• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Pacifism and Christianity

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pacifism One longstanding and troubling debate in the history of Christianity has been the dispute over the paradox of war and pacifism found in the Bible. From the earliest records to the many debates in the 1980s, Christians and non-Christians have debated whether a literal, or even metaphorical, reading of the Bible provides reasons for Christians to support, oppose, or qualify their participation in wars sponsored by the nation. Even today, national leaders, both Christian and non-Christian, publicly justify support for wars in terms familiar to many people that reflect this debate. Wars of defence are labelled "just" wars; wars of aggression are not. The principal support for the view that the Bible advocates pacifism comes from Christ's Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:39-44, he states: "But I tell you, Do to resist an evil person. If some one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. ...read more.

Middle

And they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. And they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his first-born he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates. So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land. In this case, not only was everything except the riches destroyed, but a curse was put on the city so that no one would attempt to rebuild it NEED TO WRITE MORE ON THIS WEIRD IDEA OF TOTAL WAR PERHAPHS OR AT LEAST A SUM UP PARAGRAPGH. Historically, Christians have adopted many positions on war. However, three broad positions encompass the range of choices made over the millennia: (1) ...read more.

Conclusion

preserving the peace.NUCLEAR WAR A third alternative in the resolution of the paradox that Christians have attempted (primarily in the middle ages) has been the crusade. The crusade is fundamentally different from the above two positions. According to one scholar: A crusade was to be fought under the authority of the church or of a charismatic religious leader, but not by the state itself, although it might potentially be conducted by a theocratic state. The goal of the crusade was not to be limited to restoring peace or preserving justice; the goal instead was to uphold, preserve, or expand the dominion of the church itself against the threats, real or imagined, of its enemies.5 1 See, for example, Norman Geisler, Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1989), pp. 221-225. 2 Cited in Robert Culver, "Between War and Peace: Old Debate in a New Age," Christianity Today, October 24, 1980, p. 30. 3 Ronald A. Wells, ed., "Introduction," The Wars of America: Christian Views (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1981), p. 8. 4 Paul Ramsey, War and the Christian Conscience: How Shall Modern War Be Conducted Justly? (North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1961), p. 115. 5 Wells, op. cit., pp. 8-9. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Forrest Gump; the Modern Day Fairytale

    We will see a close up of Forrest's face; a close up is used so we can see the characters emotion. Whilst Forrest is narrating his memory we hear his voice over whilst wee see what he is describing. This flashback will then blend into a mixture of voiceovers and dialogue.

  2. American History.

    But the big changes were made in Puritan New England, which was considered a smuggling hotbed and was changed into the Dominion of New England in 1686 [New Jersey to Maine]. The Dominion was run by Sir Edmund Andros, who had immense power, until the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

  1. Do the Writings of Clausewitz have contemporary relevance?

    was of vital importance - not only as knocking it out would win the war - but also destroying the Republican Guard would remove Saddam Hussein's power base and hopefully make it impossible for him to remain as leader of Iraq.

  2. Assess whether any moral principles have relevance to warfare.

    to fight the war only for the sake of a just cause. Having the right reason for launching a war is not enough: the actual motivation behind the resort to war must also be morally appropriate. The war must be fought with right intention, meaning that the defending nation must

  1. Explain Christian beliefs about justice, forgiveness and reconciliation.

    How might a Christian apply these beliefs in situations of conflict today? Refer to two specific situations of conflict to illustrate your answer. According to the first three rules of the Just War rules, the Second World War is similar and a good example of justice and Just war.

  2. How does the notion of rightful or higher authority affect the ethics of war?

    be fought for the right reasons, and it must be waged under rightful authority. He further held that the only reason which justified war was the desire for peace. The second major thinker to deal with the issue of war was St.

  1. War And Peace - Questions on Christianity.

    Civilian loss of life is a major reason in why most christians believe war is wrong. Proportionality : A state must not use excessive force against a state with less assets, for example don't drop a nucleur bomb on someone who has a bow and arrow.

  2. What is pacifism?

    The Just War Theory Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work