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Can a Man With Integrity Be Both a Soldier And a Christian?

Soldiers must kill in the name of their Country or Cause. I am lead to believe that Christians are forbidden from killing in the name Jesus/God. So how does this work? (if at all)

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think about this. If the estimated 3 billion Christians in the world acually thot it incompatible to be both and lived in peace with their neighbours, the world would be a really beautiful place yet people will still keep supporting war just to make a livelihood, or continue a family tradition or vent deep seated tribal/racial tendencies.

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@topic: In Bible (christian) God chooses His army; but the army we have now are that of the Pharaoh of the Egyptians during the time of Moses.

So they are not FIGHTING for their Country- rather for Polictical reasons for which they (army) have no choice - than to obey the voice that commanded them.

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just been going through some threads and i saw this.

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It is impossible for man to be a solider and a christain because they obey the last order.so he can't keep to his word.He has no choice of his own.

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@AngelaZ, I'm sorry. I was just wondering why you used "was".

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God is a God of war and he commanded and led Israelites to many battles against their enemies. Whole generations, towns, cities were destroyed by children of God in the Bible.

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Goodguy chill, I was married, his late now that is why I used the word "WAS".

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Yes he Can, I was married to one.

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This thread only shows that you can take any position and justify it using one or another biblical text. All depends on interpretation

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yes a man with integrity can be both a soldier and a christian.

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In the old testament, the israelites were involved in numerous wars. Wars where they were guided by God. Clearly, those people did not run afoul of the commandment, thou shalt not kill. So, why are we even having this discussion?

If you say God looks at the heart, then wouldn't he look at the heart of the soldier as well? If the person is a soldier doing his/her job to defend their country, wouldn't that make what they are doing right - at least from their point of view? The soldier isn't fighting a war for selfish reasons, he is fighting a war because he believes it is right?

Or are you saying that all wars that don't occur in the bible are wrong? Or are you suggesting to me that there aren't any wars fought by the Israelites in the old testament for selfish reasons - and if so, why doesn't the bible mention the total hellfire punishment for that entire generation?

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i dont understand you.

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and the lord had people serve in his army against a threat to his people as well, wouldn't that extend to the intent of serving in your country's army.

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@vexxy: Yes, killing is killing. But then, God looks at the heart and not the act.

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Yes, I know about the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the US Coast Gaurd. There is no draft, hasn't been once since the 70's. And if you have a problem with defending the country, they ask you not to join. You will not be granted special favors because of it.

Part of the oath of joining any one of the Armed Forces (which is what they're called) is to protect your country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. You are told that at the recruiting office.

God forbid if no one took down Hitler. Maybe there would be not one Jewish person left on the face of the earth. Hum, maybe by this time he would have wiped out all of the Africans, Asians, Mexicans, and any one else that's not him.

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what about doctors who commit abortion?

But then again, just like you said killing is killing, right? Intentional or not.

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Well, most people can bypass this issue entirely. . . at least in the US Army. In the US Army, if you are a conscientious objector to killing - ie it doesn't have to be just religion based, you may be against it for other reasons, while you may still be required to serve (in the case of a draft) or you can still choose to serve, you will not be put in combative roles. You will serve the army in roles where you will not be killing or potentially killing someone else.

As I'm sure many of you know, there are a lot of jobs in an army that do not require handling weapons.

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Talking of Doctors and drivers, those are not intentional murders

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no one is saying they are. I was only making reference to the statment u made earlier. Of course, not all soldiers go to war. But I think it's very obvious here that we are concentrating on those who go to war only

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We are in sin every blessed day.  Why are we condeming those who are soldiers?

Some soldiers never see war of any kind. Are they wallowing in sin? Some soldiers are Chaplins, are they wallowing in sin?

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since when has killing been a sin?

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since when has killing been a crime?

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Since when was being a soldier considered a sin?

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thank you seun.

@vexxy Japan attacked the US against the better advice of its best admirals. Of Course it was motivated by the policies of all the major powers (US included). Japan wanted to stop colonialists from exploiting southeast asia and where They failed communism(vietnam, burma,china, cambodia, laos,north korea, mongolia, bhutan etc) suceeded.

Jesus did not condone it. Jesus tells us that the ten commandments can be reduced to one(love of God and Man). Someone who does that cannot be a soldier and still be a true christian. Its like a worker producing missiles claiming he has no blood on his hands. Or a Drug dealer tithing every week(claiming he is not responsible for his clients' addiction.)

Slavery is a thing of the mind. If you allow your mind to be enslaved then your body is. The germans specially hated Jehovah witnesses (called bibelforscher) because they kept preaching that war was ungodly while Catholic priests used the verse you talked about on the first page to motivate their members to fight and obey ALL ORDERS(we all know what that led to; the massacre of more than a million jews, poles and slavs.)

That verse led to the Al aqsa massacre , cromwell's massacre and many other massacres. Christianity is a religion of peace , don't pervert it.

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He didn't condemn prostitutes and cheating tax-collectors either. He was a "friend of sinners", but that doesn't mean he condoned their sin. he expected them to "go and sin no more!"

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Like maybe the new Christianity is based primarily on the Old Testament unlike the one I knew which saw the new Testament/COvenant as superceding the old one. Considering how Malachi in the Old Testament is used as proof that tithing is compulsory for Christians today, and how someone is using the Isrealite wars as proof that God supports war, I think my fears are not ungrounded.

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that is true free will, the ability to put god before your own life.

Choosing life all the time traps you, that's how people are enslaved because the choose to live as slaves rather than die.

that is true bibi, but you must first decide firmly what it is to be a christian for the answer to hold any relevance.

right?

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Bibi: I think you're right.

My answer, yes. A man can be a Christian, a man of integrity, and a soldier.

ajsalako: I apologize for going off track in your thread.

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I think everyone has gone off track. The question was "Can a Soldier be a Christian vice versa?"

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Yes, the Word of God is every where but is everyone a Chrsitian?

Every one informed of the rules but isn't there free will?

Didn't the Bible say that the hearts of men are wicked?

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You mean like no serial killer decides to wake up and kill people? It happens. There is evil every where. Have you forgotten that Satan runs all over this earth?

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And please remember, the word of god has been practically everywhere.

so its not like their are any people uninformed about the rules. there is no such thing as savages, we are all born equal remember.

it is the job of the church to spread to word to all. north Korea, Russia, North America, Japan and all. if any individual in any nation disregard the rules.

they will be working outside of gods law for their own purposes and will be punished in due course.

so long as YOU do not put your life before gods law YOU will be fine. It applies to every individual in every region in the world.

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Oh come on if America had no weapons and no capability to stop invaders and most importantly no intention to fight (no guns no bombs no army) do you think the japs would bother attacking? No i don't think so.

No population of any region of the earth just wakes up one morning and decides to slaughter anybody.

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Funny. Japan raided the US during WWII when the US wasn't even in the war. They flew planes and bombed Pearl Harbor on a Sunday morning. They weren't fighting then, yet someone invaded and STILL tried to kill them.

What's to stop someone with a kill mentality? They're invading to kill and take over or else they wouldn't be invading. Not so?

Didn't the Bible say that Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy?

I think it's easy to sit here and throw theology back and forth but a whole different story when you are in the middle of it.

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In war, if soldiers die and get killed. If killing is done in an act of war, there is nothing unbiblical about that. Id like to see someone quote for me from the bible where God had said "lay down you weapon and allow yourself to be killed when attacked". Many people are just interpreting the 10 commandments literarily. The 10 commandments is for individuals and not a nation, it does not say Nations should not go to war, or if there is war, not to kill.

For those of you saying its sin for a soldier to kill at war, put yourself to test, carry a gun at war front and refuse to shoot, push out your chest and get all the bullets.

Any killing not done as act of war is definitely a sin, whether done by individual or nation. Same goes for War crimes where people are killed against the norms of war. The Geneva convention clearly defines killing in act of war.

So, A soldier can be a man of Integrity, A Man of God, a Very good christian and still kill at war, and go to heaven.

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Christianity can be used to justify anything. jesus said love thy neighbour and the old testament says an eye for an eye. the bible has it both ways.

Christianity (which by the way is never mentioned in the bible) is without base. there is no core unshakable teaching. everything is up for discussion. there are no solid answers in that book.

being a christian is like having no religion, because anything goes (arguably).

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That's like saying you can't use the OT to support the coming of Christ where in actuality His birth and life is described in the OT. Should we discard it? No.

James 1:17

17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

If God doesn't change and we find his personality all through the Bible, why discard any of it?

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The disciples did fight for thier rights. In Luke Jesus tells them to pick up a sword because he knew the soldiers would be coming for him and in turn the disciples would be threatened.

And please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that war is a great thing, because it isn't, it's terrible. War is always the result of sin (Romans 3:10-18).

In the Old Testament, God ordered the Israelites to: “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites” (Numbers 31:2). See also Deuteronomy 20:16-17, “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Exodus 17:16 proclaims, “He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." Also, 1 Samuel 15:18, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.”

So, obviously God is not against all war. Jesus is always in perfect agreement with the Father (John 10:30), so we cannot argue that war was only God’s will in the Old Testament. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).

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Were the Christians that were unjustly killed in the first century superhuman? Were the disciples superhuman? Why then did they not 'fight for their rights' instead of running away or alowing themselves to be killed?

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@ Seun: Being a Christian does not mean that you are super-human. The things that effect a non-Christian are the same things that effect Christians.

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Goodguy: I understand that, but what if the final effect is death to the intruder?  Would that not make you a Christian?

In a world filled with evil people, sometimes a war is necessary to prevent even greater evil.  If Hitler had not been defeated by World War II, how many more millions of Jews would have been killed? If the Civil War had not been fought, how much longer would African Americans have had to suffer as slaves? We must all remember to base our beliefs of the Bible, not on our emotions (2Timothy 3:16-17).

Ecclesiastes 3:8 declares, “there is…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.  In a world filled with sin, hatred, and evil (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Some wars are more “just” than others, but all wars are ultimately the result of sin. Christians should not desire war, but neither are Christians to oppose the government God has placed in authority over them (Romans 13:1-4; 1Peter 2:17). The most important thing we can be doing in a time of war is to be praying for godly wisdom for our leaders, praying for the safety of our military, praying for quick resolution to the conflict, and praying for minimum casualties – on both sides of the conflict (Philippians 4:6-7).

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@vexxy: Definitely not! But I wouldnt kill him either though

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Answer to the question posed at the beginning <snip>: [B]YES[/B]!

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I'm not talking abt that, duh!

As far as I am concerned, killing, murder, ..... (whatever grammar u use for it) is a sin! period!

My Bible tells me, "Love your neighbour as yourself" So why then will I kill a fellow human?

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No, all of us are always at war.  Spiritual warfare.

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*sigh* That was in the Old Testament. Remember, in the old testament adulterers were stoned, intercropping was unholy and ethnic cleansing was commanded. But the New Testament brought new ideas to replace Old Testament ideas. Ideas like turning the other cheek.

See www.google.com/search?w=sermon+on+the+mount

K2, what do you think the first century Christians did when they were attacked by Jewish authorities? They 'fled'; they didn't fight. That is what those who say they are Christians in the north should be doing - persecution of Christians did not originate in Nigeria. If you are attacked in one town, flee to another town and take the gospel with you - I think I remember a verse where Jesus said just that!

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For those that are confused.  The original intent is murder and not kill.  The equivalent interpretation in English is 'thou shall not commit murder' and not 'thou shall not kill'.  New Bible translations will show you this difference. They're of different terms and usage in the original language. If you look at the old testament, there're several times when God ordered the children of Israel to kill as a national campaign or otherwise and God Himself did kill.  For example, you could say that the government killed so and so and not the government commit murder.  

Like a well respected Preacher said in Naija during the numerous riots and bloodshed against the Xtians in the north, he said, "you don't expect me to kneel down and start praying if some fanatic were to come after my family to murder us".

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I think the simple answer is "no":

Matthew 5.38-41: You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Self-defense is synonymous with "resisting one who is evil", right? The first century Christians were persecuted unjustly, but they choose to flee instead of fight, right? A Christian who dies goes to heaven where there is no more pain, right? So why disobey Jesus to defend yourself and your country? Are you suggesting that his commandments are impractical?

Previous discussion: Fighting For Your Country. Is It Biblical?

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Read your bible. There is a part of the Gospels where Jesus condemned wars as being motivated by greed. How do you connect that with praying for soldiers? Let me give you an example, during the Thirty years war in europe, chaplains on both sides proclaimed that they were supported by God. Cromwell who was the only person to rule Britain by coup d'etat believed heaven supported his cause and massacred the people who supported the rightful King James. If Both sides pray, who does God support?

As christians, we believe all nations are under God, so fighting for a flag is both unreasonable and unbiblical. The bible tells us that with the coming of christ all classifications are dead. there are no Jews Or Gentiles but believers in God and salvation through Christ.

Jesus commended the centurion for his faith and not because of his job. He was surprised a non-Jew could show such faith. When he prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, he asked all christians to head for the hills and not try to remain in the city because "no two stones will be left standing on each other ".

He did not tell them to stay and fight for their lives. Jesus rebuked Peter for cutting the ear of his captors saying "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword". I don't think he could have been more candid about it.

Can you remain a prostitute and still be a christian? can you set out to become both a drug dealer and a christian? God can use anybody(moses was a stutterer, mary magdalene was a prostitute, jonah a coward) but that is no excuse for you to continue in that line of work. there are other things you could do. Being a christian and a soldier are two non-intersecting circles. You don't advertise sexy lingerie and preach chastity or christianity at the same time.

Churches that tell you to go to war are motivated by political and patriotic tendencies not religious tendencies. I will not fight for any country Nigeria included.

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