Then the soldiers likewise demanded of him [John the Baptist], “And what must we do?” He said to them, “Do no violence to anyone nor accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.”
— Luke 3:14
War is a great evil. It is a tragedy. Every Christian should abhor it and do what he can to prevent it. We are to live at peace with all men as much as lies within us. But there are times when we must fight. The greatest of Christian theologians and Reformers down through the centuries have believed this, and so, too, believed the founders of this nation.
Jesus did say “do not resist an evil person” but turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). This, however, is a personal ethic, and not a directive to the state. That is why nations have police forces and armies. Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 teach how the civil ruler is to bear the sword and punish evildoers. “[F]or he [the state ruler] is the servant of God for your good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is the servant of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him who practices” (Romans 13:4).
Today we honor those brave men and women who have served their country faithfully. We honor these brave men and women because they have secured the freedom that we enjoy in this nation under God. Peace is precious, and it is not cheap.
Thank a veteran today.