Should a Christian become a policeman or soldier?

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August 10, 2018

Dear Pastor,

I am a Christian. I grew up in a Christian family from I was a child.

Our organisation is not very large; we are not big in name, but our congregations work closely together.

From I was a child, we were told that we should not get involved in the things of the world, and the things of the world don't necessarily mean sinful things like stealing, fornication and adultery. It extends to government.

I have always loved the army and believe that I could make a good contribution either in the army or in the police force. My people are against these types of work.

They say a Christian should keep out of those types of work and leave that to the people of the world.

Recently, I challenged my elders and asked them where can they find that type of teaching in the Bible, but they were not able to convince me.

So it is for that reason why I am writing to you for your opinion I love my people. My parents feel that if I join the police force, it would be an act of rebellion - the army is worse.

I am my parents' only son. I have good passes and I get along well with my parents.

Is there any place in the Bible where Christians are warned not to become a part of the police force or the military?

T.E.

Dear T.E.,

I thank you for your interesting letter. I appreciate it very much. I am glad to know that you're a Christian and that you love and respect your parents and your church also.

What you are enquiring about is not a matter that is discussed often in the wider community.

I believe that your elders mean well. I believe that your church in general wants the best for you and they want to be proud of you.

It would be a big let-down for them if you were to become a police officer or a soldier. They are wrong, but they see you as being rebellious because they are not properly informed.

There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that forbids a young man or a woman to serve as a police officer or a soldier.

The Bible has numerous references that show how important it is for one to be in a position to defend his country.

There are references that tell us about men of God who were leaders of armies and who encouraged men to form themselves into forces to defend their country. Abraham once organised an army. Study Genesis chapter 14.

Saul, David and Solomon saw the importance of having armies to defend their people, and they were men of God.

See First Samuel 13:2; 24:2; 26:2 - David had a well-organised army. Study Second Samuel 15:19-22 - the soldiers were loyal to the leaders.

The New Testament does not condemn anyone who wants to serve as a police officer or a soldier. Such persons should be people of integrity.

What would Jamaica be like without police officers and soldiers?

It is true that not all police officers and soldiers are Christians but you can become an outstanding officer if you remain true to your religious convictions regardless of where you are and what profession you have chosen.

So do not allow anyone to discourage you from developing a career as a policeman or as a soldier.

In a real world, one should not believe that Christians are defenceless. There are times when Christians should turn the other cheek, but there are other times when Christians are called upon to fight to save their country from wicked and vicious enemies.

Pastor

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