an eye for an eye was a good plan in the old
tribal problems were solved with too much violence.
if a man harmed an eye, then he might have both struck
out. but under the law of moses, the idea of
proportionality came about. ONLY and eye for an
eye....but moses was just moses. i follow jesus.
God's final directive in dealing with violence is
given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:38, 39: "You have
heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for
tooth.'But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him
the other also."
Christ goes on to say in the same chapter (verses 43,
44), "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love
your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
The Early Church on Violence
i grew up in church that did not pray for miracles.
but jesus did miracles and so did the apostles. and
then i found out god does miracles today.
so many people say they want a "biblical" faith, but
they really don't.
the teaching of jesus are INSANE!
my deep feeling is to HARM my enemies. not love them.
that shows how evil i am. but i don't want to stay
all the early christians believed in nonviolence.
they assumed that the governments would use violence.
then christians became more powerful. and some of them
were in government. they were told that they could not
use the sword as governor or soldier AND be a
some exceptions were made for soldiers to stay
soldiers. but if a chrsitain BECAME a solider, he was
below are parts of a sermon, and then quotes from
In modern society, loving one's enemies, turning the
other cheek, and accepting persecution are honorable
ideals, but they are viewed as impractical and
unrealistic in a fallen world filled with great evil.
People often ask, "What would you do if someone was
breaking into your house, or attempting to rape your
wife, or about to kill your grandmother? Don't you
have to use violence in those situations, even if you
are a Christian?"
Such questions demonstrate how integral violence has
become in mankind's coping processes. In such
instances, the questioner often assumes that the only
real options are "kill or be killed." John H. Yoder,
in his book What Would You Do?, points out that there
are a number of options open to a Christian even in
the most dangerous of predicaments. The Christian, if
he sees a person about to attack his mother or wife,
can attempt to think of some way to disarm the
attacker emotionally. "It might be a loving gesture, a
display of moral authority, or by undefensive
harmlessness which might disarm him
psychologically.... If money is what he wants, I could
hand it over." There are testimonies which show that
such tactics can be successful.
We who had been filled with mutual slaughter and
every wickedness, have each one - all the world over -
changed the instruments of war, the swords into
ploughs and the spears into farming instruments, and
we cultivate piety righteousness, love for men, faith
and hope which is from the Father Himself through the
Crucified One. - Justin Martyr, 100 - 165 A.D.
He who holds the sword must cast it away and that if
one of the faithful becomes a soldier he must be
rejected by the Church, for he has scorned God. -
Clement of Alexandria, aprox. 150-216 A.D.
Under no circumstances should a true Christian draw
the sword. Tertullian, 155-230 A.D.
We have come in accordance with the counsel of Jesus
to cut down our arrogant swords of argument into
plowshares, and we convert into sickles the spears we
formerly used in fighting. For we no longer take
swords against a nation, nor do we learn anymore to
make war, having become sons of peace for the sake of
Jesus, who is our Lord. - Origen of Alexandria,
We, who were formerly slayers of one another, not
only do not make war upon our enemies, but, for the
sake of neither lying nor deceiving those who examine
us, gladly die confessing Christ. - Justin Martyr,
100 - 165 A.D.
But how will a Christian war, nay, how will he serve
even in peace without a sword, which the Lord has
taken away? For albeit soldiers had come unto John,
and had received the formula of their rule; albeit,
likewise, a centurion had believed, still the Lord
afterward, in disarming Peter, unbelted every
soldier. - Tertullian, 160-225 A.D.
The divine banner and the human banner do not go
together, nor the standard of Christ and the standard
of the devil. Only without the sword can the Christian
wage war: for the Lord has abolished the sword. -
Tertullian, 160-225 A.D.
A person who has accepted the power of killing, or a
soldier, may never be received [into the church] at
all. - Hippolytus, 170-236 A.D.
We cannot endure even to see a man put to death,
though justly. - Athenagoras of Athen, aprox 180 A.D.
You cannot demand military service of Christians any
more than you can of priests. We do not go forth as
soldiers. Origen of Alexandria, 185-254 A.D.
And so it will not be lawful for a just man to serve
as a soldier - for justice itself is his military
service - nor to accuse anyone of a capital offense,
because it makes no difference whether thou kill with
a sword or with a word, since killing itself is
forbidden. And so, in this commandment of God, no
exception at all ought to be made to the rule that it
is always wrong to kill a man, whom God has wished to
be regarded as a sacrosanct creature
Thou shalt not
It is always unlawful to put a man to death. -
Lactantius of Bithynia, aprox 240-317 A.D.
And this is at least incredible, inasmuch as even now
those Barbarians who have an innate savagery of
manners . . . and cannot endure to be a single hour
without weapons; but when they hear the teaching of
Christ, straightway instead of fighting they turn to
husbandry, and instead of arming their hands with
weapons they raise them in prayer, and in a word, in
place of fighting among themselves henceforth they arm
against the devil and against evil spirits, subduing
these by self-restrains and virtue of soul. Now this
is at once a proof of the divinity of the Saviour,
since what men could not learn among idols they have
learned from him. - Athanasius, 296-373 A.D.
I am a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal king.
From now I cease from this military service of your
emperors, and I scorn to adore your gods of stone and
wood, which are deaf and dumb images
I cast down my
vine-staff and belt
and I refuse to serve as a
I threw down my arms; for it was not seemly
that a Christian man, who renders military service to
the Lord Christ, should render it also by inflicting
earthly injuries. - Marcellus the centurion, 298 A.D.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. --a jewish proverb
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