“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the
same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
(John F. Kennedy, American president, 1917-1963)
Pacifism doesn’t equal passiveness, nor weakness, it’s a
A critical one — and where we all should begin — besides, peace doesn’t come by chance.
Pacifism should underscore all attempts to bring an end to violence and war,
For let’s face it, only a pacifist can truly be a peace ambassador.
Otherwise, there’s a certain hypocrisy — yes, something that
just doesn’t ring true,
For how can violence be an option if we don’t believe such we should pursue?
Thus, there’s really no alternative but to approach things from a pacifist stance,
That is, if the case for peace is something that we genuinely wish to advance.
Marriage begun with divorce as an option is marriage in
trouble right from the start,
So too, peace talks with violence as an option, guns cocked, “Fire!” in the mind or heart.
We should practice what we preach, and very much more so when it comes to seeking peace,
Hence only a pacifist stance has any real chance of seeing violence cease.
Yes, every human on this planet, each race and faith, should
have a hatred of war,
A desire to prevent such at all costs, and better ways of solving things explore.
For war solves nothing, there’s simply a winner and loser, a hollow victory,
One that leaves the loser resentful, wishing they could even the score, undoubtedly.
That is why pacifists denounce war, want
no part of such, and stand on principle,
A decision dictated by their conscience, even faith, belief one shouldn’t kill.
Pacifists certainly aren’t weak, for it takes courage to make such a stand, speak out,
And the voices of the slaughtered demand such, heard via the pacifist’s damning shout.
Wars have often begun too quickly, and many have proven
By that I mean, they could’ve been prevented, and should’ve been, but weren’t, shamefully.
And history attests, and evidence suggests, some wars have been hatched intentionally,
The work of those with a cunning worldwide plan, or something to gain personally.
But in this world in which we live, nations can be attacked,
and hence their armies —
Defence forces? — however, such are often misused, hence those illegal wars one sees,
And why many soldiers die pointlessly, even desert, appalled by such villainy,
Siding with pacifists perhaps, having served in such wars, seen the criminality.
Unjustified wars and dreadful war crimes have unfortunately
Both showing the true colours of some power, or its soldiers, or those who so disgrace.
Yes, the raping and degrading of women, the killing of innocent citizens,
The torturing of prisoners of war, and many other unspeakable sins.
And as for the Geneva Convention and the likes, such are
merely window dressing,
For in wartime, what goes on behind the scenes, doesn’t take any second guessing.
War is no respecter of rights, and soldiers are only as good as their conscience,
And when it comes to accountability, who puts their washing out for a rinse?
Yes, there are those who choose a non-combatant role, a
medical one, possibly,
Attending to the wounded, even under fire, acting just as courageously.
But as for killing, as for violence, they want no part, just cannot in their heart,
Believing that a change must begin within oneself — always the best place to start!
Pacifists denounce all forms of violence
— and some, even that used in self defence,
Though here, one surely needs to have a reality based approach, use common sense.
By that I mean, one may have to defend them self, repel an attacker quickly,
In order to save their own life, or someone else’s, behaving heroically.
The pacifist’s stance is a very noble stance, a stance that
all should aspire to,
Besides, great things have to start somewhere — thus, peace-wise, pacifism all should pursue.
Without a stand, such as the pacifist’s stance, there’s very little hope of success,
And at the end of the day, only the pacifist way rings true, makes sense, can address.
Is God a pacifist? Well, one thing’s for certain — He hates
And via His Word, the Bible, He condemns the use of violence consistently.
Certain acts He instructed — that many point to — were His dealings with fallen man,
Acts foreign to His nature, that were never a part of His original plan.
And in Heaven, and on the earth made new, violence and war
will not play a part,
For after all, it was only Satan who the Great Controversy sought to start.
Yes, Satan’s the one to point the finger at, not God, for God is a God of peace,
A God who clearly embraces a pacifist stance, for under Him, wars will cease.
Meantime, aggression and enemies abound — hence, defence
forces loom necessary,
And likewise, we too may have to defend ourselves, thwart some suburban enemy.
Or we may have to run to the aid of another who’s being attacked viciously,
Caring and wise enough to know there’s a time and place to act intentionally.
Such is my take on pacifism, for though Jesus says, “Turn the
Surely we’re still to defend ourselves, aid others, and where needed, stand up and speak.
It’s one thing not to retaliate, quite another to be a fool, arguably,
For pacifism’s a stance, not an invitation for those acting criminally.
Good Samaritans don’t just mop up, but put their life on the
For there’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another, unselfishly.
Or to run to the defence of another at risk to yourself (yet feeling fear),
The acts, behaviour and traits of those who value life, who truly love and care.
No, pacifism doesn’t equal passiveness, nor weakness, but
The courage of one’s convictions, courage under fire, strength to act differently,
For pacifists have their opponents, but none as visionary, solid morally,
As only pacifism can seek world peace transparently and honourably.
Frankly, I don’t believe the day will come when this world (as
we know it) will be at peace,
But one should still work towards that goal, simply because war and violence should cease.
And meantime, a nation without a defence force is vulnerable, easy prey,
For earth isn’t Heaven, nor all its inhabitants saints, and evil has its way.
Only God’s kingdom will put an end to
violence and war, not the plans of men,
Thus, the reality is, that pacifism won’t truly succeed until then.
And meantime, there’ll no doubt be soldiers supplied by the State, which is there to protect,
For in such affairs, the Church is only to enlighten, witness, never to direct.
The makeup of God’s kingdom won’t be a mixed multitude, a
But rather, a Holy people under His lordship, free of earthly politics.
A kingdom where the converted work together for the good of all, and God’s glory,
A kingdom completely free of weapons — their protector, the Lord God Almighty.
And that is the day I’m looking forward to, whilst working
with others towards world peace,
Knowing that only with our Lord’s return, will wars and rumors of wars truly cease.
And then forever to remain in the safety of His arms, no longer plagued by war,
Enjoying a pacifist’s paradise with other pacifists, God as guarantor.
But until that time, each Christian having seriously studied,
Must choose the path that their conscience tells them is right, having questioned, researched,
And should bear in mind that a response of the moment differs from the premeditated,
And that there are some things from which the Christian should always remain separated.
Plus, one who doesn’t eat meat — surely would — if meat was
the only food available,
That is, in order to live, and surely that’s so with defence, attackers we repel.
But the bearing of arms in order to kill, is quite another category,
And midst a mixed multitude, (not a God ordained theocracy), surely folly.
Me? No, I wouldn’t choose to bear arms, for such hardly gels
Nor with the non-violent life of Christ, whose example preceded Calvary.
And how could I love my enemies, and yet line them up in the sights of a gun,
Repaying evil with bullets, then asking forgiveness in the name of the Son?
Who told Peter to put his sword away, restored the Roman
soldier’s severed ear,
Who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” called out, “Forgive them, Father,” for all to hear?
Who wants our hearts to be as tender as His, and desires our sanctification,
Who offers the ‘undeserving’ grace, and who’s the God of reconciliation?
No, I wouldn’t choose to bear arms, nor to fire a Judas
Knowing Christ died for all humanity, knowing they’ve loved ones at home, family.
Knowing they’re just following orders, and possibly doing so ignorantly,
Given the propaganda so often a part of such crimes against humanity.
No, I must tread my own path, do what
God’s telling me, midst walking biblically,
Hence why I wouldn’t choose to bear arms, but believe in pacifism, wholeheartedly.
Plus, in the world but not of it — as what’s right to them isn’t always right for me,
For I’m a child of a heavenly King, who’ll soon bring an end to weaponry.
So often Christians are caught in the crossfire, or two worlds
But given the mixed multitude on earth, there’ll always be division, some divide.
For were it to be otherwise, there would have to be an awful lot of compromise,
Something that I have never known the God of the Christian Bible to authorize.
Yes, their ways, our ways — no, God’s ways — lines He has
drawn in the sand, lines we
For should we be so foolish, ungrateful, we could discover an eternal loss.
Better to be misunderstood, a fool in the eyes of man, out of step, peculiar,
And a more faithful and true reflection of the wonderful Bright and Morning Star.
Come, Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, that war and violence may cease!
By Lance Landall
“...do violence to no man…” (Luke 3:14, KJV).
“...and His [Christ’s] soul [nature] hates the lover of violence” (Ps 11:5).
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is
not of this world…’ ” (John 18:36, KJV).
You may also wish to read my article "The Pacifist, Pacifism, Violence and War."
Weaponry Isn't For Us
I’ve not read of the apostles defending themselves via
weaponry, just Peter acting impulsively,
Whom Christ condemned, by the way, never resorting to weaponry Himself, in keeping with His ways, you see.
And don’t forget Paul, (once called Saul), who turned from his militant persecuting past, and thus violence shed,
Following in the footsteps of his Master, whose love for His enemies was so great that for them He bled.
And you know, I’ve not read of the early Christians resorting to weaponry either, they abstaining too,
Well, at least until Constantine united Church and State, from which a Christian militancy sadly grew.
Yes, Christians taking up arms, such completely contrary to Scripture, which nowhere sanctions such behaviour,
For such ended with ancient Israel, we now midst a mixed multitude, called to emulate our Saviour.
No, we can hardly look to that ancient theocracy for warring excuses, and nor for weaponry,
They so oft a rebellious, rioting bunch, both before and after the cross, and prone to apostasy.
No, we’ve been shown a better way, aren’t to mess with either politics or war-cum-arm ourselves with weaponry,
For we’re to free ourselves from all forms of violence, our trust in God, not self nor man, our acts heavenly.
So let’s not fool ourselves, twisting the Word of God to suit, for it’s not for Christians to bear arms — weaponry —
But rather, to look to God, loving our enemies, and accepting His will, (whatever His will may be).
And don’t forget how the Israelites sometimes went to war against God’s will, and thus duly suffered defeat,
Us thereby learning that we shouldn’t go contrary to what God has shown us, lest we too, disaster meet.
By Lance Landall
The following comments are worth noting:
"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity, and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."
Jonathan R. Wilson
The following is from the book "Gunning For God" by John C. Lennox.
"Christendom is not the same as Christianity, as the Danish theologian and philosopher Kierkegaard pointed out. Christendom's violence was not Christian, for the simple reason that it was diametrically opposed to what Christ himself taught. People who engage in violent and cruel activities at any time, in Northern Ireland or the Balkans or anywhere else, while invoking the name of God, are certainly not obeying Christ when they do so, whatever they may say to the contrary. After all, the name "Christian" means a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. Following Christ means obeying his commandments. And one of those commands was the explicit prohibition of the use of force to defend Christ or his message. That command has been very well known since it was issued at a point of high tension in the Gospel narrative, the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus taught his followers not to hate their enemies but to love them; and he acted accordingly when the armed crowd came with Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him. In that historic encounter he specifically forbade his disciples to use violence. Jesus rebuked one of his disciples, Peter, who, untrained in swordsmanship, swung wildly with his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. "Put your sword back into its place," Jesus said, "for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt 26:52, ESV). He could not have made it more plain. To take the sword, gun, or bomb in Christ's name is to repudiate both Christ and his message. He will have none of it. Gunning for God, in the sense of taking a weapon into one's hands on God's behalf, is a contradiction of and an affront to the Christian message."
The Christian And War
It’s that clear cut — yes, there’s no "if" or "but."
So, don’t turn to the Old Testament and point to the Jews, and mistakenly their example use, (another word for choose), for what God oversaw and directed then, was far from the path that He desired for men, and hence His more enlightening revelation, midst His divorcing that rebellious nation, who, despite being so privileged, honoured and blest, oft behaved as barbaric and paganistic as the rest.
Besides, that ancient nation was once a theocracy — that is, (as previously referred to), God ruled it directly — unlike any nation that exists today, where pagans and Christians live together, oft like birds of a feather, and just as much God dismay, given that their ways are far from His ways, and that often in His name, or the name that some in that multitude claim, have blindly persecuted and warred, be that via torture, guillotine, gun, fist or sword, thereby making a mockery of their profession and Lord — Christians, that is.
No, God’s not found where Christian soldiers slay an innocent child, husband or wife, nor where a Christian takes another Christian’s life, for within many a country, other Christians reside, and consequently, in war are found on either side, only to die like a dog at their brother or sisters hand, their whereabouts cunningly stalked, their bloody end callously planned — yes, by deliberate killers, strafeters, slashers, burners, shellers — so unlike their Christ, who willingly gave His life on Calvary, and whose life and ways are completely at odds with such villainy.
But not so the life of that opportunist and dubious Christian Constantine, whose anti-pacifist stance, and Church and State fusion, forever changed the scene, for war and force were part and parcel of his rule, and how Christians thus became soldiers, (a Roman tool), for Constantine wouldn’t let it be otherwise, despite being the author of convenience and compromise, and whose wrongful political-religious fusion, led to nothing but heresy, Christian worldliness, and confusion, a legacy that still plagues the Church today, given that very few Christians remain faithful and true, and under fire, only Christ obey.
No, God’s not found where Christian soldiers harm the very Earth that He created,
Where land that is sorely needed for survival is thereby contaminated,
Where the destruction of one’s fellowman is callously celebrated,
Where those with more notches on their bullet studded belt are elevated,
Where bodies are mutilated and once perfect limbs thereby amputated,
Where someone’s wife or mother is beaten and sexually violated,
Where the lives and dreams of others are cruelly shattered, battered and frustrated,
Where rhetoric is hate filled, propaganda rife, and things exaggerated,
Where the art of killing is honed and weaponry made more sophisticated,
Where certain spoils of war are evilly sought and greedily accumulated,
Where those who were fired upon have unnecessarily retaliated,
Where all attempts to halt an escalation were not initiated,
— no, God’s certainly not found there, nor anywhere near, and is it any wonder, given that He’s the God of truth and love, (keeping a record of such atrocities, above), and who clearly stated: “Thou shalt not kill,” “Do violence to no man,” “Turn the other cheek,” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” hence why only another’s best interests we should seek, which, by the way, is the hallmark of the strong, (not the weak) — yes, the hallmark of a peace loving Saviour, who wants us to emulate His behaviour, for it’s only those who do who receive eternity, as one would rightly expect, quite honestly.
Thus, it surely goes without saying, (when all the pros and cons we’re weighing), that when Christian conscientious objectors refrain from bearing arms, and yet, join the war machine, such also the Christian cause harms, and has them bowing to Constantine, (not God), for though not the users of weaponry, they’re still complicit in that war machinery — yes, somewhat like a drummer, whose beat is designed to stir and spur, for indirectly they play a part, despite a more sensitive heart, and thus God’s wrath also incur, for who patches and feeds those soldiers who then return to kill? — thus effectively sharing in the ill, and hence why it’s only pacifism that the voice of guilt can still, and truly witness, thus carrying out the Saviour’s will.
Yes, what saviour would say it’s okay to kill?
By Lance Landall
"You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you hate."