11th November 2012 by Bill Davis
Should Christians be willing to fight with deadly force to defend their nation and families in a time of war or does God require us to always “turn the other cheek”? Do you remember the story where Samson was going to be killed by the Philistines? He became an army of two. Just he and
Judges 15:13b-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “Then they tied up Samson’s hands and arms with two brand-new ropes and led him away. When the Philistines saw that Samson was being brought to their camp, they started shouting and ran toward him. But the Lord’s Spirit took control of Samson, and Samson broke the ropes, as though they were pieces of burnt cloth. Samson glanced around and spotted the jawbone of a donkey. The jawbone had not yet dried out, so it was still hard and heavy. Samson grabbed it and started hitting Philistines—he killed a thousand of them!”
Steven Collins once said: “The prophet Elijah personally killed 450 prophets of Baal. The New Testament proclaims that David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’. Scripture confirms David had God’s Spirit in him, but David was also a man who killed so many men in combat that one could hardly number them! What power enabled these biblical heroes to victoriously kill so many enemies of their nation? The Holy Spirit of God moved and energized them to do so! Since God ‘changes not,’ why couldn’t the Holy Spirit energize modern warriors to do the same thing?”
These “solders” in God’s army recognized no divine regulation against killing the enemies of God or Israel. As Christians and Americans, we need to stop being divided over every doctrinal question that comes along. We are to be brothers and sisters who have more in common with Scriptural teachings than differences. We should allow our congregations and fellow Christians to have some doctrinal disagreements not necessarily in the name of tolerance; but in the name of love.  
Yes, there are examples in the Old Testament when God did all the fighting for the Israelites, but God usually required His people to fight their enemies in warfare. We should support our nation’s war on terrorism. Our military action should cause no reason for controversy if God centered.
Romans 13:4-5 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “They are God’s servants, and it is their duty to help you. If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God’s servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is. But you should obey the rulers because you know it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God’s anger.”
Deuteronomy 20:1 Paraphrased; “If you have to go to war, you may find yourselves facing an enemy army that is bigger than yours; but don’t be afraid! The Lord your God  will help you fight.
Stephen Mansfield, in his 2005 book on “The Faith of the American Soldier”, describes the experience of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq: ‘He saw men die for the first time. It changed him. He pressed into his Christian roots, prayed often with his chaplain, and found a new passion for the Bible. Somewhere along the way, someone gave him something that looked like dog tags. It was called a ‘Shield of Strength’. On one side there was a picture of the American flag with the words; ‘One Nation Under God,’ and on the other were the modified words of Joshua 1:9:
“I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified, or discouraged; for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.”
This Christian soldier carried the ‘Shield of Strength’ with him wherever he went; should we do the same?
Bill Davis

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