At The Ada News, a local paper from just outside Oklahoma City, Richard Putnam wrote a short piece on “Christians and Violence” entitled “The Veterans’ Chaplain.”
Putnam, who apparently supports the concept of a military and non-pacifistic defense, also says:
How…do we square the business of defending ourselves and our loved ones with Jesus’ explicit command to not engage in violence? The answer is, of course, that we cannot. We cannot obey Jesus’ command to remain nonviolent and engage in battle to protect our families.
The short column is best summed up here [emphasis added]: Read more
Father George Zabelka was a Catholic Chaplain with the US Army Air Forces in 1945. He was stationed on Tinian Island, and he was the Chaplain for the aircrew who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After leaving the military the next year, Zabelka ultimately became a pacifist.
In 1980, he gave an interview in which he described Read more
Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. –Psalm 144:1
Can a Christian serve in combat? Is war inconsistent with the commands of Jesus Christ?
Recent events have given new life to the age old discussion about whether “Christian” and “military” are mutually exclusive (never mind being a “Christian Fighter Pilot”). Particularly for new Christians, or Christians who grew up in peaceful times and areas, the concepts of a “warring Christian” who is a child of the loving God can seem contradictory.
(There are also many non-Christians who try to find an apparent contradiction in military Christian service. The intent here is to address those with a Christian worldview.)
There are many books and pamphlets written on this topic, and most categorize their analysis in two categories. The “anti-war” division centers on the “pacifist teachings” of Jesus. The “pro-war” division centers on the Just War doctrine supported with Biblical citations. Well-researched books quote Augustine and Thomas Aquinas Read more
The Journal of Faith and War has a long and interesting treatise on the Biblical perspective on Christians serving during wartime.
The article covers pacifism, the Bible’s take on military service, and other angles on what is sometimes a controversial topic.
Even if you don’t find a conflict between your faith and your profession, you should still be able to articulate why you do not feel there is a conflict. The JFW article provides an excellent starting point.
A few articles have surfaced on the potential some schools may “let” ROTC return now that DADT has been repealed.
At the Washington Post, Colman McCarthy had an interesting take on the mission of the military when he recalled his interview with Notre Dame on ROTC:
I asked if he actually believed there could be a Christian method of slaughtering people in combat, or a Christian way of firebombing cities, or a way to kill civilians in the name of Jesus. Did he think that if enough Notre Dame graduates became soldiers that the military would eventually embrace Christ’s teaching of loving one’s enemies?
But don’t take that to mean he doesn’t “support the troops:” Read more
John D. Roth
Good Books, Intercourse, PA, 2002.
Topic: Christianity and War
A pacifist exposition written after the New York terrorist attacks, it is a modern and relatively detailed book explaining the pacifist argument.
Not Recommended. If you happen to be interested in Christian pacifism, it’s a worthwhile read.
This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.