To Hell With Pacifists
An open letter to American servicemen and women and my fellow veterans around the globe.
Greetings to all of you,
First of all, let me say that I am not going to spend a lot of time writing about G.I. Joe Christian’s life of personal evangelism, wherein one might quote Matthew 26:52, “But Yahshua said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Or 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Yahuah for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Yahuah, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah.” These two scriptures let us know that the Christian has spiritual weapons available for evangelizing the souls of men, and thus bringing them into union and obedience to Yahuah, our faithful Creator. If I were to write with the intent of evangelizing you, then I might preach to you the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapter 5, where Yahshua teaches a standard for His followers as private citizens. Ah, let’s do that later, right now let’s get to the stuff for today.
What I want to share with you today is about war as exercised by the state government in the defense of society.
The following is a quote from Gleason L. Archer Jr.’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan, 1982, pp. 342-344):
On the related issue of national defense against foreign aggression, does a “Christian” government—and whether there are any such today is a matter of definition—have a right to summon its citizens to arms in order to repel an invader? Or may it send an expeditionary force abroad in order to crush an invader before he has an opportunity to land his troops on our soil? No one questions whether this right was accorded to Israel under the Old Testament; the God-blessed careers of Joshua and David are a sufficient demonstration of that right. But what about the New Testament and the teaching of Jesus?
We have already seen that Christ’s dictum to Peter in Matthew 26:52 (“All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”) has to do with the personal witness of the Christian soul winner; it has nothing to do with the Christian’s obligations as a citizen, concerned with the protection of society or the defense of his country. Jesus also upheld the right of kings to resort to warfare if the circumstances warrant it, for this is certainly implied in Luke 14:31: “What king, going to make war against another king, does not first sit down and take counsel as to whether he is able with ten thousand troops to meet in battle with one who comes against him with twenty thousand?” No pacifist could use such an illustration as this without appearing to condone warfare as a legitimate measure for a head of state. But even more clearly is this implied by what Jesus said to Pilate in John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews.” It was only because Christ’s kingdom (prior to the kingdom age of the end time) was not of this world that Peter’s resort to the sword was restrained and Christ allowed Himself to be arrested by the Jewish authorities. But the implication is unavoidable that a kingdom that is of the world has a perfect right to resort to warfare and the killing of enemy aggressors.
In the parable of the wedding feast, Jesus seems to speak approvingly of the action of the king (who clearly represented God Himself) when he “sent forth his armies and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city.” The prediction of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, that wars will continue to be fought on earth until He returns in sovereign power and imposes peace by overwhelming force (Matthew 24:5-7, “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” Mark 13:7-8, “But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.” NKJV), leaves little room for the dream entertained by pacifistic socialism of the establishment of a warless society that abolishes murder and violence by doing away with capital punishment and the use of arms in national defense.
Nor is there any hint of disapproval of military service as a legitimate calling for a true believer in Christ. In fact, our Lord reserved His highest praise for the faith of the centurion whose servant He healed at Capernaum (Matthew 8:10, “When Yahshua heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”” NKJV). There was no suggestion that he would have to give up his martial calling in order to be saved. The same was true of the centurion Cornelius of Caesarea, who was honored by Peter as the first of the converts from the Gentiles and was welcomed into the family of God as a true believer (Acts 10:47-48, ““Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.” NKJV). Nothing was said about his promising to change to a more peaceful profession as a condition for his being baptized. Paul frequently draws analogies from the obligation, commitment, and self-giving devotion of a good soldier in his description of a dedicated Christian life: “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3-4), (NASB).
The military profession is linked up with the professions of vinedressing and the raising of livestock in 1 Corinthians 9:7: “Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?” (NASB). It is hard to see how on the basis of this verse a pacifist would not also have to condemn a farmer, for they are here both put on the same level of legitimacy.
A pacifist position is impossible to reconcile with the praise heaped by Hebrews 11:32-34 on warriors like Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, Samuel, and David, who along with the Old Testament prophets “by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (NASB). It would be quite difficult to imagine the author of this passage as adding, in agreement with the pacifist advocate, “Oh yes, all those who did engage in warfare in Old Testament times would have to be condemned as wicked sinners today, according to the law of Christ.” Of such a “law of Christ” neither Christ Himself nor any of His apostles betray the slightest awareness, according to the text of the New Testament itself. We must therefore conclude that pacifism is completely lacking in support from the Word of God.”
Being a military serviceman or woman is a high and worthy calling. Stand tall and proud, crouch low, shoot accurately, and live long enough to lay down your life for your friends. Our Creator and Master, Yahshua, is the greatest warrior the universe has ever seen. You don’t have to wait until the abattoir described in the Book of Revelation to see Him in action; today you can read of our Heavenly Father, Yahuah’s, and His Son, Yahshua’s, warring in the Old Testament. The Scriptures are a war manual, beginning to end.
I encourage you to read the Scriptures cover to cover to learn how the Almightiest of all mighty ones conducts warfare in this world. He hasn’t changed; you ultimately work for Him, whether you realize it or not. Just be content with your wages and remember that you are meant to war, not police the civilian population. You don’t have to be saved to be a soldier, but faith in Yahshua and His Father Yahuah does make more sense of it all. He will meet you where you are, from foxhole to engine room to cockpit, and really teach you how to hand to hand battle your enemies. Warrior, be encouraged and pass this on to your friends. I salute you.
QUIZ: In which battle described in the Scriptures does the Master wipe out 185,000 enemy soldiers in one night?