Should Christians volunteer for military service?

Q. Should Christians volunteer for military service? 

A. That depends.  Right now?  No.  Other times?  Maybe.

The American military in its present capacity simply is not being used in just or moral manner — not to mention how far it has strayed from its constitutional purpose.  Because of this, I’d argue that a Christian cannot in good conscience join the military at this time.  I would also go so far as to argue that if a draft were to be reinstated now, conscientious objector status would be the minimum a Christian should do to avoid combat, and complete resistance a far better option.

On the other hand, if our military completely changed to a moral, constitutional, and strictly defensive force…well, at that point a Christian might join.  Whether the individual Christian should do so would be between him and his Lord, but — assuming those conditions were truly met — joining would not be out of the question.  I don’t think Christianity necessarily calls us to pacifism (though perhaps it may require that of some), and it is surely right to defend the innocent when actually attacked.

For further reading on this subject, I’d recommend you to Laurence Vance’s “Letter to a Christian Young Man Regarding Joining the Military,” a short article with which you may already be familiar.  I’m not always in 100% agreement with Vance, but in this case I am, and he makes my complete argument much better than I could.

Originally posted on my own blog here.

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