August 30, 2009

Christian Pacifism 1

A new website is now available for a free copy of the book, Conflict of Ages, a Treatise on the Dichotomy between Military Service and Christian Pacifism, on the website:
The book deals with the Old Testament view of warfare, the New Testament teachings of Jesus; the attitude of the early Church toward the military; a history of Christian pacifism from apostolic times to the present, and the present role of the Christian pacifist.


Hi, thanks for the link.
Regarding Athanasius and Ambrose, the original context should be quoted, rather than a book that mentions it. If the original book did not have a specific citation for these quotes, I wouldn’t rely on them. They could be true, but I’d like to read it in context, and it is just plain good form.
Also, I had heard the Waldensians made it a point to drag bad priests out of their homes and beat them. If this is true, they could hardly be called pacifist. There are some interesting contrasts to be drawn between the Waldensians and Franciscans.
You might find something useful in the story of Martin of Tours, too, and the legend of St. Christopher, both soldiers who gave it up for Christ.


Good points. I do have the ante-Nicene fathers and will specify the actual context of their statements.
I have no reason to doubt your statement that the Waldenses acted in this manner; the Paulicians in later years and also the Bogomiles departed from their roots of pacifism and regularly utilized violence. In our own country the Quakers were pacifists, but when the Civil War broke out, the majority could not accept the archaic ways of their ancestors and the pressure applied to them by their contemporaries and many joined the Union army. Richard Nixon was a Quaker and had pacifist conviction until WW2 broke out; he abandoned the teachings he was raised with and joined the service. And then in later years he authorized the bombing of North Viet-Nam and escalated the war. Circumstances do have a major effect on a person’s convictions.

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