In your answer concerning "carry your cross," you say concerning abortion that "God made mankind in His own image and to take a human life is murder because the Commandment says 'You shall not murder.'" Doesn't the same apply to sending young men and women in the armed forces to kill and to die? Shouldn't we be opposed to war?
If I am following you correctly, you are asking whether the taking of life in war is murder, and if so whether Christians ought to oppose it.
The Bible does not teach us that all taking of human life is murder. Our Shorter Catechism sums up the Scriptures' teaching on the taking of human life in questions 68 and 69:
Q68: What is required in the Sixth Commandment?
A68: The Sixth Commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
Q69: What is forbidden in the Sixth Commandment?
A69: The Sixth Commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.
Note the words "lawful" in 68 and "unjustly" in 69. Human life, while precious to the Lord, is not an absolute value, and its preservation ought not overturn justice. It is to be preserved in accordance with God's Law, and if it is to be taken, it must be taken in accordance with God's Law. But it may be taken under certain circumstances.
In Genesis 9:6, God establishes capital punishment as a just punishment for murder: "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man."
In Romans 13:1-7, we are told that rulers (governments) "bear the sword" in order to execute God's wrath on the evildoer and to keep safe those who do good. Clearly, in the New Testament era during which we live, the power to use capital punishment, or to take human life more generally, is reserved to governments in accordance with God's Law in Scripture.
Abortion is wrong because it is taking human life unjustly. The aborted child has committed no crime which warrants death, and so abortion is murder. A murderer, on the other hand, has committed a crime warranting death, and so his execution (by the government) is not murder, but capital punishment.
It is therefore appropriate for governments to wage war ("bearing the sword" against foreign evildoers) if their intent is to protect the lives and preserve the peace of their own people. Thus, Christian members of the U.S. Congress are not obliged by their faith to oppose each and every war. If, however, they believe a particular war is being waged for reasons which are not in accord with God's Law, they would be obliged to oppose it.
I hope this clarifies what has thus far confused you. Please let me know if I can be of further help. I pray the Lord will lead you as you study His Word for His will in all things.
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.