There are two errors Christians make in regard to war. The first equates all actions done in the name of patriotism as blessed and good. The other - perhaps worse - equates passivity with virtue and confuses Gandhi with godly.
There is such a thing as necessary war. Civilization, freedom, peace and every blessing would be impossible without the means to oppose the evil of would-be bullies, tyrants and adventurers.
A proper understanding of the commandment, You shall do no murder is found in the Book of Concord’s Large Catechism, paragraph 189:
Secondly, under this commandment not only he is guilty who does evil to his neighbor, but he also who can do him good, prevent, resist evil, defend and save him, so that no bodily harm or hurt happen to him, and yet does not do it. If, therefore, you send away one that is naked when you could clothe him, you have caused him to freeze to death; if you see one suffer hunger and do not give him food, you have caused him to starve. **So also, if you see any one innocently sentenced to death or in like distress, and do not save him, although you know ways and means to do so, you have killed him. And it will not avail you to make the pretext that you did not afford any help, counsel, or aid thereto, for you have withheld your love from him and deprived him of the benefit whereby his life would have been saved.** (emphasis added)
Today is Memorial Day, when respect is paid to those Americans who died while serving in the US armed forces. Slimjim posted about the Marine Corps body bearers who serve at Arlington National Cemetery just across the Potomac River from Washington DC. As one who has had the privilege of witnessing Full Military Honors at Arlington, I would like to share this video with you in honor of not only the Naval Officer I knew, but also the one in the video below, and all others who have served this country with honor.
May God continue to bless us with many like them, so that we may live peaceable lives, in the service of his kingdom. Amen.
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