Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Soldier of Christ

http://www.dennyburk.com/soldier-of-christ/

5 comments:

  1. Steve, or anyone, How can a Christian in good conscience volunteer for the military or even submit to being conscripted?

    I never had to face the issue of the draft because I was born in the USA after it was abolished. I agree with the basic concept of Just War theory and the need for countries to protect themselves from other countries. But there's always the possibility that a country might start an unjust war or violent aggression. Even the possibility that your immediate superior goes rogue and commands you to kill unjustly or do something immoral. For example, steal from or rape non-combatants, or stand idly by while others in your military group do so. In such a situation you have to do something to prevent it, but then you risk getting killed by your fellow soldiers. It's a no win situation and you've willingly placed yourself into it knowing the depravity of man.

    At any time a Christian's conscience might keep him from carrying out an order. In which case, by agreeing to join the military he seems to be doing two imprudent things.

    1. setting himself up for possible court martial (or in time of war be summarily executed for insubordination).

    2. needlessly risking the lives of those who would be dependent on him to make certain decisions which he might not be able to do in good conscience; because he knows in advance, before agreeing to be conscripted, that the success of a battle or overall War might depend on him. Since it's logically possible to be required to do something *specific* that one personally views as immoral while at the same time believing/agreeing that one is on the moral side of a Just War.

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    Replies
    1. For one thing, there's a distinction between lawful and unlawful orders. Also, if you refuse lawful orders, you will be court marshaled. But that's analogous to civil disobedience.

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    2. i) My point is that there are parallel situations in civilian life, where you may be obligated by unjust laws to do something morally wrong. If you disobey, you pay a price.

      ii) Military service raises the potential for moral dilemmas. Conflicting duties. On the one hand, we can't protect our dependents without the armed services. Yet we have a duty to protect our dependents.

      On the other hand, when you enlist, you sign a blank check. You don't know in advance what the foreign policy will be from one year to the next. You may disapprove of what you're ordered to do.

      Given the moral dilemma, I think people who find themselves in that predicament are in a situation of diminished moral responsibility. What would ordinarily be wrong is mitigated or exculpated by the moral dilemma.

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  2. A very inspiring video. In particular for those of us who have felt we've lost our way, been turned around in the midst of battle, who have had enemies and the enemy confuse and confound us on our mission, or otherwise taken us off target. Heb 12:1-3.

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