Questions and Answers Concerning Self-Defense, Law Enforcement and the Military

How supportive can a Christian be of law enforcement and the military?

As good, Christian citizens it is not hypocritical to appreciate the role and function of law enforcement and the military while not engaging ourselves in combat-type situations where we would have to take someone’s life. Without local and national keepers of the peace, there would be chaos and very little freedom. We experience the freedoms we do because of the sacrifice of people who daily place their lives at stake for our benefit. There are supportive and even spiritual functions that Christians can fill for law enforcement and military personnel. It is important to remember that Christians are citizens of two countries. Our primary service and code of conduct is founded in the spiritual, but that does not preclude appreciation for the other.Read more

Conscientious Objection

Obeying God Rather than Man

A conscientious objector is a person who refuses to serve in the armed forces or bear arms on moral or religious grounds. Historically, many conscientious objectors to war have been imprisoned and even executed when their beliefs conflicted with that of the government.Read more

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou shalt not kill. —Exodus 20:13

Some translations use the word “kill,” but the word is better translated “murder” in this passage. Murder is the unlawful, intentional taking of a life with malice.

Right after this command was given, God instructed the Levites to take up the sword and kill people who had turned to idolatry. God was not being contradictory under the law He had just given to Moses, for the killing was administered justice.

While the Bible places great value on human life, this specific command is not the foundation of New Testament, biblical nonresistance.

A Spectacle Unto the World

God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake….  —1 Corinthians 4:9-13

The apostle Paul paints a vivid picture of the trials and suffering of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. It is an encouragement and challenge to devoted ministers of the gospel.

Paul alludes to the Roman practice of bringing gladiators, armed with weapons, into the amphitheaters to fight wild beasts. If the gladiators survived, they were later disarmed and left defenseless before beast and man to be killed. If they escaped, they were eventually forced to contend with another assailant that would bring certain death. Ministers of the gospel may as Paul suffer many trials, persecutions, false accusations, poverty, and sufferings in this life; but it is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.Read more