A Few Thoughts on Christians and Military Service for the USA
by Stuart DiNenno
The Bible does not condemn military service, in and of itself, and can be said even to sanction it. However, it does not logically follow therefrom that all military service, for every cause or under every government, is righteous or even acceptable in the eyes of God, nor can it be said that to voluntarily join oneself to the armed forces controlled by those who rule over your nation is always an act of loyalty or patriotism.
Christian men must always contemplate both who and what they will be serving when they are considering joining a fighting force, and they must be willing to question and investigate what they are being told by their superiors in order to determine, as far as they can, if they are being told the truth about any conflict in which they have the potential to be engaged and whether they will be battling for a righteous cause if they are so engaged. The reality is that too many men unquestioningly go off to war without understanding the cause for which they are really fighting or even knowing if those being labeled “the enemy” truly are enemies of their people. This appears to be the case with many American soldiers in World War II:
“In a speech before the Dallas, Texas Alumni Club of Columbia University on Armistice Day, 1950, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that as Supreme Commander in Europe he made a habit of asking American soldiers why they were fighting the Germans and 90% of the boys said they had no idea.”
— John Beaty, “The Iron Curtain Over America”
Christians also must have a proper understanding of where their true loyalty lies. Loyalty for a Christian is first to his God and then to his people, and it is not necessarily to be given at all to those who rule over his people. Many Christians will immediately invoke the popular misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13 in objection and state that Christians are always to be in submission to the “powers that be” because they are “ordained of God.” However, a more thoughtful examination of the Romans 13 passage, which would be too far of a digression if presented in detail here, reveals the truth that in order to be lawfully ordained of God a government must promote righteousness and reward the righteous, while suppressing wickedness and punishing the wicked. God has established civil government for the good of mankind so as to suppress lawlessness and promote justice in every nation and when governments do the opposite, as has often been exemplified by the behavior of the US government, then they have become nothing more than criminal enterprises in rebellion to God and it is no longer our duty to submit to them. Christopher Goodman, who was co-pastor with John Knox in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation, said that when our rulers become evil, rather than owing them “all humble obedience, ye are discharged, and your study ought to be in this case how ye may depose and punish according to law such rebels against God and oppressors of their country.”
We also must understand what is true patriotism. Today patriotism is most often defined as loyalty to the state. The all too common mindless refrain of modern American soldiers is “we are fighting for our country” but “our country” in this context actually means the government that rules over our country. Little thought is given to whether the military directives of that government are for the benefit of the American people, and it needs to be understood by all Christians considering military service, or supporting the same, that submitting to and carrying out the will of tyrants or wicked men whose intent is domination of the world, can never be patriotism. In fact, patriotism, when rightly defined, is something other than loyalty to a state or ruler. The word itself comes from the Latin “pater” which means father and has reference to ancestry. True patriotism is loyalty to your people — not necessarily loyalty to those who are ruling over your people and certainly not to any random collection of genetically unrelated people but to those with whom you have a blood kinship. If you are a Christian fighting for causes or governments that are detrimental to the health of your nation (and “nation” in biblical Greek is “ethnos” meaning your ethnic group) or harmful in any way to the Christian church, then you are actually a traitor and not a patriot, regardless of your religious profession or the flag under which you are serve. The truth about the US military is that it has become the enforcement arm of what many have called the “New World Order” — a satanic supranational order of mega-wealthy and powerful “elites”who are bent on destroying the sovereignty of the nations and uniting the world under one Godless totalitarian system for their own benefit, and as such it is certainly a sin for Christians to willingly make themselves its mercenaries.
The reality is that Americans are ruled by a government that is not “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” It is not really the officials elected by the people who determine the policies of our government; it is what has been called “the deep state” that actually governs our nation, which former Vice-President Spiro Agnew described as “a tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one, and enjoying a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by government.” The term “deep state” simply refers to the self-evident fact that unelected power structures exist in America and that they remain in place amid the comings and goings of elected representatives. This deep state consists primarily of extremely wealthy businessmen and bankers, and those who run the corporate media, the big technology companies, the intelligence and national security community and the military-industrial complex. All of these overlapping and interconnected groups undeniably exist, undeniably wield immense power, and undeniably are not elected by the American people, and the men at the head of them tend to form alliances and collaborate to promote agendas that benefit themselves and further their own financial, political, and ideological goals, with little regard for the welfare of the general public and certainly not with Christian concerns in mind. These are the people who actually drive the policies of our country and our elected officials are more like the hired managers of a business — they run the daily operations of the company and have the power to issue certain directives, but are always operating under the overarching authority and dictates of the owners of the company. This is not a new development but has been the case for a very long time:
“That the popular suffrage does not really govern this country, that it is notoriously a marketable commodity, that the United States have really ceased already to be what they pretend, a federation of republican States, no clear sighted man doubts. Under a thin veil of radical democracy, the government has already become an oligarchy.”
— Robert L. Dabney, 1882
Despite all of the aforementioned, some might object, “The American military does a lot of good things in the countries where they are serving. I have a friend whose military unit recently rescued some Christian missionaries and they also dug wells for many of the poor people in the land.”
No doubt it is true that some good works are done which are incidental to the military missions themselves, but the men who determine the policies that place our armies in various parts of the world are not directing our forces according to altruistic motives, much less Christian ones, and whether particular actions along the way benefit some of the local people or other non-combatants has no bearing on the question of whether a military campaign is one in which Christians should voluntarily participate.
As an illustration of my point, suppose, for a moment, that you were a professional gunman hired to put a hit on someone who had fallen out of favor with people in high places. You were contracted to kill a man, not really knowing if he had done anything worthy of death, but certain influential men wanted him dead and you agreed to do the job. The next day you started driving your car to the home of the man you were hired to kill. On the way there, you saw a very elderly and frail woman trying to cross a busy road. You could see that she was having difficulty and was in danger, so you stopped and helped her across the road. Then after she was safe you continued on your trip, and eventually arrived at your destination and performed the execution that you were hired to do.
Now it is true that you did a good deed for the elderly woman but that does not lessen the fact that your overall mission was evil. You voluntarily participated in a murder plot, and carried it out, and the act of kindness that you did along the way does not mitigate your guilt in the least.
Of course, I am not asserting that every military mission is evil nor that all killing in warfare is murder — but much of it is — and we as Christians need to understand that to be a mindless killing machine in service to an anti-Christian government prosecuting unjust wars for the sake of those who are trying to implement a satanic world order, is certainly ungodly, and we will be punished along with the wicked if we knowingly and willingly participate in such murderous actions. “I was just following orders” or “I was only trying to serve my country” are not going to be accepted as valid excuses for homicide when they are presented to the Judge on Judgment Day.