Thomas Parr Williamson, Pastor, Artist, Marine

by Jon Kauffman

My good friend, Tom was my pastor for 7 years when I was attending church at Pit Community Church in Pit Minnesota. Tom is also a painter and Marine. We disagreed on a few things, but Tom was great at getting me thinking about why I believe what I believe.

A beautiful summer day in the Swan Valley today. There were a line of cigar-shaped lenticular clouds floating across the sky. Courtesy Leon Kauffman

I asked Tom a few questions:

  1. Why do you feel Christian military service is acceptable.
  2. Can you tie your arguments to the teaching of Jesus?
  3. Is it acceptable for a Christian to use violence for self-defense?

Tom replied:

Question: “What does the Bible say about a Christian serving in the military?”

On the second page of my red handbook that I was issued back in 1967 it states this: A creed for Marines: To be a Marine you have to believe in Yourself, your fellow Marine, Your God, your country your corps Semper Fidelis. As our DI told a bunch of men who wasn’t going to chapel that Sunday (they did the next Sunday because the other DI made them PT until we got back.) “He said, when the S((*& hit’s the fan and your bleeding or dying or your buddy is. Crying for your mom, crying for your girlfriend or wife they’re not going to come and save you. And yes your buddy may be able to stop the bleeding until a Corpsman can get to you. But you best be crying out to God because He’s the only one who will be able to truly save you. And God’ only going to come to those He knows, so you best get to know Him before you get into battle because it might be too late.”

When you look into the Bible you find plenty of information about serving in the military. And while you’re not going to find a spot in the Bible that specifically state whether or not someone should serve in the military. Still as a Christians and being a soldier it’s still highly respected.

The old Testament give us the first example of military service in Chapter 14 of Genesis. Where Abraham’s nephew Lot was kidnapped by a king and his allies. The Bible tells us what Abraham does. He doesn’t try and talk to them to get the kid back. He doesn’t try and bribe them to get the kid back. Instead gathering up 318 trained men and with them he kicks they’re back side and wins. And he used armed force to get the job done thereby rescuing and protecting the innocent.

Look at the nation of Israel they developed a standing army and it worked as long as they God in the forefront. But as soon as the Nation left God, God left them and the nation was taken over and ceased to exist as a political entity. And for 1000’s of years that is just what happen to that Nation until they got it back together in 1948 and now every person will serve 2 years. That says a lot about what will happen in any nation when you tell God that you don’t need Him.

Then you have people who says: That old we live under the New Testament. Ok lets look at that because in Matthew chapter 8 Jesus is approached by a Roman Centurion asking for Jesus help. Jesus doesn’t tell him to leave, or repent for being in the Military, instead Jesus marveled at the man Faith. And it’s not faith in the man army, or his nation but in the man faith in what Jesus can do. And that not just one same case, Mark, Doctor Luke and the book of Acts list others.

You’ll even find that the Bible also uses military terms in Ephesians to describe being strong in the Lord by putting on the whole armor of God. And it lists those tools found on a soldier helmet, shield, and sword, not a farmer, baker or candlestick maker! Although they can all still be soldiers. In fact, once you get through boot camp you can become a Pastor, Doctor Nurse and serve understand that your helping your country, fellow man and God.

Still some will say will the King James Bible says: “Thou shalt not kill.” So being in the military is wrong! With that understand I can say that that the Bible is telling me I can’t even kill a wood tick. But when you look at it in the Greek and Hebrew a better translation is “Thou shalt not murder.”

The Bible is clear that the military is legitimate for the defense of a nation. We as a nation would do well that before you can hold any type of governmental service you must have served 2 years active military service. And it should start A.S.A.P.. If you are in power this year you can stay but there will be a vote on your job next years. Those who are physical not able need not apply, but they can not hold any governmental service.

Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman

Author: nonviolentchristians

Jon Kauffman graduated from Goshen College, earning a BA in Religion. Jon attended a Mennonite Church while growing up and currently attends the Salvation Army Church. Jon works as a drafter at TrueNorth Steel, Fargo, ND.

2 thoughts on “Thomas Parr Williamson, Pastor, Artist, Marine”

  1. Do these observations after the discussion with your pastor, reflect a shift or change in your beliefs regarding Christians and military service? I got the impression reading some of your previous entries that you were more of a strict pacifist (sorry if I interpreted you incorrectly).

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    1. Actually hearing Tom’s point of view and further reflection solidified my position as a pacifist.

      George Whitfield and John Wesley had great theological differences. When one of Whitfield’s followers suggested they would not see Wesley in Heaven, Whitfield said, “Yes, you’re right, we won’t see him in heaven. He will be so close to the Throne of God and we will be so far away, that we won’t be able to see him!” I can hardly compare myself to George Whitfield, but I suspect Tom will be so close to the throne I will have difficulty seeing him.

      And as John Wesley said about George Whitfield, “There are many doctrines of a less essential nature with regard to which even the most sincere children of God…are and have been divided for many ages. In these we may think and let think; we may ‘agree to disagree.’”

      Liked by 1 person

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