Home > Thou shalt not kill > Christians and the army > There’s no explicit prohibition of military affairs. If He really did not want violence he would have said so directly.

There’s no explicit prohibition of military affairs. If He really did not want violence he would have said so directly.

He couldn’t say this for obvious reasons. Jesus preached to the Jewish population during a time when Judea was occupied. Power was in the hands of the governor of the Roman Empire: all warriors, in the traditional sense, were either Roman or mercenaries. Including those who attended the baptism of John the Baptist. At that time the Jewish people had no problems concerning service in the military or police.

It first came about when the first Roman followers of Christ appeared, for whom this service was mandatory. From the surviving texts of the early Roman Christians we can see that their attitude to military service was clear – it was deemed unacceptable.

Another important fact is that Christ did not explicitly forbid any occupation or ‘profession’, be it soldier, tax collector, or prostitute. But! There is also no explicit approval of them. On the contrary, He always went to those people first as they were most in need of God’s word: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” - Matthew 9:12, these words were spoken by Him at a banquet for tax collectors. And He always strongly condemned our fears, weaknesses, and passions that lead to these ‘crafts’ such as the military, tax, and corruption.

 

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