From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Has there always been debate about whether a Christian should participate in defense measures of war involving the use of weapons?

— C.W.

Dear C.W.: War is one of the consequences of living in a fallen world in which sinful men and women are unable to settle differences between each other by peaceful means.

During World War II, the world witnessed a tyrant who sought to take over the world while at the same time attempting to eradicate an entire race of people. Only war put a stop to this. But war is certainly not the Christian’s preference to settle either individual or global problems. We must accept our responsibility as citizens. A man may protest against war and criticize his government for becoming involved in war, but as a citizen accepting the privileges and benefits of his government, he must also accept certain responsibilities. If we are in disagreement with our government, we can always elect to take our citizenship elsewhere.

It is important to remember that there is a price for freedom. The blood of our forefathers speaks to this and we know from Scripture that while we cannot earn salvation from God, it cost Him the blood of His only Son, Jesus Christ. When soldiers asked John the Baptist about their duty, he said, “Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages.” He didn’t say they must stop being soldiers.

A Christian would find it hard to be a loyal citizen in a nation that promoted warfare. We can thank God that we are part of a nation that seeks to solve all problems by peaceful means and recall that the Bible says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).