Now, in the past few months a very good friend of mine has informed us that he will soon join the military (the army specifically), and he is to sign up on his 18th birthday. This announcement obviously brought concern and controversy in our circle of friends, and I'm still not sure if that controversy has subsided.
But here's the dilemma; my friend is extremely religious and has devoted his life to God and Jesus Christ.
This opened up an philosophical can of worms for me. Mainly revolved around this quesition: Does the system of belief that he dedicated his life too agree with the choice he is about to make? Or easily put; how does a Christian join the military?
From what I understand, Jesus of Nazareth was a pretty peaceful man. Everything I've been taught about him was about turning the other cheek, and love, and never casting a stone onto another, and how we should all just love one another.
Now before I dive into my interpretation, let me make this clear; This is not a religious blog; and therefore I will not be quoting scripture in making this argument. If there's one thing I've learned about scripture, it's that it can be used to make any point for anyone- even the Ku Klux Klan had scripture to support its beliefs.
Back to the topic- my fundamental perception of Jesus Christ and His teachings is tells me that I should turn the other cheek and love everyone.
So how is killing another fit into that?
No matter what the reason is for war, at it's most fundamental perception it is a "justified" form of murder. People who oppose one another for whatever reason, kill each other to settle the matter.
I'm not going to be talking about this war specifically; as many of you may already know I don't agree with it or the reasoning behind it and I don't want this to turn into a political discussion; so please by war know that I am talking about all war; not just this one.
I guess it's just this fundamental question - can a pacifist God support the idea of War?
In my opinion, I don't think so.
Now I realize that the Christian God - the one my friend belives in- has a general contradiction between it's two parts- the Old and New Testaments. In the Old one, God killed. In the new one, God didn't.
But being as the doctrine adopted to explain the differences between the two - called the New Testament Convenent- says that things said in the Old Testament were redone by the New.
So maybe the God of Wrath was too.
I guess in the end, like everything, it is up to interpretation. I just think that a God who never cast a stone wouldn't be shooting and bombing either.