Free Methodist Church of North America War and Peace
1. We recognize the sovereign authority of government and the duty of all Christians to reverence the power, to obey the law, and to participate righteously in the administration of lawful order in the nation under whose protection they reside (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13.1-7). Members of our church should bear the responsibilities of good citizenship, and they have the right to act in the enforcement of law and the defense of the peace in accord with the conscience of each person.
2. We believe, however, that military aggression is indefensible as an instrument of national policy and strategy (Isaiah 2:3-4). The destruction of life and property, and the deceit and violence necessary to warfare are contrary to the spirit and mind of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 5:44-45). It is, therefore, the duty of all Christians to promote peace and goodwill, to foster the spirit of understanding and mutual trust among all people, and to work with patience for the renunciation of war as a means to the settlement of international disputes (Romans 12:18; 14:19).
3. It is our firm conviction that none of our people should be required to enter military training or to bear arms and that the consciences of our individual members should be respected (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29). Therefore, we claim exemption from all military service for those who register officially with the church as conscientious objectors to war.
(Paragraph A/332, 1995 Book of Discipline for the Free Methodist Church) B. War and Military Enlistment
God has established the state to reward right and punish evil (1 Peter 2:14). Those who serve the state in this way are God’s servants and worthy of honor (Romans 13:1-7).
We regard military aggression, as an instrument of national policy, as indefensible. The destruction of life and the violence necessary to warfare are contrary to the spirit and mind of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6-7; Matthew 5:44-45). It is our duty as Christians to promote peace and goodwill, to foster understanding and trust among all people, and to work for the renunciation of war as a means to settle disputes. It is our firm conviction that the consciences of our members be respected (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29). Therefore, we claim exemption from all military service for those who register officially with the church as conscientious objectors to war.
For further information, contact: Free Methodist Church of North America, Board of Bishops Office, PO Box 535002, Indianapolis IN 46253-5002; FMCBishops@fmcna.org
The United Methodist Church
We deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations. From the beginning, the Christian conscience has struggled with the harsh realities of violence and war, for these evils clearly frustrate God's loving purposes for humankind. We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice. Some of us believe that war, and other acts of violence, are never acceptable to Christians. We also acknowledge that most Christians regretfully realize that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny and genocide. We honor the witness of pacifists who will not allow us to become complacent about war and violence. We also respect those who support the use of force, but only in extreme situations and only when the need is clear beyond reasonable doubt, and through appropriate international organizations. We urge the establishment of the rule of law in international affairs as a means of elimination of war, violence, and coercion in these affairs.
We reject national policies of enforced military service as incompatible with the gospel. We acknowledge the agonizing tension created by the demand for military service by national governments. We urge all young adults to seek the counsel of the Church as they reach a conscientious decision concerning the nature of their responsibility as citizens. Pastors are called upon to be available for counseling with all young adults who face conscription, including those who conscientiously refuse to cooperate with a system of conscription.
We support and extend the ministry of the Church to those persons who conscientiously oppose all war, or any particular war, and who therefore refuse to serve in the armed forces or to cooperate with systems of military conscription. We also support and extend the Church's ministry to those persons who conscientiously choose to serve in the armed forces or to accept alternative service.
(From the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church)
For further information, contact: General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, 100 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002; <gbcs@umc- gbcs.org>;
The Wesleyan Church
The Wesleyan Church teaches respect for properly constituted civil authority and the proper loyalty to one's country. It recognizes the responsibility of the individual to answer
the call of government and to enter into military service. However, there are those within the fellowship of The Wesleyan Church who believe that military service is contrary to the teaching of the New Testament and that their consciences are violated by being compelled to take part in such. The Wesleyan Church will therefore lend moral support to any member who asks and claims exemption by legal processes from military service as a sincere conscientious objector and who asks to serve country as a non-combatant.
(The Wesleyan Church Discipline 410:3)
For further information, contact: General Secretary's Office, The Wesleyan Church, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, IN 46250; < email@example.com ; wesleyan.org