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LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism.

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Presentation on theme: "LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism."— Presentation transcript:

1 LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

2 Pacifism is the belief that violence and war is always wrong. Pacifists believe international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved. Many pacifists oppose the use of violence, or even force, in any circumstance. Pacifists will often work to improve society and remove the causes of war – e.g. injustice, exploitation, the repression of minorities. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

3 Jesus did not use force even to defend himself. Early Christians refused to fight in the Roman Army. They modelled themselves on Jesus, who didn’t resist capture, suffering torture and death and forgiving those who executed him. They believed Jesus was a pacifist based on his teachings about loving your neighbour as yourself and turning the other cheek. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

4 Find these passages in the Bible and copy them into your book Matthew 5:39 Matthew Matthew 5:9 Matthew 26:52 LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

5 Love your enemies. Pray for those people who do bad things to you! Would Jesus have approved of violence, war and killing? If someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn and let him hit the other cheek too People who work to bring peace are blessed. God will call those people his sons Those who live by the sword, die by the sword! LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

6 Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing!... On the cross Jesus forgave those that crucified him. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

7 A conscientious objector is a person WHO refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience. During the Vietnam War the United States had to introduce conscription. Between 1963 and 1973 over 9,000 men were prosecuted for refusing to be drafted into the US Army. Muhammad Ali was a conscientious objector and refused to go to war in Vietnam. He was banned from boxing. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

8 Some Christians, such as Quakers are totally opposed to fighting and during warfare they are conscientious objectors. They are prepared to go into battle driving ambulances or doing other duties but they will not fight. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

9 After Jesus, violence was believed to be wrong as it went against Jesus’ teachings. BUT this did not last! Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire in 313 AD BY 410 AD Rome was losing its grip on her empire. WHY? Christians were reluctant to fight! Resulted in Augustine / Aquinas’ conditions of JUST WAR Augustine came up with a solution: if God commanded war – it was OK! Since the Roman emperor was appointed by God, it was right to go to war in the interests of the state. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

10 Six conditions of a JUST WAR? Only reasonable force should be used and civilians should not be the targets There must be a good reason for the war. The war must be to fight evil and bring good There must be a chance to win the war. The government must agree. The war should be the last resort – talking has failed LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

11 Martin Luther King was a Christian and a great believer in pacifism. His pacifism did not mean do nothing against suffering, but direct non-violent action against injustice. They chose to protest without using violence. He succeeded in his aims. Black Americans are now treated as equal citizens. LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

12 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Christian who realised Hitler was evil and must be stopped. Problem? Bonhoeffer was a pacifist and did not believe in using violence. He asked: how can a Christian, essentially a pacifist, justify murder? Christians are, therefore, faced with a dilemma: when assaulted by evil, they must oppose it through direct action. They have no other option. Any failure to act is simply to condone evil. Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis in LI – To understand the Christian view of pacifism

13 Is it reasonable to be a pacifist now in the 21 st century?

14 Describe Christian beliefs about Peace, war and pacifism Explain how believers may contribute to peace in the world today. Answer: ‘People of all faiths should be pacifists.’ Do you agree? Give reasons to support your opinion and show that you have thought about different points


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