Remembering the fallen

Remembering the fallen Written by Reg Wright

Remembering the fallen

Today ANZAC Day dawn services are taking place across the nation as tens of thousands of people gather to mark 100 years since the first Gallipoli landings by Australian and New Zealand troops.

From time to time, I have been asked questions from Christians who sincerely want to understand what the Bible teaches about war and therefore how should Christians think about war and the commemoration of war. They ask: Is it all right for a Christian to attend war memorial services such as those held on ANZAC Day.

As a Christian and an Elder I believe that the commandments of God forbid Christians from taking human life directly or indirectly and that bearing arms is contrary to this fundamental teaching of the Bible. Therefore my advice to other Christians is according to my understanding of what the Bible teaches on this subject. I believe the Bible makes it clear that Christians should not voluntarily become engaged in military service. If they are involuntarily engaged in military service, then they should pursue whatever officially permitted means are available in order to respectfully decline conscientiously to bear arms and, to the extent possible, avoid coming under military authority (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22; Acts 5:29).

I recall a speech that was made some decades ago before the League of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations). The following excerpt from this speech summarizes a principal point of Christ's teachings.

"War is the most colossal and ruinous social sin that afflicts mankind; it is utterly and irremediably unchristian; in its total method and effect it means everything that Jesus did not mean and it means nothing that He did mean; it is a more blatant denial of every Christian doctrine about God and man than all the theoretical atheists on earth ever could devise" (Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, minister and professor).

From a human point of view, many consider serving in the military to be an honourable act, but there is a better way for a Christian. When on earth Jesus said His disciples would fight to prevent His capture and arrest -- if His Kingdom was of the world at that time (John 18:36). But it wasn't, and they didn't. The Christian, a citizen of that Kingdom, still awaits its establishment (Philippians 3:20).

Christ will fight when the time for God's Kingdom to be established comes (Revelation 19:11-14); but, again, God has the authority to order that righteous war. Additionally, He will soon thereafter order an end to all weapon production, the breakdown of existing weapons, as well as cessation of military training altogether (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3).

In the meantime, we continue to live in this age of human rule under Satan's influence. And the reality is the freedoms that we enjoy can be largely attributed to the sacrifice of many of our country men and women in defending our nation against invasion. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice – they gave their lives. Not to give thankfulness for this sacrifice would be expressing ingratitude and disrespect. Attending a war memorial service on such days as ANZAC Day – not to glorify war -- but to honour those who gave their lives in defence of our country – many of whom are family members, relatives and friends – is one way of showing this gratitude and respect.

I believe attending or not attending a war memorial service is a matter of personal conscience and the decision is left to the individual.

Remembering the fallen.

 

Related Articles

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

Many religious people embrace the idea of loving others as themselves but remain blissfully unaware of how the Bible defines love. As a result, they do not understand the necessity of putting into practice the biblical principles that determine the success or failure of their relationships.

We hope this booklet will inspire you to so appreciate the wisdom of God that you will look to His commandments as your standard for behaviour. This is the example set for us by Jesus Christ (John 15:10; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).

Is There Hope for Human Survival?

Lesson 5
Is There Hope for Human Survival?

The world changed forever in 1945. That year, with the detonations of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, man for the first time demonstrated the frightening potential to destroy all human life. Since then our weapons have grown far more powerful and threatening. As we will see in this lesson, many of these threats to human survival play prominent roles in prophecies in the Bible.

100 Years After World War 1: What Have We Learned?

THE GOOD NEWS Magazine
100 Years After World War 1: What Have We Learned?
July-August 2014

A study of a devastating war begun a hundred years ago can be an exercise in nostalgia and academic history. Only a few people alive today can even remember this war in their earliest memories. For we who take a moment to reflect on what happened, let's be sure to take away a lesson that helps us understand our present world: History existed before our birth, it marches on now, and decisions made by people long ago and far away continue to impact our lives today.

Christianity: A Way of Life

Lesson 11
Christianity: A Way of Life

Is it acceptable to believe we are free to worship God as we wish, to refashion God in our own image? Or has God revealed an approach to life that He expects us to follow? Does it make any difference in the relationship we are supposed to have with Him? In this lesson we examine the answers to these questions and more from the Scriptures.

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Suffering. It's not a pleasant subject to discuss, but a necessary one. Suffering plagues our world. In its many forms it affects us physically, psychologically and emotionally. This featured booklet will help you understand how suffering began, how it will end—and why it continues.

About the Author

Reg Wright

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.

Beyond Today magazine

  • When Heaven Comes to Earth

    When Heaven Comes to Earth

    Mankind has long dreamed of a peaceful planet—a utopian earth no longer plagued by war, unrest, poverty, disease and corrupt government. But in spite of our best efforts, man has never been able to create lasting peace. The problem is that our problems are spiritual and they need a spiritual solution. And God has a plan to bring that about! In this issue of Beyond Today magazine, we show how a paradise on earth will come about—a kind of heaven on earth!

Free Bible Guides

  • Tools for Spiritual Growth

    Tools for Spiritual Growth

    What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator?

  • Guys, Girls and God

    Guys, Girls and God

    Build wonderful relationships with the opposite sex while you keep God in mind.

  • Marriage & Family

    Marriage & Family

    Marriages are in crisis! Divorce is rampant. How do you build a truly loving and life-long relationship?

  • Overcoming Alcoholism

    Overcoming Alcoholism

    Alcohol can be an uncomfortable subject. If you have an alcohol problem it's not easy to admit it and seek help. If you know someone with a problem, confronting them with the issue or knowing how to help can be very difficult.

  • Making Life Work

    Making Life Work

    You probably already own the best self-help book ever published with practical guidance to help you achieve success in your career, friendships, finances, family and every other aspect of life.

UCGia

Get Your Free Subscription to Beyond Today Magazine

Beyond Today magazine is available to you at no cost whatsoeverPlease provide your details below. 

Request Beyond Today Magazine Print Copy

Request this issue of Beyond Today magazine at no cost whatsoeverPlease provide your details below.