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savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057


 Re: Militarism 2

Due to at least one(possibly more)persons impression that "...there must be some serious misperceptions concerning Anabaptist non-resistance" in my mind I am posting the following:

From the Conservative Australian Mennonites (also found in Mennonite Confession of Faith (1963)
Summary of Beliefs.
Statement of Faith, Practise & Intent.

Article 18

LOVE AND NON-RESISTANCE

We believe it is the will of God for His children to express divine love in all human relationships. God pours His love into the hearts of Christians so that they desire the welfare of all and express only love toward those of other races, cultures, and various economic levels. Such a life of love excludes retaliation, revenge, and prejudice. Jesus Christ in His earthly life was the supreme example of love and non-resistance. The teaching of Jesus requires His disciples to renounce all violence in human relations. We believe this applies to every area of life, to personal injustices, to situations in which people commonly resort to litigation, to industrial strife, and to international tensions and wars. As non-resistant Christians we cannot become involved in any situation or office which violates the New Testament principles of peace and non-resistance. Therefore, we cannot participate in military service, in military training, or in the voluntary financial support of war. On the other hand, consistent with the teachings of Jesus and at the risk of life itself, we must do whatever we can for the alleviation of human distress and suffering. We must remember that the basic human problem is spiritual alienation from God because of sin, consequently, we should devote our resolute energies to reconciling people to God.
Matthew 5:38-48, John 18:36, Romans 5:5, 12:18-21, 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, James 2:8, 1Peter 2:23, 4:1.

Article 19

THE CHRISTIAN AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe that the civil government is ordained of God to maintain law and order in society. We seek to obey the New Testament commands to render honour to the civil authorities, to pay our taxes, to obey all the laws which do not come into conflict with the higher law of God, and to pray for our rulers. The Church should also witness to the civil authorities about doing right, about self-control and about judgment to come. However, witnessing to the State concerning matters affecting domestic or foreign policy is not within the realm of the Church’s responsibility. Individual Christians are, however, permitted to speak to civil authorities in the form of pleas for consideration and clemency.
We believe there are more consistent ways of witnessing against public evil than participating in organised marches and coercive public demonstrations directed against actions, laws, or people considered being out of harmony with Christian ethics
We are in proper order to accept protection from the government. We should not initiate court proceedings of a vindictive nature to avenge personal loss. Noting the character of the two kingdoms, Church and state, we recognise that the state does not and cannot operate according to the teaching of Christ regarding non-resistance. Non-resistant Christians cannot undertake any work for the state which would violate the principles of love and holiness as taught by Christ and His Apostles.
Acts 4:19, 5:29, Romans 13:1-7, Ephesians 1:20-22, 5:23, 1Timothy 2:1-2.

What follows is the testimony of one Mennonite
{Mennonite Church U.S.A.)

I am a pacifist. Pacifism is a commitment that arises out of my identity as a Christian, a Mennonite, an MCC [Mennonite Central Committee]worker, a student of history, and a mother. It is part of who I am.

I am a pacifist because I am a Christian.

As a Christian I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus lived a life and died a death committed to peace. In life, he taught his followers to offer creative non-violent responses to any violence inflicted against them. He offered forgiveness to those burdened with sin and guilt. He befriended the outcasts and marginal members of society. He confronted those who oppressed the poor and condemned those who practiced injustice. He showed love to his enemies and persecutors. When faced with torture and death, he did not call upon his followers to rise up in revolt. Rather, he accepted suffering willingly. His resurrection demonstrates the triumph of good over evil, of nonviolence over violence.
If I claim to follow Jesus, I must commit myself to his way of peace. This is a non-negotiable. Peace is at the heart of Jesus' message and ministry. It is central to the Gospel of Christ. If I claim to hold Christ at the centre of my life, I have no choice but to embrace his way of peace too.

I am a pacifist because I am a Mennonite.

The Anabaptists came to understand that following Christ and turning away from violence went hand in hand. Menno Simons said, "The Gospel and its adherents are not to be protected by the sword, nor are they thus to protect themselves . . . Neither do they use worldly sword or war, since all killing has ceased with them." For over four hundred years, Mennonites and Brethren in Christ have tried to uphold a commitment to peace, though not always consistently.
I cherish my church's historic commitment to forsake violence. I believe that our Anabaptist-Mennonite peace convictions are a tremendous gift that we have to offer the world. This is not to say that other Christians do not have gifts to share with us. It is to say that the ministry of proclaiming and making peace is a gift and a treasure that we have been given to share with our broken world.

Relating to Jury Duty see:

http://www.anabaptists.org/tracts/jury.html

Testimony may be brought forth from Amish,Hutterite and other such groups which believe these very same things. There are too many,and they date back to their beginnings to the present. What I have shown is more than sufficient. I need not be-labor the point as some.

Numerous individuals I've personally encountered and questioned on these issues would not deny their agreement with the tenets of pacifism.

Mahatma Gandhi's pacifism and the 'Non-Resistance' doctrine have been formed in the same man-made mold.

Individuals and sects within these sects(Anabaptism) may differ somewhat but these are the traditional beliefs set forth by their own documents dating to their origins.

William Law(1686-1761)was correct in his opposition to militarism as it is termed, as I am as well.

For this reason and others I made the qualifying statement in my original post on this thread "I myself do not hold to Anabaptist,Mennonite,Amish or the like,in regard to their doctrine of 'Non-Resistance'."

 2009/9/17 13:35Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Excerpt from:

PACIFISM AND BIBLICAL NONRESISTANCE
by J. C. Wenger

This paper was read at the Peace Witness Seminar, Evangelicals in Social Action, Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, Virginia, November 30, 1967.

It is now being published in booklet form in the hope that it may contribute to the current discussion of Christian social ethics, a discussion which promises to be increasingly fruitful as the disciples of Christ seek to apply His teachings in a world of tensions and warfare.

Initial Definitions

"Blessed are the peacemakers," declared our Lord. The Latin Bible in Matthew 5:9 uses the term pacifici for peacemakers, and it is from this Latin word that our term pacifism derives. A pacifist is, in the loose sense, a person who labors for peace and for the abolition of strife, bloodshed, and warfare. In a stricter sense, the term pacifist is often applied to a person who declines to serve in the military because it is contrary to his convictions to destroy human life. If such a person bases his ethics on the person and teaching of Jesus Christ, he may well be called a Christian pacifist. In this sense the terms pacifist and nonresistant are synonyms.
The term nonresistant is of course taken from the word of Christ, "Resist not him that is evil" (Matthew 5:39). Or, as the New English Bible paraphrases, "Do not set yourself against the man who wrongs you." Both the ASV (1901) and the RSV(1946) support the translation first given. In this sense, the Christian nonresistant is the disciple of Christ who obeys his Lord's word not to meet evil and injustice with force and violence. He also follows the example of his loving Master, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23, ASV). Peter also indicates that the disciple of Christ is "called" to a life of suffering-and in his nonresistant spirit he receives a blessing in such experiences as evil treatment and reviling.

What Is Involved?

What does the ethical teaching of Christ and His apostles involve in a positive way? The most basic principle is to act at all times in terms of a genuine interest in and concern for those who show hatred or ill will toward us. Christian love is not a matter of gushing sentiment, nor even of trying to feel a certain way. It is rather a deep desire to manifest in actual life the same caring love toward all men which Christ manifests. This means that the nonresistant Christian seeks actively to promote the welfare of others, even of evildoers. Also involved in Christian nonresistance is a resolute willingness to suffer injustice and injury without retaliation. Such Christlike meekness calls for divine enablement and grace. Christ never promised the nonresistant Christian immunity to suffering or even death. Theoretically, this attitude of willingness to suffer rather than to retaliate could be called Christian pacifism.

Some Basic Differences

When one turns away from theoretical considerations to actual life, however, he discovers that the terms pacifism and nonresistance are not always Synonymous. Guy F. Hershberger distinguishes pacifism from biblical nonresistance in four respects: (1) The pacifist may devote his labors to the abolition of war, making international peace his major goal, while the New Testament nonresistant is concerned primarily to bring men and women to the experience of "peace with God" through responding to the glorious gospel of Christ in repentance and faith. The ensuing relationship of peace-both with God and with men-is far deeper and more meaningful than the absence of warfare. (2) Pacifism as a movement does not always reckon as seriously as it should with the depths of sin in the human heart, and consequently, is overly optimistic about the possible abolition of war. (3) Pacifism sometimes fails to recognize the role of the threat of force in the peace-keeping function of the state -- in the preservation of law and order. In this task, the state functions as an agent of the wrath of God against sin, and even employs the threat of bodily harm if the evildoer resists. (4) Finally, the pacifist sometimes fails to see his role as one of absolute nonresistance and a willingness to suffer injustice, and to overcome evil with good, and he compromises an absolute position by "nonviolent resistance"-by behavior which is more Gandhian than Christian. ("Pacifism," Mennonite Encyclopedia.)

Full paper may be read at:

http://www.bibleviews.com/Biblicalnonresist.html#Initial


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/9/17 16:38Profile









 Re:

Well I have given this a couple of days of thought and prayer.

I have reread the thread and also looked back at some of the other threads that got chapel and appolus going on this new thread.

My question and answer stay the same for everyone to think on.

When you take an exclusive stance that says christians should not be in gov or military you set yourself up on a "false delema".

I have stated in this thread and a few others the more "balanced" position that Christ and the apostle would have us to take.

Those who want to take the extreme stance against christians in gov or military or police, I say fine take your position. However think about what I have said.

Now for a little twist.

Appolus wrote,

"One final point, your question and any of our answers will have absolutely no bearing on the destination of anyone's soul. A persons standing before God is based on the shed blood of Calvary and nothing more. One either knows Jesus or one does not. And if someone knows Jesus and has been regenerated, then I sleep well at night that the Holy Spirit will lead that one into all truth........Frank"


Well good frank, It appears that you do agree that a christian in gov or military or police that kills people in the line of duty will still go to heaven cuz all that matters is if they know Jesus and have been washed by the blood.
I am glad that you say that your answer or mine has no effect on them going to heaven.
Wonderful, now we can serve Jesus in whichever vocation we were called!!

God bless to all!

 2009/9/17 19:36
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Can Christians serve in the military?

http://www.gregboyd.org/qa/christians-social-issues/can-christians-serve-in-the-military/


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Lee Chapel

 2009/9/17 21:31Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3161


 Re:

"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." - John 12:23-24


Clearly it is all about the cross and the glory of God. Try to imagine Jesus resisting at any point along the way to the cross.

One of the things that the Lord is working out of me is resistance - any sort of resistance to anything that He would send my way. If I truly believe that He is in control, my rising up in any matter would in reality be a rising up against Him. This is where the Lord is taking us all - to the cross - that others may be won unto Him, for His glory. The wheat falls to the ground and dies in quiet submission. Can we? That is what He is preparing us to do.

 2009/9/18 0:52Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

Quote:

HeartSong wrote:
"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." - John 12:23-24


Clearly it is all about the cross and the glory of God. Try to imagine Jesus resisting at any point along the way to the cross.

One of the things that the Lord is working out of me is resistance - any sort of resistance to anything that He would send my way. If I truly believe that He is in control, my rising up in any matter would in reality be a rising up against Him. This is where the Lord is taking us all - to the cross - that others may be won unto Him, for His glory. The wheat falls to the ground and dies in quiet submission. Can we? That is what He is preparing us to do.






Thank you Heartsong,

Your words blessed my soul as I read them, they ring so true.

I was reading this morning and feel this fits very well into our conversation.


2 Cor. 1:3-11
God Offers Comfort to All
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters,* about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

NLT


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Lee Chapel

 2009/9/18 10:28Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Heartsong wrote:

Quote:
Clearly it is all about the cross and the glory of God. Try to imagine Jesus resisting at any point along the way to the cross. One of the things that the Lord is working out of me is resistance - any sort of resistance to anything that He would send my way. If I truly believe that He is in control, [b]my rising up in any matter would in reality be a rising up against Him[/b]. This is where the Lord is taking us all - to the cross - that others may be won unto Him, for His glory. The wheat falls to the ground and dies in quiet submission. Can we? That is what He is preparing us to do.


Brothers and sisters, I must disagree. Christ's journey to the cross was initiated and catalyzed by his unwavering resistance to the false teachings and hypocrisy of religious leaders. He resisted them openly and with courage to the point of death because of his faith in God the Father.

[b]We are not called to be non-resistant, we are called to be faithful[/b] and to do whatever that faithfulness entails. This could mean actively resisting evil men and false teachers. It could mean "overturning the tables of merchants" who have turned God's temple into a marketplace.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. [i]Resist the devil[/i], and he will flee from you.

1Pe 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. [i]Resist him, standing firm in the faith[/i], because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

In Christ's Love,
Leo

 2009/9/18 11:44Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3161


 Re:

Hello Leo,

I appreciate what you have written, but have a few questions. Was Jesus resisting the false teachings or was He merely being faithful the what the Father was having Him to do? I do like the focus on "faithful" - for that is what we are to do - focus on Him, but this would also require our not focusing on others as the "enemy."

In both verses that you quoted we are told to resist [u]the devil[/u] - the devil would have us to devour one another. In 1 Peter 5:8-9 we are told to "stand firm." To stand firm is not to fall back, neither is it to lash out. The verse also indicates that we will suffer.

Faithful is the key. Faithful and obedient.

Thank you for what you have posted.


EDIT: added "Faithful and obedient."

 2009/9/18 12:09Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:

HeartSong wrote:
Hello Leo,

I appreciate what you have written, but have a few questions. Was Jesus resisting the false teachings or was He merely being faithful the what the Father was having Him to do? I do like the focus on "faithful" - for that is what we are to do - focus on Him, but this would also require our not focusing on others as the "enemy."

In both verses that you quoted we are told to resist [u]the devil[/u] - the devil would have us to devour one another. in 1 Peter 5:8-9 we are told to "stand firm." To stand firm is not to fall back, neither is it to lash out. The verse also indicates that we will suffer.

Faithful is the key.

Thank you for what you have posted.



Dear HeartSong,

We are not really in disagreement, for I know that the war to be fought by believers is spiritual and not physical. Even our weapons are of the Spirit:

[i]Eph 6:11-17 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.[/i]

But we cannot ignore the fact that the enemy will use physical men just like us to destroy God's kingdom. And when they speak falsehood, we must declare the truth and not just sit by because we think resistance is not for us.

In answer to your first question, Jesus resisted false teachings because he was faithful - he was a fighter for God in a very forceful way. He was not coy about calling a spade a spade, and he "attacked" with forceful words and colorful language:

[i]Mt 12:34 [color=CC3300]You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.[/color]

Mt 23:27 [color=CC3300]“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean."[/color][/i]

When Jesus saw how men were turning his Father's temple into a marketplace, his faith made him take strong physical action that could even be called violent action:

[i]Mt 21:12-13 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. [color=CC3300]“It is written,”[/color] he said to them, [color=CC3300]“ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’'"[/color].[/i]

As you said earlier, "[b]Faithful is the key[/b]." Our focus should be on being faithful, because then the Spirit can move in us to give us the right words and the right actions to take in any situation.

Trying too much to always be inoffensive and calm in all situations may actually preempt the leading of the Spirit. I believe there are times when the Spirit wants us to be loud, and red-faced, and furious; there are times when we can be called to take physical action. In faithfulness, Jesus did all of these "offensive" things, yet he was without sin.

In Christ's Love,
Leo

 2009/9/18 13:28Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3161


 Re:

Deleted

 2009/9/18 13:45Profile





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