Here’s a bit of a rant, so beware!
Today someone suggested to me that I might one day appreciate the sacrifices made by the American Military and the freedom that such sacrifices provide me with. So let me clarify a few things about what I believe as a Christian, as one who is trying to follow Jesus and take Holy Scripture seriously.
First, regardless of my convictions about war-making and political violence, I appreciate the sacrifices made by those who serve in the armed forces. I know a few people who either have or do serve in the military and to my knowledge, all do so for noble reasons. That is, they choose to serve believing that their service is done so to serve others rather than themselves. So for that, they have my admiration. Further more, I believe it is my duty as a Christian to pray for them that they may return home to their families safely and soundly (we should pray the same for the military personnel of all militaries).
But… Our freedom to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ does not depend one iota on any government and its military, be it American or not. We need not the sword of the state to live as a faithful disciples but the Spirit of God dwelling within us which “testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children… heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom 8.16-17, NIV). This is so because it is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone which brings liberation from death (Rom 8.18-21; 1 Cor 15.20-26) and overcomes the powers and authorities of this world (Col 2.15).
It was suggested that I just need to exercise some more common sense. Really? What is common sense? Is common sense not the wisdom of this world which God has made foolish through the cross of Jesus (cf 1 Cor 1.18ff)?
To say that our ability as Christians to live as a disciple of Jesus who take Holy Scripture seriously depends on anything in addition to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes a mockery out of what God has done in Christ. Either the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is all sufficient or it’s useless! If it is all sufficient then it is idolatrous and unfaithfulness to claim we need any person or nation for our procure our life. If it is not, then the gospel of Jesus Christ is a fraud and all Christians who do not have the political and military support of a nation are to be pitied. And if this is the case, and it is the case that we Christians do need American political and military support then it might be worth asking how the earliest Christians (and other groups of Christians in subsequent eras of history) were able to live faithfully to Jesus Christ without the political and military support of Rome.
In case you’re wondering why I am so passionate about this… Well, it is because I swore my allegiance to Jesus Christ alone, as my Lord and Savior, when I confessed my belief in him and surrendered my life to him in the waters of baptism. That is why…I’m trying to live (and preach) by the faith God has made me a part of. Nothing more, nothing less!
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment (or two) if you like and whether you agree or disagree, please remain civil and courteous.