Michael Knowles, a contributor for the Daily Wire, recently received a letter from a soldier who is deeply struggling with his faith and has been contemplating suicide. The soldier posed a difficult question to Knowles, asking if he would go to hell for the things he did in service to his country.
Knowles’ response couldn’t have been any better. Thank God for folks like this reaching out to those our society tends to forget: it’s heroes.
Here’s the transcript from Knowles’ show concerning the letter:
“I’m having trouble with my faith and hoping you can offer some insight. I was in the Army for 5-and-a-half years serving as an Infantryman (my job was to hunt and kill people). I know that a lot of translations of the 10 commandments are wrong when it reads “thou shalt not kill” when it should be thou shalt not murder, but in war, the line between murdering and killing is blurred. Some of the times I shot someone it was not clear if they were enemies or just civilians at the wrong place at the wrong time. I often wonder if I murdered one of these people, and if I did do I truly deserve to live, and seriously doubt I deserve to go to heaven even though I try to live my life according to the Bible. I have attempted suicide twice since I left the Army, and I’m often depressed. I do go see a counselor when I can get an appointment at the VA and take anti-depressants, but I can’t seem to shake the guilt that I may have murdered innocent people. I guess my question is: Does God give leeway to soldiers for what we do in war? Thank you, Jacob.”
The answer is Yes! Yes he does. I’m very sorry to hear that you went through that. Thank you for your service. Thank you for protecting our freedom and our country and I’m sorry that you’re having these psychological afflictions afterwards, and these feelings of guilt.
Yes, God does give leeway to soldiers in times of just war. Absolutely.
To quote General Patton — I don’t need to tell you this — but I believe it was Patton who said: “War is a bloody killing business.” It’s a really awful thing. War is a terrible evil thing and it will never be eradicated as long as human hearts are beating because that is the fact of life. That is the worst, most extreme extent of politics. It is a defining feature of civilization. There is war.
So, in war, you can either choose to fight and protect your country and protect your freedom and protect your family, or you can lay down arms and let the cruel rape the face of the earth. And fortunately, we don’t do that in the United States. We don’t do the latter. We defend our freedom and we do it because people like you are willing to do that. In times of war, there is collateral damage. There are blurry situations. It’s unclear sometimes if someone is a bad guy or if someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That is not going to damn you to hell for that. That does not happen.
On that point, I should also like to point out Saint Paul was a murderer. Saint Paul wasn’t participating in a just war. Saint Paul was a murderer who killed Christians and persecuted them and he is the apostle. He’s the great apostle who spread Christianity.
I can’t begin to imagine the psychological difficulty that that comes with. I’m not trying to make light of that, but you asked me a question so that I can give you an outside perspective, so I can give you a little more distance, and a little bit more of an objective perspective here.
Of course, God gives leeway for that. It’s a wonderful thing to defend your country. Defending your country involves doing things that hurt, that might be wrong, and that make mistakes because war is an evil, evil thing, but you did the right thing defending your country, and you’re not going to go to hell for doing the right thing.
I hope that helps.
Our veterans are a special breed of individual. They are folks, both men and women, who sign on the dotted line to defend our liberty, our way of life, and to stop evil from flourishing all around the world. They know there’s a good chance they might die. They know there’s a chance they might not come back in one piece. Yet they still go out and do battle against the darkness in our world.
This is what makes it a crying shame that so many veterans are left out in the cold after coming back from sacrificing so much for their country. We as a nation need to be providing better healthcare for veterans, housing, job opportunities, you name it. These are the best of the best that America has to offer and they deserve more than what they are getting.
Source: Daily Wire
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