• Welcome to Talk Jesus

    A true bible based, Jesus centered online community. Join over 11,000 members today

    Register Log In

Joining the military ethics?

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:10)

Member
I am aware that "thou shall not kill" and other things that would forbid someone for joining the military, especially because the military teaches you how to use anger and how to hate your enemy and then kill them, which does not seem very ethical to me. However I still want to join the military but I also don't want to turn into a monster because of it. Would it be immoral for someone to join the military to fight in Iraq? I mean muslims are closer then most people to being saved considering that Jesus is a prophet in Islam so turning to Christ is more reasonable then say a buddhist or an atheist. So in other words these people may be evil in the sense they do evil deeds, and of course we know what muhammad does. But could these people still be viewed as lost souls and brothers who could come to Christ and need guidance? Im just wondering if it would be unethical.

Thanks yall
 
Member
I am aware that "thou shall not kill" and other things that would forbid someone for joining the military, especially because the military teaches you how to use anger and how to hate your enemy and then kill them, which does not seem very ethical to me. However I still want to join the military but I also don't want to turn into a monster because of it. Would it be immoral for someone to join the military to fight in Iraq? I mean muslims are closer then most people to being saved considering that Jesus is a prophet in Islam so turning to Christ is more reasonable then say a buddhist or an atheist. So in other words these people may be evil in the sense they do evil deeds, and of course we know what muhammad does. But could these people still be viewed as lost souls and brothers who could come to Christ and need guidance? Im just wondering if it would be unethical.

Thanks yall
It's great that your questioning this! I have questioned this as well (although I would not like to be in the military). From my studies I have found that some people say there is a misinterpretation of the word "kill". If you look in most contemporary Bible versions (NIV, EST...) it says murder. There is a difference between murder and killing. Murder is viewed as not something done in war. Murder is viewed as if say, I killed you. That would be murder. While killing in combat would not be murder.


This forum outlines it pretty well.

Something that needs to be questioned is not even Christians today, but what JEWS did (yes people can go against the law, but I mean you can see how laws were interpreted by how they were carried out in the past). There were times God had the Israelites fight (in fact they took out the Cannanites to have Israel). Israel went to war often. David followed the law and went to war. Jews did not condemn him as someone who broke the ten commandments. However, when he did break a commandment (having Bathsheba's husband killed - murder) it was mentioned. So we have to ask, why was it a problem when he had Bathsheba's husband killed, but not all the men he killed in war? Not to say that it wasn't wrong, but that at least Jews and God did not seem to condemn this.

Nonetheless, that doesn't really matter. Yes, we still follow the ten commandments, but Jesus came to fulfill the law-- love. For if you love, you won't murder. If you love, you won't steal. Everything is completed in love.

What does the NT say? What does Jesus say?

Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

Matthew 26:32

We also should look to Jesus' example, who we are to follow. He never killed anyone, but gave up his life.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a]39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
Matthew 5:38-40


Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
Matthew 25:53

I just wonder how different this world would be if we truly believed that we could walk through fire without being burned (symbol, not taken in a literal sense necessarily. I'm not advocating to walk in fire, but just saying if we lived by faith). Why do we go to war? To stop threats. There is fear that they will attack us, the fear may even be correct. They will attack us. But does that make it right? Jesus never got into politics, he taught that we are to love and serve.

So can you join the military? Definitely! Does the military come before God? No!

Do I personally believe it is okay to kill in war? No.
Based on Bible verses I think it is wrong, although I'll happily debate it with anyone.

But then you have to ask yourself, is it right to let a child die? For example, if you see a man about to kill a child and you can kill him to protect the child, is it right to kill him? What if there's 10 children?

I can't really say, I think things are somewhat right. Killing the man is taking control and ending someone's life- a right that doesn't seem to be ours. Then again, didn't they use the same debate for doctors giving medications/surgeries for patients? Yes!

Sometimes people would let family members die because they thought "if God willed it, she will be healed". Now we say, God uses doctors to heal. I would say most Christians would not say "God uses people to kill".

So what is my answer to you? It's a complicated answer, I cannot tell you one way or another. This is something you need to ask God about and he surely will tell you!

What I've felt God tell me is that He looks at the heart. All of us have fallen short of the glory of God, we need God. He uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak to shame the strong. If I say, took out a "bad guy" to save people, I don't think God would say "evil one," but yes I believe in a way it's wrong. I also believe that God will give us wisdom when the time comes.

In one situation it may be wrong, in another it may be okay (based on the OT), but in the NT as far as I know (I'm not perfect though) the NT has a clear stance of peace.

On a side note, please search Desmond T. Ross or Hacksaw Ridge. There are ways to join the military without killing people. If I remember right as well, most military members do not kill.

They also don't teach people to hate...If you want to reach people in Iraq, you can do it WITHOUT joining the military. You could be a missionary. Everyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ as God is lost and unfortunately are not children of God. That doesn't mean God doesn't love them, but they aren't adopted as heirs.

Definitely pray for Muslims! I don't know if I would say they're easier to reach than say atheists. They could be if they want to follow God. However, I've found that atheists seem to almost be easier to reach. I think atheists/Jews make more sense than Muslims because Muslims deny Jesus is God. In reality you can only say two things 1) Jesus was a blasphemer and evil 2) Jesus is God.
 
Member
Great answer! I'd like to address your point though about god not using people to kill. God has actually used many people to kill, if you think about it. God uses Moses to eliminate the Pharaohs army, God used the Israelites as you just mentioned to eradicate the Canaanites (some theorize there were giants/nephilin) and its also theorized the Jewish woman who killed Muhammad was doing god's will.

But the question is, would killing radical Muslims be doing gods will? Yes and no. God is not commanding you to kill directly, but God does use people to fufill tasks like noah's arc carrying animals to repopulate or Moses to free the hebrews, so do we know for sure if it is gods command? No. But from what we read in the quran, about child molestation, murder, rape, fornication, ( i wont get into this argument now) its save to say that the teachings are of a abomination to god "woe onto those who call good evil and evil good" Isaiah 5:20 So again I cant really say

Morality is one of the difficult issues we find in the bible, like thou shall not kill, but what if hes trying to kill me? Or kill 1 baby or kill 2 serial killers. ETC
 
Member
Great answer! I'd like to address your point though about god not using people to kill. God has actually used many people to kill, if you think about it. God uses Moses to eliminate the Pharaohs army, God used the Israelites as you just mentioned to eradicate the Canaanites (some theorize there were giants/nephilin) and its also theorized the Jewish woman who killed Muhammad was doing god's will.

But the question is, would killing radical Muslims be doing gods will? Yes and no. God is not commanding you to kill directly, but God does use people to fufill tasks like noah's arc carrying animals to repopulate or Moses to free the hebrews, so do we know for sure if it is gods command? No. But from what we read in the quran, about child molestation, murder, rape, fornication, ( i wont get into this argument now) its save to say that the teachings are of a abomination to god "woe onto those who call good evil and evil good" Isaiah 5:20 So again I cant really say

Morality is one of the difficult issues we find in the bible, like thou shall not kill, but what if hes trying to kill me? Or kill 1 baby or kill 2 serial killers. ETC
Yes, my point is that generally we don't use the phrase "God uses people to kill other people". I believe that there was a time God did tell people to kill (such as the following verse: Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. (1 Samuel 15:3)

I actually have a problem with this (not that it matters). Many Christians do as well, why? Because we LOVE as He first LOVED us. However, we have to remember that God is also a God of justice (not just mercy). He has every right to take or give. It seems a little bit unfair though, which I believe a lot of Christians think but do not share.

We are so apt to say everything we like about God, but cannot seem to say what we do not like. I would like to point out that we are but ants to God, without knowledge. He made justice and knowledge, so what do we know? Just because we view something as bad doesn't mean it is bad. However, I wish Christians voiced their concerns more, thought and prayed to God about what they see and hear. God gave us a heart and a brain! He said seek and you shall find, so I don't see it as a problem to voice concerns or say something that doesn't sit right with you.

I wonder why God has to use armies (such as in the OT) to kill whole nations when he can do it himself. Although, I realize that he could also heal and do other things like that. I mean I can see I'm biased in the fact that I'm okay with "doctors doing God's work". That makes sense, but killing to me doesn't. So I see my thinking is flawed.

That's why I have come to terms with killing in the OT because it has been something I have prayed a lot about. I came to the conclusion that God has every right to do what he wants.

I just get a little slipped up because one of the arguments I use against Islam is how vile their god is. They make up excuses... so I would not like to do the same.

As my sister and I have discussed though, it still is different because our God has attributes that Allah does not have -- such as such beautiful forgiveness, adoption as children and selfless love. Although, that's why it makes me confused why he didnt forgive past sinful people (I know Jesus hadn't died yet, but am I more important than them? Am I less evil? If Nazi's can be forgiven by Jesus, could the Cannanites not be?)

I think we need to be careful in any sense when we say something is God's will or not. Of course some things are clear such as God would like us to help people. However, helping people isn't always helpful.

I say this because it gets into dangerous waters when something viewed normally as a sin/evil is okay in certain circumstances. Not to say that it isn't okay in certain circumstances, I'm just saying test everything with the Bible, pray to God and love (God & others).

Isaiah 5:20 unfortunately also reminds me of this world we live in -- even Western civilization. This nation seems to get more and more blind. Thankfully our God opens the eyes of the blind!
 
Member
I am aware that "thou shall not kill" and other things that would forbid someone for joining the military, especially because the military teaches you how to use anger and how to hate your enemy and then kill them, which does not seem very ethical to me. However I still want to join the military but I also don't want to turn into a monster because of it. Would it be immoral for someone to join the military to fight in Iraq? I mean muslims are closer then most people to being saved considering that Jesus is a prophet in Islam so turning to Christ is more reasonable then say a buddhist or an atheist. So in other words these people may be evil in the sense they do evil deeds, and of course we know what muhammad does. But could these people still be viewed as lost souls and brothers who could come to Christ and need guidance? Im just wondering if it would be unethical.

Thanks yall
Hello Merkify;
Are you passionate about something that you're willing to fight for? The classic example is David and Goliath with David being thoroughly incensed at Goliath taunting his brethren and his God.

The military does not teach one to hate. It teaches that someone is out to hurt you and you must stop them. Is Satan the enemy of God? Is God not your friend? If the Church can be considered an army, is it not your duty to limit the enemy? If you do nothing, can you be considered guilty of spiritual murder by allowing people to perish spiritually?

People of all religions (I include atheists as they believe in themselves) need Jesus. While Islam considers Jesus to be a prophet, they do not consider him necessary for their spiritual salvation. While Muhammad aid his followers suffered persecution
in the early days, he was not above persecuting those who rejected his message. Cheers.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
I am aware that "thou shall not kill" and other things that would forbid someone for joining the military, especially because the military teaches you how to use anger and how to hate your enemy and then kill them, which does not seem very ethical to me. However I still want to join the military but I also don't want to turn into a monster because of it. Would it be immoral for someone to join the military to fight in Iraq? I mean muslims are closer then most people to being saved considering that Jesus is a prophet in Islam so turning to Christ is more reasonable then say a buddhist or an atheist. So in other words these people may be evil in the sense they do evil deeds, and of course we know what muhammad does. But could these people still be viewed as lost souls and brothers who could come to Christ and need guidance? Im just wondering if it would be unethical.

Thanks yall
Hello Merkify,
First a few things for you to chew on. The military doesn't teach you to hate your enemy. It teaches you to follow orders. You sign a contract, and with that you are stating that you will follow whatever lawful orders are given you to follow. Yes, the military is about war, and war is about following through on whatever mission you are assigned to, and doing so in a successful manner, which may require you to kill. As I explained to both my children who joined the military in different branches of Service. What it comes down to is. Are you willing to take the life of another....period. For depending on the Branch of Service, more chances then not will determine how that is done. From up close hand to hand, to a distance that could be miles away. Regardless, your actions if called upon, will require you to take a life. Neither of my children who spent over 8 years in their respective branches ever had to kill someone that I know of. Then again, you'll find it's not something anyone in the military talks about, much less with a sense of pride. Why? Because they know, just like any religious person knows. Life is precious, and they have taken it. Taken what that person was, or ever would be away from them and their families. Those that boast about such things, are normally not the ones who have actually done anything, or that have any respect for life period.

The second part is can you reconcile this with you being a Christian? You as a Christian must decide can you do what the military will be asking you to do, if the need arises. Only you can answer that. Scripture will be used to justify this or that as it pertains to service in the military. What you need to do is pray, pray, and keep praying until you get God's answer to what you should do. For there are Godly men and women both in and out of the military. You'll be carrying this with you in whatever decision you decide to make, whether it's in the military or out. Law Enforcement has the same guidelines if need be that must be followed. They also, may be called on to kill someone. Now just outside of what you may do as it pertains to a job that doesn't require you to kill. The same question you must answer, is what would you do if your family was threatened and it was life and death? One can justify one and not the other, but regardless. It is you who must live with the decisions you make.

So, it's not just the military, but the life you are going to lead which is what you need to think about and seek through Scripture, with Holy Spirit help, guidance for. I pray that you will never have to face that situation, but if you do. That you will have a clear enough conscience and strength to do what God tells you to. No person knows if they can kill another until the moment they have to. I pray that moment never comes for you.

Now on to what you have erroneously stated and that is "I mean muslims are closer then most people to being saved considering that Jesus is a prophet in Islam so turning to Christ is more reasonable then say a buddhist or an atheist.". Close to being saved, is "Not Saved!". There's an old adage about close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades. Islam denies the deity of Christ, or that He even died on the Cross. Which is the Sacrifice that took our sins upon Himself. The price that we should have paid, He paid for us. Islam does not acknowledge this, so in truth. they aren't any closer to the truth then the atheist is. They are deceived by lies, that leave them outside the Kingdom of God, unless they accept what to them and to Atheist, Buddhist and other religions is currently unacceptable and a lie. I was drawn by God to Christ while I was in the military stationed in Germany. Small Baptist church. So, there are always opportunities no matter what road you find yourself walking in life, to share the Gospel and bring others to Christ.

I hope this helps a little brother.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
Nick
<><
 
Active
Top Poster Of Month
My husband was in the military -- Air Force for 4 years. He fought for his country. Did Not hate the enemy. The enemy Is dangerous and war isn't fun or pretty. It's ugly and brutal. They Are trained to obey orders.

Our only solid foundation is in Jesus Christ. No other name.
 

Similar threads


Top