The Ramblings Of John Campea

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A Practical Christian Pacifism The

A Practical Christian Pacifism
The following is an excerpt from and article by David A. Hoekema entitled “A Practical Christian Pacifism”. The article is amazing and I encourage you to read the entire thing.

The case for Christian pacifism has been made frequently and fervently by many writers. The Gospel writers record that Jesus called his followers to a way of life in which violence and division are overcome by sacrificial love. We must not return evil for evil, Jesus taught, but must return good for evil; we must not hate those who wrong us but must love our enemies and give freely to those who hate us. These themes in Jesus’ ministry were deeply rooted in the Hebrew prophetic tradition, and Jesus’ ministry an his sacrificial death were a continuation and a fulfillment of that tradition. Followers of Jesus, Christian pacifists say, must follow both his example and his teachings: they must show love for all in their actions and seek healing and reconciliation in every situation.

The early Christian community understood Jesus’ commands to prohibit the bearing of arms. Christians refused to join the military, even though the Roman army of the period was as much a police force as a conquering army. Those who converted to Christianity while in military service were instructed to refrain from killing, to pray for forgiveness for past acts of violence, and to seek release from their military obligations. A striking example of the pervasiveness of pacifism in the early church is the fact that Tertullian and Origen?church fathers who stood at opposite poles regarding the relation of faith to philosophical reasoning?each wrote a tract supporting Christians’ refusal to join the military.

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March 14, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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