There is an age old question concerning the present day Christian who serves in any position that may require them to kill. So for all personnel who have, are presently or will serve in the military, we’re going to address this question.
We have all heard that killing is wrong but when you really read the Bible in context, is killing wrong? God never said that killing is wrong. Sure, He’s our sovereign Lord and above reproach but He is not a God of, “do as I say, not as I do” either.
God has never said that killing is wrong. God said that murder is wrong. So, we ask that age old question about killing in war and in reading the Bible, the answer is no. God’s command is, “Thou Shalt Not Murder” and murder has nothing to do with killing. Bear with me if this doesn’t make any sense.
Killing is a means that God utilizes to ensure that His will is done when His will reaches such an extreme. Our Lord has even wiped out the entire human race except for only Noah and his family, a total of 8 humans (Genesis 7:13-16). He has utilized few men to kill off vast armies (Judges 7:7), man has been ordered to kill entire cities to include all the livestock even (Joshua 6:2 and 21). Through Samson, God has enabled a man to kill with supernatural strength (Judges 14:6, 19 and Judges 15:14-15). Finally, when Jesus returns in glory and physically is on the earth He will kill all of those who have taken the mark of the beast (Revelation 19:21).
By these few examples, can anyone say that God is instructing that killing is wrong?
David the King wrote: “blessed be the Lord my rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1) Here David is giving thanks, praise, and acknowledgment to God that He is the one who has prepared David for the battle that he (David) must fight.
I have been asked many times to produce scripture that informs us that killing is “OK”. Well, here is my honest answer based on all I have read in the Bible, there is no need for any scripture informing us that killing is OK! In context of scripture and by the many examples we are provided throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is clear and understood that killing is necessary as God wills or even when God wills. Even when a man and his wife lies to the Holy Spirit, God has killed over such an offense (Acts 5:3-5, 9-10).
We need to understand that throughout history God has used war and the warrior to complete His perfect plan, and that God has used His people in this endeavor. War is a horrible thing, yet it is a tool that God uses in this fallen, broken, and imperfect world. Isn’t it interesting that the first action taken (by God’s command) when the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, was to attack and take Jericho by the sword?
God had told them that He (God) had, “given them the city”, yet God told them to attack.
In the New Covenant, the men and women that He will use to accomplish this specific task of His will, are called Ministers of God. This position will need to be filled by obedient and faithful servants of God until He sends His Son, Jesus back to the earth. Then all those who are presently His Ministers of God, will be out of a job. Jesus will bring His wrath to the evil doer Himself and will not be working through man to do this any longer.
Now there will be some who say, “The New Testament tells Christians to love their enemies, to do good to them that persecute you.” That is certainly true. But these things were told to us by our Lord as a model of individual reaction to those who hate us, for in those times of retribution and revenge for insult and affront were the order of the day.
But the Lord has never denied man the right for self-defense or the defense of our families, our homes, and our way of life which includes defending our fellow man against evil doers.
Thou Shalt Not Murder, it is not about killing, it is about doing God’s will, where killing is necessary.