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Explain the arguments put forward by Christians pacifists and demonstrate how Christian non-pacifists might support their position.

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Introduction

Part B) Explain the arguments put forward by Christians pacifists and demonstrate how Christian non-pacifists might support their position. In the past there have been many occasions when Christians have fought wars and when Christian countries have fought each other. For example the crusades, the first and second world wars, Vietnam, Korea, Falklands, South Africa and Northern Ireland. Some Christians such as Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) are totally opposed to fighting and during warfare they are conscientious objectors. They are prepared to go into battle driving ambulances or doing other duties but they will not fight. Other Christians are prepared to fight in the armed services and there are always chaplains attached to military units. Most Christians today probably would not be in agreement with any war that wasn't fought according to the just war theory. Some Christians believe that they must protest when injustice is taking place against other people, even though they may not be Christians. ...read more.

Middle

Chapter 5:38-46 reads,"But no I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too." It goes onto say, " Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of you're Father in heaven." Another example would be Mark 28-34, which reveals, "love your neighbour as yourself" and that this command, "is more important than to offer animals and other sacrifices to God." Christian pacifists would interpret this as not hurting a fellow human whether in war or any other circumstances. At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that things had reached a crisis and uses the symbol of buying a sword to get his point across. In the gospel of Luke 22, at Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane they misunderstood him and drew their swords. ...read more.

Conclusion

Such occasions lead to the reasons for non-pacifist Christians to believe it is sometimes necessary to use violence. The other event takes place outside Jerusalem. In Matthew 21:18-19 it is recorded that early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it but leaves. "May you never bear fruit again!" he said to it at which the tree immediately withered. Non-pacifist Christians take the attitude that if Jesus used force to put something across or in his own anger then why shouldn't they. Although non-pacifist Christians agree with the just war theory they use Jesus' own actions and some teachings from the gospels and from this they gain the impression that violence and force is sometimes necessary. Therefore in war, whilst pacifists help out in the medical side or in other aid, on-pacifists take part in the battle because they feel it is what God wants them to do and that they are fighting for the love of God. ...read more.

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