Alberto served in the army for almost ten years. He recalls: “Our chaplain blessed us, saying, ‘God is with you.’ But I wondered, ‘I am going out to kill, yet the Bible says that “you shall not kill.”’”
Ray was in the navy during World War II. Once, he asked the chaplain: “You come onto the ship and pray for the troops and for victory. Doesn’t the enemy have the same arrangement?” The chaplain answered that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
If that answer does not satisfy you, you are not alone.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH?
Jesus said that one of the greatest commandments of God is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) Did Jesus place a limit on loving our neighbor based on where that neighbor lives or on what nationality he is? No. He told his disciples: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:34, 35) Their love for one another would be so extraordinary that it would be an identifying mark. They would rather give their life for one another than to take life from others.
The early Christians lived in harmony with Jesus’ words. The Encyclopedia of Religion notes: “The early church fathers, including Tertullian and Origen, affirmed that Christians were constrained from taking human life, a principle that prevented them from participating in the Roman army.”
HOW DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES MEASURE UP?
Since Jehovah’s Witnesses reside in almost every country, individuals among them find themselves living on both sides in disputes between nations. Yet, they do their best to maintain the identifying mark of love.
Have religious leaders taught true Christian love?
For example, during the 1994 ethnic conflict between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, Jehovah’s Witnesses remained completely neutral. Witnesses of one tribe sheltered Witnesses of the other tribe, often at great risk to their own lives. When two Hutu Witnesses who had sheltered their Tutsi brothers were caught, the Hutu Interahamwe militia said, “You must die because you helped the Tutsi to escape.” Sadly, both of the Hutu Witnesses were then killed.
What do you think: Are the actions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in harmony with Jesus’ words about self-sacrificing love?