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Military Service

I don’t see it happen too often, but now and then it does. This is what I’m talking about: it’s about our Protestant Reformed men who face the military service, whether Army, Marines, or other. I feel our men should watch what they decide when the time comes for them to leave home and church life. For if we are called, it is one thing, for then it is the call from the Government, and God puts that Government there for a ruling body. So then we must obey the call when it comes.

But some don’t care to wait, so they en­list for a three or four-year term. Now I feel that this is wrong for us who are Prot­estant Reformed young men because we must put the question of whether it is right or wrong before the Lord God in the form of prayer. I’m sure that if we do that, we wouldn’t have many who sign up for a three or four-year term. We Protestant Reformed people should be thankful that we don’t have many enlist, at least I haven’t heard of too many. I feel that those who face the military service ought to think this over, and take this matter to the Lord and ask the Lord, “Is it right for me to enlist?”

I myself feel it is wrong because we as Protestant Reformed young men are put­ting ourselves out of the Protestant Reformed Church. May we sign up for the Service and put ourselves away from the church? Maybe some men who sign up don’t think of it this way, but it stands to reason. That is what we are doing, right? I say again, it is wrong for us to sign up, because we must never want to put ourselves outside of the church. For if we do, we only put ourselves in trouble.

Some may want to do it because they feel that is the only way to get what they want. Well, I have now been in the Service about 19 months, and I have seen many times that that didn’t happen. I have heard of quite a few men who told me they signed up because they wanted this job or that job. But the Army puts a man where he is needed the most; it doesn’t go along with what the individual wants all the time. Now and then it happens that way, but not very often. In this day and age they need more men in certain fields. The young man, when he is about to go into the Service, signs up for one certain item; if they don’t need more men in that field, they won’t put him into it, but where they want him, or where he would do the best for the government. Some might get put in a much different field from what they wanted. I heard of quite a few who wanted to be put into the Artillery branch of the Service, but wound up in the infantry. Therefore, the man doesn’t usually get what he signs up for. It’s the Army, or any other branch of the Service, who decides for him. When I came in, I thought sure they would put me where I didn’t want to go. It turned out they wanted me to be a part of the artil­lery, so that’s where I am today, whether I like it or not. I was called, so they had the right to put me wherever they wanted.

But let this be a warning to those who believe they will soon face the military service. It is something we should give considerable thought to in the form of prayer before we come to our conclusion. Let us think about it, young men.

Yours in Christ,

Roger Kamphuis