Jim Foxvog from Plow Creek Mennonite Church in Bureau County, Illinois, has a great page set up on the biblical basis for Christian pacifism. This is an excellent source of scripture quotes for forming one’s conscience on the issue of pacifism and faith.
Plow Creek Mennonite (mission statement: “A global village practicing the peace of Jesus”) is a great Christian community providing a powerful spiritual witness in middle America. Stop by and visit if you are ever in rural Tiskilwa, Illinois.
“What would Jesus do? [WWJD] ” Christians rightly ask. Jesus was perfectly capable of self defense. He chose not to defend himself, to let his enemies kill him and even asked that his murderers be forgiven. We are to follow in his ways. There’s a great bumper sticker: “Whom would Jesus bomb?” [WWJB] We are specifically called to follow Jesus example of suffering love and non-retaliation (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus died for the life his enemies (Rom 5:8,10). Jesus gave this as the specific reason to love our enemies, “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:45 ) — to be like him! Jesus was questioned about the death penalty. God specifically commanded it in the Old Testament. Jesus did not say it was undeserved. His answer: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” (John 8.7). Does not the same reasoning apply to a nation seeking to “punish” another “evil nation”?
God will take care of us and is fully capable of handling those who do evil. We should not fear people, even those who could kill us (Matt 10:28). This is the basic truth, not some sweet cliché. We are conquerors in all things by being in Jesus — nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:37-39).
It is a deeply held popular belief that the only way to stop evil is with by violent force. This is the theme of most adventure stories of all genres, of comic books and TV shows and movies. If we trust violence more than we trust God, this is idolatry. God’s truth is that our real enemies are spiritual (Ephesians 6:12) and are to be opposed by spiritual means (2 Cor 10:4). Our culture teaches us to oppose evil with violent force. But God, who created the universe, shows us that the world is not founded on violence, but is built and designed differently. Love is what works because that is how the totality of all that is was designed.–Jim Foxvog (Biblical Pacifism: Christian Pacifism is Scriptural Position)