Before we get to Paul I want to look at what I take to be a key passage on this subject, referring to Christ and what this means for us.
I take the 1 Peter 2 passage (verses 21-25) to have reference to more than just Christian slaves in Peter's day, but to all of us as followers of Jesus. His suffering for us is for our sins. But it is also as an example, that we should follow in his steps. Here we find in Christ's atoning work both example for us and recapitulation. Recapitulation I understand to include the idea that Christ takes up, in himself and his work, the entire human race, so that humans can share in this new reality and life in Christ that he has lived out before us. In Jesus we are "called" to this.
So this passage suggests to me that we are to carry the same attitude and practice forward in Christ that he did in this world. And that Christ has prepared the way for us. That in him by the Spirit and together, we are to walk in that way.
I cannot see Christians in military engagement as not contradicting this call to us from God. It is a call not only to passive resistance, but to redemptive action. War may seem necessary. And killing, a necessary evil at times. But are Christians, we in Christ really to be involved in that kind of action? I have my doubts. This to me does not reflect the life of Christ and "in Christ" we find in Scripture. It's a life in mission to the world as the one "holy nation" scattered throughout the earth. A common life that does not resist enemies, but does good to them.
Tomorrow we'll look a bit at Paul, specifically at his writing in Romans 12 and 13. And a more Anabaptist reading of it, which I have been gravitating back to, myself.
What thoughts or questions come to your mind on this?