Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN NONVIOLNCE 1


The Apostolic Tradition is an early manual of Christian church life and discipline which includes early forms of worship. It is widely held to be the work of the third century Roman theologian Hippolytus.

It has been described as of 'incomparable importance as a source of information about church life.

From the Apostlic Tradition:
"A soldier under authority shall not kill a man. If he is ordered to do it, he shall not carry out the order; nor shall he take the oath. If he is unwilling, let him be rejected. He who has the power of the sword, or is a magistrate of a city who wears the purple, let him cease or be rejected. Catechumens or believers who want to become soldiers should be rejected, because they have despised God."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Historical context: The battles being fought in this time period were about land. Gaining it and keeping it. Under those circumstances, Christians absolutely should not be fighting. This is comparable to World War I, possibly the least necessary (and most massive) blood shed in history.

However, what about the battles about saving the lives of others? Situations like Cambodia (where the world failed to prevent mass murder) and Kosovo (where the world is fighting against mass murder).

Nonviolence worked for people like Dr. King, but not for Bonhoeffer.

Shalom,
Drew

St.Phransus said...

So is it about "what works" and if that's the case do we sell out our unique and peculiar way of living in the world?

If we are to love our neighbor and love our enemy and our enemy is also our neighbor then how do we reconcile killing our neighbor even when they are doing wrong?

just struggling with these issues,

jonathon

St.Phransus said...

So Drew are you saying that life is less valuable in God's eyes from one social and cultural context to another? Your argument seems to be saying that.

Anonymous said...

How is my argument saying that God values certain cultures over another? The point of that post was that in Roman times (and pretty much up until the Second World War), wars were fought over land and as such, people were killed in the name of greed. In today's society, though, several wars are fought in the name of saving lives (ironic, yes). The essence of what I'm tyring to say isn't that God views killing as alright in modern time, but didn't in ancient times, but instead that there are times when war is absolutelyu necessary.

I don't want to reduce it down to two words, but in a certain sense, it is about "what works", assuming it is saved as a last resort.

Now, unfortunately, I must study for finals.

Shalom,
Drew

St.Phransus said...

good luck with finals my friend. thanks for the great conversation.

Anonymous said...

Romans 13-1