Thoughts on war

Daily Reading for September 4 • Paul Jones, Bishop and Peace Advocate, 1941

After thus studying again [Jesus’] life and teaching, I find it quite impossible to believe that people can be true to the things which He taught and the example which He gave and at the same time take part in war; for war is the organized destruction of our enemies and it is always accompanied by hatred and bitterness, thus necessitating an attitude of mind and course of conduct the opposite of that enjoined by Christ. . . .

It is unthinkable that [Saints Paul, James, Peter, or John] would have taken any part in a war or in preparation for one. And I need only to refer to the example of the Christians of the early centuries who preferred to die rather than go into the army and cause someone else’s death, to show that they all interpreted our Lord’s teaching in the same way. . . . ”

The day will come when, like slavery which was once held in good repute, war will be looked upon as thoroughly un-Christian. At present it is recognized as an evil which nobody honestly wants, but not yet has it received its final sentence at the bar of Christian morality. Only when Christian men and women and churches will be brave enough to stand openly for the full truth that their consciences are beginning to recognize, will the terrible anachronism of war . . . be done away.

From a pamphlet written by Bishop Paul Jones in the Diocese of Utah, quoted in Bishop Paul Jones: Witness for Peace by John Howard Melish (Forward Movement Publications, 1992).

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