From Martin Luther’s Whether Soldiers Too Can Be Saved
Translated by Holger Sonntag
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It generally is not difficult to understand how a Christian can serve in the military compulsorily during a conflict in which life, family, property and even a nation itself is at stake; when right and wrong are easy to determine, when an enemy combatant is easily identifiable and a desired outcome clearly desirable and achievable. In such a situation the specific acts of individual soldiers, although troubling, and in any other context, unacceptable, are accepted and indeed, understood as necessary. But what about when the greater contours of war are not as clear? When military service is not compulsory, but voluntary? When combatants are difficult to identify? When the validity of individual acts of soldiers is routinely questioned by those outside of the military? Can a Christian serve in such a situation? Martin Luther answers this question with a sure and confident “Yes!” How? By explaining what a soldier actually is in the eyes of God and what therefore a soldier is to do. Luther even includes a prayer written specifically for soldiers before they enter combat.
Formatted into 15 simple chapters along with study questions, this 128 page book is perfect for personal devotion or Bible study.