Can a Baptist serve in the military

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, May 18, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Can a Christian conscientiously serve in the US military without compromising his beliefs?

    When I in Basic I remember a Chaplain being at the rifle range the first day of M-16 training. He told us us if any had questions about killing the enemy.

    When I arrived at the Second Armored Division, I had to sew on the unit patch. On the patch was Gen Patton's division slogan: HELL ON WHEELS". Would you wear that patch?

    There were many Sundays I could not attend church due to IG's, FTX, CQ, ect.

    thoughts?
     
  2. Luke2427

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    The patch is the problem or is there a broader problem that the patch represents?
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
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    When I got to Ft Hood, I went and talked to my chaplain who happened to be GARBC. He said it was part of our uniform - but he would not wear his uniform when not required.
     
  4. DrJamesAch

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    That is actually a very good question considering the military's increasing persecution against Christians. Recently they have attacked the ability to witness, had soldiers sand off any Bible references off of their sidearms, and labeled Christians as being as dangerous as Al Qaeda and Hamas, and who is the first line of defense against terrorists? Military.

    It is clear that the US and the UN are desirous of a global police force, and considering what is expected of soldiers to carry out during the tribulation for those who reject the policies of the antichrist, the last thing they want in the military are soldiers with a conscience (i.e., soldiers unwilling to fire on their own citizens if gun control is implemented by force).

    Thus if all of above is true, where does that leave the Christian who is either contemplating enlisting, or one who is already in and struggling with the evolving changes that seem antagonistic to their beliefs?

    By law in the US, any government agency is supposed to make reasonable accommodations to either permit a person to express their beliefs, or from requiring them to partake in matters that are offensive to their beliefs. But it is becoming clear that the days when the law provides protection are closing.
    The Christian then must decide whether his opposition to policies is a preference or a conviction, and if he/she is willing to suffer the consequences of being a conscientious objector.

    The decisions face for those in the military are similar to those in normal work place environments. Christians required to work on Sonday or Saturday who have a sincere belief that it is wrong to do so. Christians who work at gas stations required to sell liquor and cigarettes, etc.

    There are some policies that would be a blatant violation of Scripture. If an employee was required to wear t-shirts that read, "Not even God could make a better product", if required to wear that, I would have to opt for the permanent vacation.

    There are of course general Biblical principles in Romans 14 that apply, and it comes down to whether the decision to refrain from participating in any setting clearly violates Scripture, or whether the matter is adiaphora and dictated by conscience based on other principals (i.e., does this glorify God Col 3:23-24).

    On the patch one Christian might argue "we know that an idol is nothing" and reason that the patch does not represent his beliefs, and that this is his only job and he has a duty to provide for his family. Another Christian may argue that it is blatantly offensive and willingly risk having Article 31 quoted to him.
    I personally could not wear the patch, but then again, I did a lot of things that now I believe are objectionable.

    The government has the right to bear the sword, but when does the bearing of that sword amount to carrying out justice from premeditated murder? Some would argue that it must be evaluated on a case by case individual basis, and others that there are blanket concepts that cover all subjects. But I do think as restrictions become more obvious, it will become increasingly more difficult to be a Christian in the military, and the decisions that one must make will begin to become clear.
     
    #4 DrJamesAch, May 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2013
  5. Luke2427

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    If the patch is the only problem, I would not worry about it. I can appreciate spiritual sensitivity, but I don't think wearing that patch violates any principle of Scripture.

    Two things:

    1. It is not intended to be literal. It is a metaphor. It seems to exemplify a spirit of fierceness in opposition to the enemies of freedom.

    That being the case, it seems to me to be a very good thing.

    2. God made hell. It is HIS hell. Hell is not evil- it is the absolute epitome of justice and righteousness. It is not something to be swept under the carpet as if this is a characteristic of God not to be proud of.
    It, if anything, ought to be flaunted.

    Another reason not to hesitate to wear the patch.
     
  6. glazer1972

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    Yes. Bible says to render unto Caesar...
     
  7. Bro. James

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    Sometimes we get caught in the margin between making peace and keeping peace. God was with Israel in defense and offense. In fact, Israel got in trouble when they did not follow orders exactly.

    We ain't seen nothing yet in terms of what the Antichrist can do.

    Defending our Constitution is still the right thing to do.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  8. Dennis324

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    Well...I served. I wasn't a Christian at the time so I guess its unfair of me to speak on this. We did do a lot of un-Christian things back then.

    If I were to have to go back into the service and put that patch on, I would though. I don't think the patch refers to the Biblical 'Hell', but rather giving the enemy a really hard time.
     
  9. ktn4eg

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    FWIW.....I was in the Air Force when I got saved.

    God used the military to move me far away from the liberal church my parents and I was in and put me in a place (an IFB off-base church) where I first heard the Gospel and received Christ as my Savior.
     
  10. salzer mtn

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    Sgt. York was a bible believing man and although he went to war because he believed it was the right thing to do, and he had to take lives, it had a everlasting effect on him the rest of his life.
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Serving in the military should be considered as being in the world but not of the world. The dictatorial elitists love to tell us what to eat, how to dress, and where to stand. I remember the story of the child in church who refused to stand up when the congregation stood. Finally his dad stood him up. But in the child's mind, his thought was "I am standing up on the outside, but sitting down on the inside!"

    Many times I had to smile and say Yes Sir, when I was told to do what was not of my choosing. I found much of the religiosity in the military to be phony and self serving, but God loves those who strive to serve God by defending the orphans and widows. And as you know, there are many bible studies among the believers in uniform in harm's way.

    As far as Hell on Wheels, yes it trades on vulgar bravado, but as a bible student, you can explain the patch as serving as an instrument of God's justice, or at least you hope so.
     
  12. Salty

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    Van, I think that is about the best way to sum it up! - Other than to say that for a GI to say, that he felt it being the Lords will to remain in the military.

    Makes me think of the story of the Marine who was attending college (click here for full story)
    I especially like the last two sentences.
     

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