One question: why are followers of the Prince of Peace in the military?
(This post stems from an earlier one entitled Sorry, But I Can't Stop Asking Questions.)
Jesus Christ expects his followers to turn the other cheek and love their enemies. Our Lord makes this exceedingly clear in the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus also left an example of non-violence for his disciples to follow. When he was arrested, tortured, and crucified he could have struck back and been justified in doing so. However, Christ instead took the beatings not only to pay for our sin but also to show us how to respond when attacked.
Since this is both what Jesus taught and showed us, how can any of his followers be part of the military? In particular, how can any Christians take part in combat where they may be called upon to kill other human beings on behalf of a secular state?
I used to have no problem with Christians being in the military. After studying scripture I have changed my mind. Christ's teachings simply do not allow for His people to act violently toward others. Jesus offers no loopholes. He never tells his followers that in certain circumstances acting violently is acceptable.
In light of this, why are Christians in the military? In response to this question I've heard some believers say that they are in the military to defend others. This may at first sound like a good answer, but Christ never even implies that we should use violence to defend other people. Additionally, in the military it is not God but government who is giving the orders.
In the end I'm still left with the question: why are Christians in the military?