A test of faith During the First World War, a conscientious objector in Britain could go before a panel. If they proved their case they would be given non-combat duties, but if they did not prove their case, and still refused to fight, they could be sent to prison. Some men found it very difficult as they were often kept in solitary confinement (to protect them from other prisoners who saw them as cowards, as well as for punishment). Others found that their faith supported them through the difficult times.
One man’s story – Fenner Brockway “I am thoroughly well and happy. I do not seem to be in prison. You know how contentedly I entered; that feeling has remained all through. I am calmer in spirit than I have been for a long time…My cell has seemed a quiet retreat and within it I have rediscovered the power of prayer.” Why you think that Fenner Brockway was able to cope so well with his imprisonment.
A history of Christian attitudes to war and pacifism
The Old Testament In the OT, God is seen as the one who brings judgement. This can be in various forms. God often used the Israelites to bring judgement on the evil of surrounding nations when at war. Likewise, when Israel disobeyed God, the surrounding nations were empowered to conquer Israel Judgement came to a person in his or her own lifetime
New Testament In the NT, there is a new agreement. The Old agreement (covenant) with God no longer applies. Jesus is the sacrificial lamb The words of Jesus are of primary importance to the Christian, not just the OT. Jesus ‘fulfils’ the Old Testament Judgement is now for the afterlife
Contradiction? Progressive Revelation Christianity developed from Judaism Many Old Testament practices are intentionally superseded in the New Testament. Jesus the Saviour can only be understood in light of the Old Testament The New Testament is a new agreement between God and man In the Old Testament, God's promises revolved around Israel occupying the land of Palestine. So war was an unfortunate necessity – this is not an issue in the New Testament
Jesus Cleanses the Temple John 2:13-16 “When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, "Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a den of thieves!" That's when his disciples remembered the Scripture, "Zeal for your house consumes me."
New Testament: A Violent Jesus? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k EtBs6j7QgU
Jesus Cleanses the Temple John 2:13-16 Is this an example of a violent and reckless Jesus? Could this passage be used to justify violence?? Is Jesus failing to fulfil his own example?
Purple Book, p85 Discuss the Bible verses that you see Complete Qs 1+3