Thursday, August 17, 2006



You asked about the refusal to fight in war. People who refuse to fight in war are known as "pacifists." (This has the same root as "Pacific," as in the ocean, and means, "peaceful.") Pacifists have been with us for thousands of years. There are dozens of varieties, not just the Amish.

Many early Christians refused to support imperial Rome in its many atrocious wars, and they were tortured to death for their pacifism. Jesus Christ himself prophesied, "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword." Jesus has no enemies on earth. For example, right at this moment, God loves the Iraqi people every bit as much as he loves Americans, Canadians, British,French, and other types of human beings. God loves Africans and Asians and Caucasians. He loves Jews and Christians and Muslims equally. God has no "chosen people."

God also has no "chosen country." Since he knew that God has no enemies, Jesus finished the puzzle by putting in this piece: "Love your enemies." Killing a person with brutality is no way to show Love for her/him.

Pacifists refuse to fight in human wars because they believe, correctly, that these are caused by the devil of fear (especially greed). Early Christians set forth the principle that, when there is a conflict between the two, "We must obey God as Ruler rather than men." (Acts 5:24). God does not work in this world through greed and murder. Those are acts of the devil, and service to it.

There is such a thing as "justifiable war," as when the nazis threatened to over-ride and conquer the whole world. "That is not at all what is happening when a giant, such as the U.S. steps on a third-world country and crushes the life out of it, murdering its women and children, and then, invading it.

But even in such a "justifiable war" as WW2, the true pacifist will refuse to engage, to fight. She would rather die, which is no "sin," than to kill, which is a sin.

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