God Honors Members of the Military - The Warrior's Journey®

God Honors Members of the Military

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“And some soldiers were questioning John, saying, ‘And what about us, what shall we do?’  And he said to them, ‘Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.’” (Luke 3:14) 

A group of soldiers, responding to John the Baptist’s admonition to bring forth “fruit appropriate for repentance,” asked him, “What must we do?” Does the prophet tell them to throw down their arms? No. Instead he tells them not to abuse their power. 

You see, the “pacifist” passages that seem to speak against the use of military force all come from Matthew. Only in Matthew do we find the words, “Do not resist the one who is evil, but if someone strikes on one cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39). Only in Matthew does Jesus say, “Put away your sword, for all who take up the sword will perish by the sword” and “Can I not beseech My Father and He will dispatch twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53). But Matthew’s message of peace over violence is not against the legal use of force, i.e. by the government that God Himself has established (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).  Matthew is appealing to the Jewish zealots and sicarii (dagger men) in Israel who believed only violence could usher in the Kingdom of God.  Matthew is saying that, if God’s Kingdom needs any fighting to be done, He’s got plenty of angels to do it. It is the illegal and unlawful use of force that the New Testament condemns. 

Actually, the New Testament looks quite favorably on soldiers. In Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus praises the faith of the Roman centurion. Luke 7:5 tells us that this same centurion built a synagogue for the Jews. And in Matthew 27:54 it is a Roman centurion who confesses Jesus to be the Son of God. In Acts 10 we find another devout Roman centurion, Cornelius, whom God commands to summon Peter that he and the men of his command might hear the gospel. Soldiers rescued the apostle Paul from an angry mob who wanted to kill him (Acts 22:27-41).  In Acts 23:23-35 we read how 270 Roman soldiers protected Paul when his life was in danger from a group of assassins. And in Acts 27:3 we find that another centurion, Julius, showed extraordinary kindness to Paul, allowing him to visit with his friends although he was a prisoner. 

Men and women of the military – God does not frown on your service to America. Actually, the Bible views you as an authorized extension of the government which is God’s servant to administer His justice throughout the earth (Romans 13:1-7). 


  • Revelation 19:11 declares that Jesus “wages war in righteousness.” If this is so, then how can all warfare be immoral? 
  • Would Paul compare ministers of the gospel to soldiers if military service was inherently wrong (1 Corinthians 9:7; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Timothy 2:3-4)? 
  • Let’s devote our military service to God and seek to glorify Him in all we do. 

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