During an interview I conducted with Rick Warren for “This Week,” the evangelical pastor defended the use of military force, arguing that certain things are “worth dying for” and that the “Bible said God has authorized government to protect the citizenship.”
TAPPER: Saddleback opened an outpost at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Camp Pendleton is not far from us here in Orange County. When troops come to you, having seen, maybe even done horrifying things, how do you counsel them? How do you say this is how you reconcile war and Christ?
WARREN: Well, in the first place, military service, they don’t call it service for nothing. You are actually serving your country. And it is a worthy and valid vocation. In fact, the greatest compliment that Jesus ever gave, he gave to a soldier in scripture. He said, “I’ve never seen such faith in all of Israel.” And the Bible said God has authorized government to protect the citizenship.
WARREN: The Bible tells us that there are some things worth fighting for. In fact, the Bible says there’s some things worth dying for. You’re not really ready to live unless you know what you’re willing to die for. I would die to protect my wife and children. And so this is a valid calling. And the Bible says they are actually agents of peace. They are peacemakers. So I would say God hates war, but God loves every soldier.