Letter to a Christian Young Man Regarding Joining the Military

Back on February 13, 2009, I wrote a “Letter to a Christian Young Man Regarding Joining the Military.” At the end of the letter I included this appeal:

If any readers are veterans, consider themselves to be Christians, agree with the sentiments expressed in this letter, and would be willing to let me append their name, branch, and rank to any future use of this letter, please contact me at lmvance@juno.com. The fact that you “served” and I didn’t might be what is needed to help persuade some young man (or woman) to not join the military.

I have now posted this letter on my website with the names of about 40 Christian veterans who contacted me. If you are a Christian veteran and wish to have your name added, please contact me with your name, branch, and rank and I will add your information right away.

Author: Laurence Vance

Laurence Vance holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. He has written and published twelve books and regularly contributes articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

  • Andy

    What needs to be understood is that when Americans join the armed forces they are NOT defending America. They are enabling Washington to maintain its hegemony and empire.

  • cathompson

    wow – I read the letter while standing on my head. couldnt quite tell which end of it was up. catman

  • paulBass

    nice but being an atheist this one part tickled me a bit

    According to the chaplain requirements, one of the things that the endorsement should certify is that a military chaplain should be "sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Army." I know that you are a conservative Christian and are averse to compromising your religious convictions

    • Laurence has addressed this issue in several previous pieces for the benefit of any ordained Christian minister/priest who is considering a commission as a chaplain in the armed forces with the goal of "evangelizing" to the troops. The restrictions placed on military chaplains when it comes to sermons preached, outreach activities, and even counseling/hearing confessions from members are so tight and so intrusive that any genuinely evangelical clergyman would find him/herself up on charges of insubordination if the were truly to minister according to the Christian Gospel or their own conscience. This demonstrates better than anything else the fact that military chaplains are expected to be servants of the State (i.e., Priests of Moloch) first and foremost. This alone should serve to preclude any genuine Christian man/woman of the cloth from even considering donning the uniform of the imperial legions.

  • Joe

    I as a veteran, can't argue with anything Mr. Vance stated. I can name several streets right off of post where I live that are well known for prostitution, tattoo parlors, pay day loans, pawn shops, etc. I can also account, from my own personal military experience that you do not get to pick where you want to be stationed. At best, the military may give you up to three choices and then send you to one of those three. If needs be though and in the end, they will send you to where they need you. You get no say in the matter. Next, I can also say for a fact that if a service person decides to go against any orders, you risk an article 15 (Army/Air Force), Captain's Mast (Navy), or Office Hours( Marines). They will charge you with disobeying a lawful order or maybe even missing a movement. All have steap penalties depending on the charge.

    That Christian man would be wise not to listen to the patroitic hype. The military is defiantely not what he thinks it is or has heard about.

    • Perun

      Enforcers in organized gangs don't decide where they go or whom to execute either, as hired guns they must follow orders of their superiors/masters.

    • Then you should go to Mr. Vance's site and sign that letter — he's still accepting signatures. Mine is already there, and I left the military >20 years ago.

  • It's pretty hard to know who is right today with all decisions taken behind closed doors. Just wish there was less military and more open discussions, but here i go, dreaming again!

  • What needs to be understood is that when Americans join the armed forces they are NOT defending America. They are enabling Washington to maintain its hegemony and empire.