey the law. For those who choose to volunteer for military duty, our nation has laws they must follow. Many people use "turn the other cheek" as an excuse to not stand for something positive. There is a time for both. God must dictate that to each individual's heart, not me.
---mikefl on 5/13/06

Yes Erik: A soldier in the army of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Absolutely Elder!

Rev_Herb: I'm also an Air Force retiree (26 years) & am honored to have served ("God & country...against all enemies, foreign & domestic").
---Leon on 5/13/06

Rev Herb, were you ever stationed at Fort Walton Beach?
---RIckey on 5/13/06

As new covenant Christians, from what I read of Jesus and His commands to His followers, there is no place for the sword among them. God gave governments as ministers of wrath unto this very thing--Romans 13:1-6. When we join God's army, our weapons are not carnal. From the new testament, it seems to me that we seek to share the gospel with all, even if they kill us.
---Wayne87 on 5/13/06

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During the Russo-Japanese war, a great crisis in conscience was raised with Japanese converts to ORthodox Christianity fighting the Russians. The great missionary Nicholas Kassatkin, himself a Russian, said, "Are you going to war for love of country to defend it and your families, or are you going to war for hatred of your enemies? The first is permitted; the second is a sin."
---Jack on 5/13/06

You might want to study the life of some of the men and women in the Bible before you accept an answer on this question.
Start with David and Saul.
In the Book of The Revelation God fights with Satan.
Turning the other cheek has to do with forgiveness not refusing to stand in time of war.
Like the Military Chaplain said, "In war we are to love our enemies, forgive them and let the Infantry kill them."
Many times in the Bible God demanded His people to war.
---Elder on 5/13/06

Whether Christ's words to "turn the other cheek" apply to nations or merely individuals is a question that has been argued through the years.

But remember that John the Baptist never told the Roman soldiers who came to him to desert.

And then there were Christian soldier martyrs such as St. George, Ss. Sergius and Bacchus, Ss Theodore (one a recruit, one a general), and the Martyrs of Sebaste.
---Jack on 5/13/06

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