Seventh-Day Adventists/6th Commandment
"Hello Kevin M, My name is Matthew, I'm a 18yr male and also a fellow member of the SDA Church, and have a simple question regarding the 6th Commandment in which states, Thou shall not commit murder. This bothers me quite a bit. I'm going to become a Law Enforcement Officer, and wish to serve my country with everything I can give in order to stop crime, and I hope in my entire life I never kill anyone, but there is something in which I still do not understand. the Bible says in Psalm 106:3 which states "blessed are they who maintain justice, and constantly do what is right." In the field as a police officer a firearm is always carried and must be used in a life and death situation(s). If a Criminal points a firearm at a civilian or a fellow officer, and I happen to fire at the Criminal and end his/her life in trying to do what is right; is it still a sin in God's eyes? I know in the eyes of the man it is okay to do so, but my concern is not on the eyes of man, but in the eyes of God. Thank you very much for your time, and God bless you Kevin."
Thank you, Matthew, for your very thoughtful question.
Though the sixth commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill," it is not a prohibition against taking life of all types. Otherwise, one could not kill and eat clean animals, as described in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.
The Hebrew word translated "kill" is ratsach
. It means "to slay," "to murder," or "to assassinate." God did not prohibit killing in self-defense or killing in war, as you probably know from reading Israel's history.
Yet, life is precious. Once taken, you cannot put it back. If you ever have to take someone's life--even when justified--it is a heavy responsibility.
God bless you as you pursue your educational goals.