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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in new testament (1)


A Case for Anti-war Pacifism in the Threefold Word Part 1

Does the Bible preach war or pacifism? What about the Writings? What does God want for us when it comes to war and violence? Like many things you can pull examples for both sides, leaving the message sometimes unclear. Ty explores what the threefold Word has to say about war vs. pacifism, and works to untangle what it is that God teaches us is right. -Editor.

The morality surrounding war, both in what justifies it, and what is allowable within the confines of it, has been a controversial issue for thousands of years. In the Christian era, in particular, it has presented a rather difficult problem. On the one hand, it involves the systematic killing of other humans, something which is clearly frowned upon in the Word. On the other hand, isn’t it sometimes necessary to preserve good? Wrestling with these two opposing ideas led to the development of the Just War doctrine, pioneered in the Christian world by Augustine of Hippo. The basic tenet of Just War doctrine, that war is only justifiable as a last resort in self-defense, is one that is given ostensible support in the Writings. However, I want to challenge the Just War Doctrine on two fronts: first, I will emphasize the moral imperative within the threefold Word to engage in pacifism (specifically anti-war pacifism) to achieve desired ends, and for the second part, I will build on that case by piecing together some important, but largely unknown practical considerations regarding the conditions that fulfill the “last resort” principle.

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