Politics and religion: the topics no one brings up in polite conversation. But that shouldn’t be the case. America has received a lot of flack for its military involvement with countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many people have strong opinions on the matter and others have none at all, but one question has been raised. Can you be a Christian and be in and support the military?
I think you can. There are countless stories in the Old Testament of the Israelites asking God for favor in battle, and He granted it to them. God even called people to war to fight their enemies. However there is the commandment “Thou shalt not murder.” So what do we do with that?
Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “There is…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” God knows man’s heart, and we are all infected with sin. It is inevitable that there will come times of war and conflict.
God commands us to protect the weak and take care of the poor. If I saw a little child or anyone for that matter being attacked, I would hope that I would go help them and if it came to the point that it was my life or the attacker’s, I would defend myself.
I wish that we could live in peace and harmony with one another and govern with love, but we live in a fallen world. We must implement protection systems to keep order and create peace in this chaotic world. I think you can be a Christian and in the military. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” and it applies to all things including being in the military.
That’s not say there aren’t things wrong with the military. For example, the recent controversy with Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales who could be sentenced to death if convicted on any of the 17 counts of murder filed against him for allegedly embarking on a shooting rampage in Afghan villages.
Nothing is perfect in this world and there are extremely high standards for an organization that is in charge of protecting and bringing peace.
People in the military and those who run it fall short of those standards all the time. But there are people who are honoring God with their service and who are saving lives.
The military isn’t going to go away, and I would rather have someone who tried to honor God with their lives and actions join as opposed to someone else.
So bring up politics and religion in conversation and make it polite. Make it something that Christians can talk about. I am not saying that you will agree with whomever you talk to, but it is important to not avoid the issues.