Women in Combat: Common Questions and Frequently Raised Objections

Common Questions:


1. Women have already been serving in combat situations, why is this a big deal now?

It is now official. Women will be included in the draft. (see question 2 below) With the removal of the exclusion from combat clause by President Obama, there are now no legal grounds to exclude women from the draft. We need to speak and work against the remaking of our culture by the current administration.

2. We aren’t going to change the mind of the government, so why cause trouble?

We may not change the mind of the government. However, because it is now official government policy to include women in combat, there is now no legal foundation left for excluding women from the selective service (the draft). The matter has been determined. The Supreme Court’s legal reasoning to continue to exclude women from the selective service was established in 1981 in Rostker vs. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57. Women’s exclusion from the selective service was based upon their exclusion from combat. There are now no legal obstacles left between women and the draft! Changing the policy may well be out of reach, but we must now lay the legal foundation for securing the free exercise of our religious beliefs and an exemption for our daughters when the selective service (draft) is expanded to include women. Those who would have us wait until the selective service is forced upon women are in error and derelict in their duty to protect women.

3. Are you saying women aren’t allowed to defend themselves?

No. No one is saying that women aren’t to defend themselves or others if threatened. To oppose women in combat is precisely about strengthening the defense of women by refusing to purposefully send our daughters into combat.

4. What about the women who want to be in combat?

First, our purpose is not to impugn their motives. Motives and desires are not the issue. God has not called women to be warriors. It is not given to them to do. This burden falls upon men as the protectors of women. Any nation that revolts against creation by placing this burden upon women (whether they are willing or not) has thrust the bearers of life into being bearers of the sword.

5. What does opposing women in combat imply about other issues concerning men and women?

This issue may bring to mind other questions concerning men and women’s roles. Thankfully this does not prevent us from speaking unanimously on this issue. There is no need to insist on dealing with all of the complexities concerning male and female roles before speaking on women in combat. This is literally a life and death issue.

6. Where is this in the Bible?

Moses’ fourth book (Numbers) established the principle: only men are to be counted for warfare.  In cases of aggression, Israel’s army was to drive intruders back to their own cities, then extend an offer of peace. If this was not accepted, only men were put to the sword; women and children were to be excepted (Deut. 20:12-15)

Luther believed that Deut. 22:5 specifically prohibited women in combat. Advocates of women warriors often cite Judges 4 for support. In fact, this account is incomprehensible without the underlying presumption that men, not women, have the duty to go forth into combat. The Lord exposes the cowardice of Barak through Deborah and shames him by delivering the enemy leader into the hands of a woman, Jael. God sends neither woman into combat. The Lord declares particular scorn for women as warriors at several points in Holy Scripture (e.g. Isa 19:16; Jer 50:31, 51:30; Nah 3:13).

Every Christian theologian in the last 6,000 years has recognized and understood that God’s Word is absolutely clear that intrinsic to man’s vocation is the duty to protect women …from the creation account alone!

Christ confirms and fulfills the Old Testament, as the New Testament makes clear.  Just as Jesus gave up His Life, died, for His Bride, so also husbands should give up their lives, die, for their wives. (Ephesians 5:25) Having men lay down their lives for women is a reflection of Christ laying down His life for the Church.


Frequently Raised Objections:


1. It is not our business to tell the government what to do concerning women in combat.

Yes it is! We should not get into the business of commenting on everything the government does as some church bodies do. However, the church should be, and has been the prophetic voice to the king when the government perverts God’s order and justice. The church preaches out against the murder of unborn children, the attempts to redefine marriage, and now, with thousands of years of Christian consensus, that women should not be slaughtered on the battlefield. God clearly calls men to protect and if necessary lay down their lives for women!

Surely, if we as a church body have spoken out against the HHS mandate, the changes in the Boy Scouts, Aid to Africa, the repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we can certainly speak out on this assault on the natural lawthat even the pagan nations of history have rejected.

2. Let’s send it to the CTCR.

This wastes TIME and MONEY on a clear issue we don’t need to discuss further. The women of our synod, and our nation, deserve a timely response NOW!

3. Speaking out about women in combat will make it harder for our chaplains.

Yes, this is true. But I am confident that the courageous chaplains who are called as pastors by God to speak His Word, and as men to defend women, will meet this challenge with bravery through the grace of God .  They are well-practiced in speaking the bold truth in increasingly difficult situations. On the other hand, NOT speaking out about this WILL make it harder for our daughters. Even though the government is making it incredibly difficult for our chaplains, there is no excuse not to speak out on this issue. As a man, especially a man of God, it is unthinkable that our chaplains would want to put his struggles ahead of the women of our congregations and nation.

4. There is no clear Word of God on this issue. (see question 6 above for specific Scripture citations)

Some try to claim that this issue is in the realm of adiaphora, something neither commanded nor forbidden. Who in all honesty is going to deny that it is man’s duty to protect women, that a husband is to lay down his life for the sake of his bride, and that Adam’s vocation was not to protect Eve? If you are not willing to say that God has a clear word about women in combat, then there is no reason that the state shouldn’t draft women (which will happen since the exclusion of women from combat has been the only legal protection remaining). If this is adiaphora, or unclear, what you are saying is that if the state were to draft women, we would be wrong to resist such a godless order. If we do not oppose women in combat on biblical, theological grounds, we are saying that it would be a sin against the fourth commandment for fathers to keep their daughters from being drafted into war if the country so chose!

What would you tell your son if his sister offered to go die in his place? You would tell him that he was wrong. You would tell him to lay down his life for her. You would not just say it because most men are physically stronger. You would tell him not to be a coward, that God would have him lay down his life for her sake.


1. Read the Overture here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=26814.

2. Read an excellent paper on Women in Combat: https://www.scribd.com/doc/124576882/Natural-Law-and-Women-in-Combat-By-HR-Curtis



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