Editorials -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 098:389 (Jan 1941)
Article: Editorials
Author: Anonymous


Editorials

Is War Murder?

With war raging between nations and with the possibility of its demands upon the young manhood of America, a somewhat complex question is again under consideration, namely, Is active service in the army a violation of the Mosaic commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” which commandment is restated both by Paul and by James? Because of a professed enlightened conscience certain individuals and some sects are claiming exemption from active warfare. Respecting this contention, the great majority of Christians-equally enlightened and equally spiritual-disagree. The solution of the problem does not lie in the notion that some are more enlightened or spiritual than others. It is rather a matter of the consideration and right interpretation of all that the Bible teaches on the subject.

In the third dispensation of human history-that of human government-, God committed authority to men by which they may govern themselves. They are held responsible for right principles and right government in the earth. The highest exercise of authority committed to man is that of taking human life when the protection of society so demands. The officer who, in the service of the state, takes the life of a criminal whom the state has sentenced to execution has not committed murder. It is a God-appointed service, even though it is not a pleasant task. Similarly, the police officer who, when checking the progress of a crime, is obliged to kill is never to be apprehended for murder; he is rather cited for faithfulness to duty. With atrocity abroad in the world, there can be no functioning of human government apart from the taking of human life. That form of sentimentalism which proposes to abolish capital punishment and which refuses to sustain a just war, is a one-sided view of the testimony of God’s Word.

Should occasion arise in which crime, insurrection, or treason toward government is too great for the constituted police to control, it becomes necessary at once to augment

the police protection by drafting citizens. Such a procedure is wholly within the God-appointed responsibility for human government. Again, if the whole nation is attacked by a foreign foe, it becomes necessary-if homes and institutions which depend on government protection are to exist-to draft a mighty army of defense. Such a procedure is likewise wholly within the God-appointed responsibility for human government. It is the only course open to men by which they can discharge their duty in respect to self-government in the earth.

In view of these facts, no citizen has a moral right to receive protection for himself and his family, to receive benefit from the government-fire protection, postal service, and educat...

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