Morality of killing in war

Feelings of Guilt 

This is war. They hate you. They want to kill you. They have tried to kill you. “They” are the enemy and your job is to kill them. 

In war, it is kill or be killed. Yet although you had to do it, and you would do it again, down deep you have these guilt feelings. Should US soldiers feel guilty for killing the enemy?

Feelings of guilt by current and former US military personnel is a leading cause of PTSD. We need to free our conscience of this guilt and other emotional trauma.

First, how did we get here? God created the human race with free will. There certainly would be no purpose for God to create beings that are programed: No free will. No good or evil. No joy. No sadness. No thinking. No anything. What would be the purpose of this existence? That would be like an animal.

Everyone has a free will to do good or evil - and some people choose to do evil. While praying is good, outside of a miracle from God, it can’t force a person to go against their own free will. That’s why we need police and the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. This is where the US military comes in.
For the past century, America has traditionally been the defender of the weak and fought against evil around the world. The claims by the political left that the US is an imperialistic power is just not true. Without America, there is NO Free World. Wars the US has fought in are morally just, and this is all important. Our wars then are essentially self defense. 

There is no condemnation for justifiable killing in the Bible - either in the Old Testament or the New Testament.  All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. US troops have a MORAL OBLIGATION to defend themselves as best they can. It is the moral duty of US troops to kill the enemy and save their own life and their buddies lives. It is morally wrong to allow the enemy to get the edge on you because you don’t want to kill them.

Jesus made statements that some have used to support a pacifist agenda, notably “turn the other cheek”, “do good to your enemies” and His teachings on forgiveness and judging others.  As with anything in the Bible, you need to put things in context.  For instance, if your child constantly hits you, does that mean you “turn the other cheek” and allow your child to keep hiting you?  Obviously not.  Does “do good to your enemy” mean a judge should release a rapist or murderer?  Obviously not.  Jesus says the sum of the Law is to do unto others as you would have them do to you.  Obviously you need to discipline your children. You do not “do good to ” rapists and murderers.  You put them in jail.  

For pacifists to use “turn the other cheek” and other verses as a reason to refuse to confront evil in the world is NOT a Christian ideal. Refusing to confront evil is SUPPORTING evil. Supporting evil goes against every teaching of Christ. Actually, coming to the defense of others is a uniquely Christian concept - and the basis for the Just War Theory.

In Luke 3:14 the Bible says: "Then some soldiers asked Him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely - be content with your pay."

Jesus didn't tell the soldiers to put their weapons down. 

In WW1, Sergeant Alvin York, a fervent Christian and initially a pacifist, changed his mind and came to view the US as a defender against evil in the world. Sgt. York and seven men killed or captured more than 100 Germans in one battle. In his diary, York, an expert marksman said of the battle: “… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. In order to sight me or to swing their machine guns on me, the Germans had to show their heads above the trench, and every time I saw a head I just touched it off. All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn’t want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.”

We need to free ourselves from guilt. Even people who have never served  in the US military have issues with guilt. We all need to accept Jesus into our heart and ask Jesus to forgive us of all sins so we can feel inner peace.