May a Christian Be a Soldier? by Robert Govett
…..In a late newspaper conducted by Christians, an account was given of the life of an officer, a believer. It told how he, with ‘another Christian officer,’ was posted with artillery under his command at the battle of Waterloo. For many hours they were unengaged; but at the closing charge their guns came into play, and then crash went the cannon-balls, sweeping away whole ranks of unbelievers to perdition! Was that Christ-like?
Can Jesus commend such terrible slaughter with a “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Did Jesus come to display the Father to a world of sinners? “Blessed are the peace-makers,” says Jesus. Woe then to the war makers. Matt. 5:9; Luke 6:20-26.
But suppose – as was often the case in the last American war – that one Christian shoots down his brother in Christ; Would you choose to be either the slain one, cut off in the midst of the stormy feelings of battle, or the slayer of a member of Christ FOR WHOM HE GAVE HIS BLOOD?
Is not our path plainly marked out in these words of the Holy Ghost?
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ saith the Lord.” The Christian forgiven by grace may not touch the sword of justice; or avenge himself, or the country in which he is a pilgrim. War says – “If the enemy have plenty of food, take it away. Sink it in waters, or burn it in the fire, or carry away for thyself.’ The Lord says to us “If thy enemy hunger, feed him.” War says – “If he have plenty of water, cut off his supply! Keep up a continuous fire at his wells, or fill them up!” The Gospel says – “If he thirst, give him drink!”
WHICH MASTER WILL YOU OBEY: THE WORLD? OR CHRIST?