3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV.
Some Christians would argue that these verses argue that Paul is permitting military service and putting military service in the light of an honorable profession with these verses.
However, verse 7 says to reflect on what Paul is saying for insight. Paul is simply showing that being a soldier in the military has qualities similar to the qualities required to teach the gospel.
These verses could be considered a warning to not join the military. If one is trying to please his military commanding officer, he will need to obey that earthly master instead of Jesus his heavenly master when his earthly master requires him to do something that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. If a teacher of the gospel is serving his Commanding Officer Jesus, he cannot get entangled in military affairs.
Jesus said “Love your enemies.” Matthew 5:24 NIV. It is impossible to love your enemies when you are slaughtering them with bombs and killing their wives and children with drones.
By Jon Kauffman
Copyright © 2017 by Jon Kauffman Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.