Military Service and War
"Thou shalt not kill [do no murder]," Exodus 20:13.

Statement from the Church of God "Fundamentals of Belief" relative to Military Service:
"15. We believe that Christian disciples of Christ are forbidden by Him and the commandments of God to kill, or in any manner directly or indirectly to take human life; by whatsoever means; we believe that bearing arms is directly contrary to this fundamental doctrine of our belief; we therefore conscientiously refuse to bear arms or to come under the military authority."

Should a Christian Fight? By L. Leroy Neff.  PDF VersionHTML version.

The Principle of Nonresistance, by John Horsch.

And Follow Their Faith! Inspiring testimony of German Sabbath-keepers who refused to fight and break the Sabbath during World Wars I and II.

The Sabbath and Military Service, by Richard C. Nickels.

Patriotism or Prilgrimage? by Les Rinehart.

Faith and Military Service, by Ed Burson.

Statement on Military Service and War by the United Church of God

 

True Christians are Anti-War

 

A fundamental, foundational tenet of our belief is opposition to carnal warfare. Of the ancient Waldenses, it is reported, "Their opposition to bearing arms, and to war in all its operations, was unanimous and unequivocal. Whoever commanded them to the field they refused to obey, alleging that they could not conscientiously comply. No contingencies would induce them to assume the weapons of death; and this peculiarity was well understood by all the world, and made the onsets of the inquisitors and crusaders upon these weaponless Christians the more cruel and contemptible," A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches, by Tamar Davis, 1851, p. 78.

"The German Seventh Day Baptist Cloister at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, established before the Revolutionary War, found itself in the midst of the battle even though they refused, along with John Horn, to bear arms. Horn was an SDB minister who wished to be freed from his obligation to fight in the war. Benjamin Franklin presided over the council that decided Horn's fate. The council concluded: 'It is the opinion of the Council that John Horn be exempt by law from military service, and that he be released from that which has been imposed upon him'," (Bonnie Severance, "Are the Best Things in Life Really Free?" in the March, 2005, issue of The Sabbath Recorder, pages 4-5).

 

Conscientious Objection and Military Service

 

The United States Military Selective Service Act provides that no person shall be subject to combatant training and service in the armed forces who "by reason of religious training and belief is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form" (50 U.S.C. App. S 456(j)).  There is no draft at present; however, if a war were declared today, the draft could begin immediately.  By law, all males must register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.  Pursuant to the Biblical instruction given in Romans 13:1-2, we recommend that all young men register, and at the same time, express their conscientious objection to military service.  If you have failed to register within the required 30 days, we recommend that you now register as soon as possible if you are between the age of 18 and 26. The longer you delay, the greater the potential penalty if the draft were re-instituted.