Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Christian Martialist as Sheepdog, 3

Sheepdogs tend to gravitate toward military and law enforcement careers. It seems a natural choice for someone who, by nature, seeks to serve and protect. Not all military & law enforcement personnel are sheepdogs, of course, nor do all sheepdogs serve as soldiers or police.

What I want to address is the advisability of you, as a Christian Martialist, choosing either of those career fields. You need to make your choices deliberately, with eyes wide open. High ideals and purity of intentions will not insulate you from the effects of a poor choice.

Not every military action is defensive. Not every military action is taken for the reasons told to the public. I don't want to go into specifics, here, because my purpose is not to inflame. Even in a "just war", there are ethical considerations. What is or may be considered ethical conduct by the US military may or may not conform to the rules of war laid down in God's Law.

Here's a domestic example that may be lesss inflammatory than a foreign one: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard was called in to maintain order. Part of "maintaining order" consisted of confiscating privately owned firearms. The net effect was to leave law-abiding citizens defenseless against roaming bands of thugs. If you wear the uniform, you may be ordered to act against the rights of innocent people. Of course you might refuse to obey, but do you really want to be in that position?

Law enforcement presents similar challenges. I think of a homeschool family from a little rural
church I pastored in Pennsylvania. Out of Biblical conviction, they could not comply with the state's homeschool laws. One day, while the husband was at work, a squad of law enforcement officers pulled into their yard and swarmed out of the vehicles with shotguns and drawn handguns. The family's six-year-old happened to be looking out the window at the time. The boy went into total panic, yelling, "They've come to kill us. They've come to kill us." Would you want to be part of that law enforcement team?

Furthermore, legislatures increasingly pass laws aimed at committed Christians. Who enforces these laws? On many occasions social workers have taken police escorts with them to remove children from Christian homes on the grounds that a Biblical spanking is child abuse. Do you want to be part of the system that persecutes the Lord's sheep?

Remember that your motivation in looking at these career fields was to PROTECT the sheep.

There may be other ways of looking at the situation, and I would never show disrespect to anyone who dons a uniform to serve his country and/or his community. Indeed, I pray for God to instill Christian soldiers with wisdom and character. But if YOU are considering law enforcement or military service, you need to think hard on these matters and make an informed decision. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing some very unpleasant decisions down the road.

Click on the link if you'd like to know which Psalm I think of as the Sheepdog's Psalm.


Theresa said...

The reality of this hit me hard many years ago when I was reading about the forced march of the Cherokee Indians, the "Trail of Tears". Quotes from the soldiers who were ordered to remove the Cherokees from their homes were heartrending. They saw those citizens they should have been protecting, dying by the thousands. Politicians have been dirty for generations, and the armed services must do as ordered. While I greatly respect those that God has called into service, I personally wouldn't encourage my son to go into the military.

Gravelbelly said...

Amen and thank you.

dlr said...

Redcoats oppressing English citizens in colonial America comes to mind.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I see what you mean...and you make sense....