Should Christians kill?




Hal Lindsey

April 29, 2004


To my delight, many American military personnel visit daily. Here is one of the e-mails that make me so thankful for the kind of military men who are sacrificing for freedom:

Thank you for writing about Pat Tillman. [who turned down fame and money....and for it....some accused him of being a fool] I thank God for his service. There are many Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen like Pat Tillman currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous places around the world.

I am a Marine assigned to duties with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, currently deployed to Iraq. We are part of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. You probably see a lot of news about a town called Fallujah. The enemy is there. We are there. It is a tense standoff. I'm praying for God's purposes to be done in Fallujah and throughout all of Iraq.

On June 30, Iraq begins anew. There are many hopes and fears. There is goodness in the people of Iraq, but lamentably that goodness has an evil shadow over it. I believe God will do and is doing a great work here.

Please pray for all the military men and women here and in Afghanistan. And also pray for all of the families back home.

I am reading Mr. Lindsey's "Amazing Grace" that I recently downloaded as an e-book. It is helping me a great deal in my own walk with God.

Thank you, and may God richly bless you.

Semper Fi,

Dave Wargo, Lt. Colonel, USMC

One of the questions that bothers a great many of the Christians serving in our military is whether they should kill anyone.

Because there has been so much poor teaching in the churches, many Christians have fuzzy thinking about just what they should do in regard to taking a human life. The Lord says He isn't in 'man-made' temples.

1Jo 2:27  Ye need not that any man teach you.

Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Isa 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail.

The Fourth Commandment in "God's Big 10" is translated into English as, "Thou shalt not kill." If anyone goes on to read the context, he will find that when a duly constituted court finds a person guilty of deliberately taking another human's life, the people are commanded to put him to death.

So, right away, we find the commandment doesn't mean no killing under any circumstances. The Hebrew verb translated "kill" is in an intensive verb stem that means, "to murder."

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is frequently quoted as the basis of doing away with even the death penalty. But just listen to what Jesus said:

You have heard that the ancients were told, "You shall not commit murder" and "Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court." But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; [This translation is corrupt.  It would get Jesus condemned for blasting the Pharisees]  and whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be guilty before the Supreme Court; and whoever shall say, "You fool," shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.


Matthew 5:21-22, NAS


King James:


Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:


Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not 'the sun go down' upon your wrath.


Hbr 9:27 As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.


Jesus is speaking of the government He will set up in the Millennial Kingdom that He will rule on Earth.

Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

2Jo 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Jhn 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Eze 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Mat 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. They went into the Holy City:


Gal 4:26 Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Hbr 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Hbr 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.  All who are in the Body of Christ.

1Jo 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

2Ti 4:3 The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers [false christs--'mediators'], having itching ears.

It's this simple:

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

1Cr 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Cr 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1Cr 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1Cr 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

He says that the true meaning of the Law of Moses will then be upheld, which is that the motives of the heart will be judged the same as the actions they would cause.

The Bible justifies killing in the case of self-defense. If someone seeks to murder you or your family, you have the right to defend yourself with lethal force. Why not just ask the Lord daily...for His Protection?

Jam 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Jam 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.

Jhn 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Mat 16:24 Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it  [the same goes for nations]: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

1Jo 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Mat 10:28 Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

To go after another to try and save your own life goes against the teachings of the New Testament.  [The same goes for nations]

But, here are the Scriptures that DO justify a war against Saddam and his regime:

Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Luk 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

For 35 years many Iraqi people fled from Saddam and his regime with horrid nightmarish stories. [the mass graves where many bodies were dumped is proof.  So are the torture and rape chambers] They had asked the world for help because they were too poor and weak to put a stop to the massive torture and murder. 

It was the WHOLE world's responsibility to step in -- a lot sooner then America and her allies did [whatever their reasons were for doing so].

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Had the Bush administration presented this argument to the 'world body', the self professing 'Rights' groups and the so called 'Christian' leaders who ran with their mouths about some "justified war" -- which one of them could have argued without being revealed as a major hypocrite? Shame on them for not jumping up to the same UPROAR when the Iraqis were fleeing to tell of the nightmare that was happening there [which was NO secret] They surely didn't scream when 2000 Serbs were killed while Clinton and Clark bombed them...who were fighting back at Albanian Muslims...who rose up to provoke in the name of Islam  [the Chechens are doing the same]

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.


This principle extends to the maintaining of order and protection for citizens by the governing authorities. The Bible says:

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it DOES NOT BEAR THE SWORD for nothing, for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

Romans 13:1-4, NAS

If your father, or school principal tells you to do something that is wicked...should you do it?

Rom 13:1 Let every soul [that ONLY God can kill] be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 

Hbr 1:13  To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Hbr 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?     The angels are the ministers.

Deu 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible

Satan and his angels are kicked out of heaven:

Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

If your father, or school principal tells you to do something that is wicked...should you do it?

No...not according to the word.

Study the Word of God, to learn from God, what orders that come from rulers are acceptable to God...and which ones are not.

2Cr 10:4 For the weapons [Scriptures] of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.

Tts 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. [with the Scriptures] Let no man despise thee.

1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth [blessed are they who make peace with God before they die]: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  That Sword...the Word of God...has the power to kill a spirit:

Isa 31:8 Then shall the Assyrian [who comes up from the pit] fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.

Mic 1:2 Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.  which temple ye are}  1Cr 3:17  1Cr 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?

Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword [Word of God] in their hand; To execute upon them the judgment [already] written: this honor have all his saints. Psa 149:9

1Jo 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Jhn 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

Jhn 7:7 The world cannot hate you [but the hates the Word]; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.  and He does so...through the mouths of those who have His Word abiding in them.  They understand that He commanded the Light [His Word] to shine out from the darkness.  They don't let the light that is within them be a closet, or under a bed.  What good is that?


These verses show that God authorizes the use of "lethal force" symbolized by "the sword" against those who would harm others and take their property. This principle also authorizes governing authorities to use lethal force to protect citizens from attacks by foreign forces.

Many of the original believers were soldiers in the Roman army. Some Roman soldiers who came to John the Baptist and believed sought counsel from him on how they should live:

Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages."

Luke 3:14

John the Baptist said nothing about killing in the line of duty or resigning as soldiers. He only warned them against the common practice of robbing people they took into custody.

Many Centurions, who were the approximate equivalent of a colonel in modern armies, were among the first Gentiles to believe in Jesus Christ. It was in the house of a Roman Centurion that the first Gentiles were officially brought into the Church (Acts 10). Nothing was ever said about them getting out of the army. Nothing was ever said against them killing in the line of duty.

A Centurion saved Paul's life on his ship voyage to Rome. Paul never told him not to be a soldier. Nothing was said about one of his duties that involved killing in battle.

I believe the Bible teaches that a Christian who is a soldier should seek to be the best. He should serve with faith, honor, loyalty and compassion. As long as an enemy is seeking to attack him and has the means of causing harm, he has the right and duty to subdue, capture or kill him. If an enemy is captured and no longer has the means of inflicting harm, then he should not be mistreated, tortured or killed.

King David in the Old Testament was one of the greatest warriors who ever strapped on a sword. Though he killed many men in battle, he had a tender heart toward God. He is one of only two in the Bible who God called, "A man after His own heart."

So, soldiers: Be courageous in battle and compassionate in victory. And know that you can trust God to teach your hands to fight in defense of your country, just as He did David.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle ..."

Psalm 144:1

Isa 53:1 To whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? That Arm has a hand -- doesn't it? and the hand has five fingers.

1Cr 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1Cr 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

That Sword is the Word of God:

Hbr 4:12 The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my [The Lord's] ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

Taking life is a serious act!  Defending another who is weaker against wicked powers [especially with your life] is charity.

1Cr 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  

Charity does not slay others -- JUST because they don't believe the same way!

Charity does not call others 'infidels'!

Charity does not discriminate!

1Cr 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The reasons and the actions of every individual soldier will be judged by the Word of God. Some are there to infiltrate the 'great Satan's' military.  Some are there for anger or hatred [Racism].  For's an 'adventure'. 

Some risk their lives because they are truly serving a belief that they are helping a broken people who were suffering greatly under the power of a well known tyrant.

God searches the hearts of all.