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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
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Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

My husband killed the enemy during war – does God forgive this?

Mike Hayes Answers:

God forgives all sins. So there’s no need to worry about that. The question might be whether this was even a sin. Your husband may have not had intended to kill the person in this encounter and instead acted if self-defense. For something to be sinful, one has to have intent to commit the act and have full knowledge that the act is sinful and then, has to actually carry it out.

In this instance, let’s say your husband had every intention of finding an enemy and killing them. That indeed would be sinful. A good confession would be appropriate (and healthy) for him to share much of the horror of war with God and to ask for forgiveness in his part in the war. War may be necessary and one might be following orders, but we are bound not to take the lives of others. We may not have found a way to avoid war and violence, but that is our problem. God calls us to peace. That said, God also forgives us, for in our human weakness, we often succumb to evil because we don’t know any other way to solve the divisions we have as countries and as people.

 
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The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Matt

    Jesus does not agree with the above answer… Jesus says merely lusting after another human is sin. Jesus never says that you must act on that lust to commit adultery… Jesus says lust is the same as adultery and hate is the same as murder.
    Jesus tells humans to love their enemies, do good to those who hate them, and pray for those who persecute you. So, there is no doubt that “killing an enemy” or even “hating your enemy” is sinful. But, Jesus did die for all sins and all sins can be forgiven.
    All your husband would need to do is: put his faith in God, repent of his ways, accept God’s way, and truly change.

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