First, let me say that I discovered your site about 6 months ago and I thoroughly enjoy it. You and other sites like yours, has helped me become a better and a more enlightened Christian. Thank you! I am a military veteran. Served honorably. I have been very proud of my service,but have to say that knowing Jesus was basically a pascifist, and he teaches to turn the other cheek, love our enemies,etc.I find that I am questioning if I should have served at all. On another note, my family and I have visited numerous military funerals, laid wreaths at National cemetaries,Arlington, etc.Do I and many others, put too much emphasis on these funerals? I question if I should be involved with these any more.
There is no doubt that Jesus could be described as a pacifist. The natural position of a Christian is as a pacifist as well. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.” (Matthew 5:39). As I understand the Bible, it does not make sense for a Christian to voluntarily choose the military as his/her career, for several reasons, not the least of which is that the soldier is trained to kill people. If a Christian lives in a country where military service is required for all citizens, that would be different.
Not all faithful, Bible-believing Christians will agree with me on this. I will admit that this is a grey area. In any case, as Paul said, the government does not bear the sword in vain (Romans 13:4). Clearly, a country in the real world needs to have police and an army to protect the people and God does not condemn as sinful a country having a military and defending itself.
So, the question is not clear cut, but I would advise a Christian choosing a career to not select military service. On the other hand, you should not feel guilty for having served in the military–not at all! In fact, I believe that Christians should honor those who make sacrifices to protect our security and freedom. For this reason I absolutely believe that your attendance at military funerals is not only acceptable for a Christian, but a very honorable thing to do. Those who risk all to protect us from those who would work mayhem in the world should be honored, even if Christians may not be among them.
I hope this helps,