A few weeks ago, I read a Mennonite pamphlet that gives these philosophical/doctrinal details as the 4th item in a list entitled “Summary of Fundamental Bible Doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite”:
4. Peace and Nonresistance
The Kingdom of Christ is peaceable and Nonresistant and must remain separate from the kingdoms of this world:
- Church and state must be separate (John 18:36)
- The church is called to maintain the gospel standard of Christ’s kingdom for the regenerated children of God (Matthew 5:38-44, Romans 12:17-21).
- The state represents God’s providential arm of justice within society, but it is not the responsibility of Christians to become involved in the enforcing of justice (Romans 13:1-7).
- A Christian may not hold civil office, vote in civil elections, or sit on civil juries (John 18:36).
- Biblical Nonresistance is based on divine love for all mankind and requires that the Christian may not :
- Quarrel with his fellow men
- Use the law in retaliation or take part in lawsuits
- Return evil for evil
- Take part in the armed forces or war in any form
- Serve in civil law enforcement (Matthew 5:38-44; Romans 12:17-21; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
- It is the Christian’s duty to pay his taxes (Romans 13:6-7), pray for the civil rulers (1 Timothy 2:1-4), and be subject to the state as long as it does not conflict with his Christian calling (Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7).
I find that the above principles and recommendations are in incontrovertibly in alignment with Jesus’ teaching and with the earliest Christian teaching and practice. I do not necessarily think that all the above textual references are equally valid, but they are at least worthy of study and consideration.
B. Casey, 9/17/16
For a few anecdotes from my recent visit to a conservative Mennonite church, please see this post on my other blog.