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Would you nuke the Russians if God told you?

Discussion in 'Discipleship: Following Jesus' started by Peter J Barban, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

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    That is the hypothetical question my mentor asked me back in 1982. Recently, he had led me to Christ at my college and was training me to follow Christ through Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, evangelism, worship, and obedience.

    He was a retired nuclear engineer from the US Navy, approved by Admiral Rickover to be part of the submarine fleet officer core. He had been in the chain of command to "nuke the Ruskies" on his sub. He would have pushed the button if the US ordered him. Obviously, that order never came.

    I came from a very different background, I had been an agnostic Catholic (a mix of my mother and father), and conscientious objector regarding the US Draft, and a pacifist since high school. I found his question very disturbing and couldn't answer it at the time. I had to wrestle with this issue for a while before I made my decision.

    How about you? Would you nuke whoever your country considers its enemy if God told you?

    Likewise, if God ordered you to violate your conscience in some other way, would you?
     
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  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    I rest in the knowledge that God won't do that. What he taught about not murdering people and preserving life and being kind and merciful makes that very clear. You ask about if God ordered me to violate my conscience - God built up my conscience. He's not going to be the one to tear it down.

    Now, if God told me to do something equally challenging but morally consistent with his will as revealed in the NT, I would have to ask for wisdom and opportunity and fortitude to carry out his orders. But he will never tell me to nuke a country.
     
  3. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Under the exact right set of circumstances yes. But in general I really hate some of these overly dramatic and artificial Thought Experiment type questions that often look nothing like the real world, this one at least has some basis in history and reality based on Rickover.


    In general mass killing is against Christian values, but self defense is not. With some of my experience in the Charismatic movement, I am leery of dubious "messages from God", but I certainly do believe in conscience, and besides withstraining violence that also carries with it the need to protect people in your care and if it means stopping some malevolent power looking to invade or destroy my country then yeah I would do what is necessary relevant to the situation.


    For folks who got a problem of that I would bring up Marcionism and other related Gnostic and Manichean heresies which preached that "The God of the Old Testament was a different God than the God of the New Testament" (especially the Gospels). While not preaching that kind of message many Christians act that way theologically speaking.
     
  4. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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  5. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Maybe but you seem pretty confident of that God was prophesying Schofields interpretation of events back in the ancient days of Israel, and there are various reasons why that is dubious, Joel Richardson is probably the best for explaining why that is.


     
  6. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    No. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that God would not ask me to destroy (kill) those made in the divine image, especially on as flimsy a justification that they are my country's enemies. And, since I believe God is love, I assume I would be graciously forgiven if, on the outside chance, my decision to disobey on those grounds was in error. I honestly don't think this hypothetical could ever arise; OT passages to the contrary are duly noted.
     
  7. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    The part about future prophecy is it really is a wait and see situation. Who was/is correct or partially correct or wrong all together.
     
  8. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I know of no reason why God would ever directly and explicitly command anyone to nuke anyone else. Doing such a thing goes against everything I know of God and His will revealed to me in His word, the Bible. One might make some argument, I suppose, for nuking a military target that is aggressively seeking one's destruction, but a Hiroshima-style nuclear action against a civilian target has no justification whatever within a Judeo-Christian worldview.

    The human conscience can be dulled and warped and so it is not the best basis upon which to make moral choices. Instead, I look to God's word for my morality and values, patterning these things upon what God has laid out in His word, conforming my conscience to His will and way.
     
  9. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

    +6,595
    Australia
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    Crazy question. The short answer is yes. We are not God. Christians have a conscience that is sensitive to right and wrong according to God's ways. Logic and reason may argue against God but disobedience is sin. God knows what is best.

    I cannot begin to imagine that God would actually command that. But I think that Mary said it best when the wedding ran out of wine. Speaking to the servants, she said, "Whatever He (Jesus) says, do it." It should be the ruling principle of every Christian life.
     
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