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Faith Alive! | June 2011

In Faith Alive! this issue:

  • Are you RTGAA?
  • Editorial Are you a disciple?
  • Nehemiah a man to follow
  • COVER FEATURE: 12 disciples who’s who?
  • Disciples you know (and are like?) Discover new thoughts about some of Jesus’ disciples
  • Discipleship crossword
  • Christ’s commands marrying well (in the Lord)
  • An important word beginning with P
  • What’s the first thing you should do?
  • 18 Sufferers worse than you? Examine your relationship with God
  • Ready to give an answer?
  • COVER FEATURE: Emergency on planet disciple Dedication’s what you need

A sample article from this edition:

Matters of conscience

Principles to bear in mind in a national emergency

DISCIPLESHIP is about service. National governments in the event of national emergencies sometimes draft individuals into positions of service to the state. It is worthwhile thinking about such issues so you know where you stand. Conscientious thought (and objection if needs be) are a vital part of a disciple’s life.

There are three main scriptural principles that impinge on this subject:

1 The duty that we have to our neighbour.

This is the duty to love our neighbour, to do good to all men, to do to others as we would wish them to do to us, to follow the example of our Lord who went about doing good and put into practice his teaching in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

2 The duty to remain separate.

This is the obligation not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to remember that we are strangers and pilgrims, that here we have no continuing city and that our heavenly citizenship transcends our earthly one.

3 The duty of submission to authority.

This is our duty in terms of civil obedience (not as a matter of expediency, but as a witness), submitting ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, rendering to Caesar what is his, being subject to the higher powers and willing to go the extra mile.

The practical blending of these principles is a matter for each individual’s conscience and there are times when some will find it difficult to know where to draw the line. Clearly, if something is a good thing to do voluntarily, or in a time of peace, undertaking the same activity because we are compelled to do so, or performing it in a time of national emergency does not make it a bad thing. It was surely obedience to the Roman soldier that Jesus had in mind when he said, “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:41). However, it is advisable that believers should avoid and resist employment that would place them under military or police orders. Similarly, it is right that the disciple should not use force.

In making a stand for what we believe is right, it is important to avoid areas of potential hypocrisy and to pursue in as humble and sincere a way as possible the principles which we hold precious.

With thanks to the UK Military Service Committee


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