Religious Studies: What do Christians Believe About Violence and Pacifism?

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What is a Quaker approach to war?
Quakers have been committed to pacifism from their origins.
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What do Quakers believe?
That Jesus required pacifism.
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What are Quakers? What do they refuse to fight in?
They are conscientious objectors, they refuse to fight in wars.
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Even though Quakers refuse to fight in wars, what might they be willing to do?
To be involved in the medical care needed for those caught up in conflict.
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Why do some Christians believe pacifism is naïve?
Because it seems to assume that human beings can act in a selfless war.
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What do some Christians believe about Christian Pacifism?
That it doesn't think about the sin that pervades all human beings and their politics.
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Why do some Christians believe that pacifist movements are not appropriate for Christians? Give an example.
Because they are too linked to party politics, like the Christian campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
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Give an example from the Bible that shows sometimes violence may be justified.
When Jesus threw the money-lenders out of the Temple in Jerusalem he was acting in a violent manner.
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What would many Christians who extend beliefs about pacifism to all aspects of their life believe about violence?
That it is never justified.
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What is a pacifism?
The belief that peace should be the central value that people pursue, this usually involves the belief that the use of violence to fight in a war or to defend yourself is not right.
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What happened when the Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity?
The Roman Empire began to convince Christians that they had to fight in order to protect there faith.
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What have many campaigned to the Christian church arguing for a just war theory?
For non violent resistance.
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Give an example of The Roman Empire convincing Christians that they had to fight in order to protect there faith.
They put a cross on their shields or have seen that there is a spiritual dimension to fighting by providing priests to support the troops.
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What two types of pacifism have some Christians made a distinction between?
pacifism and what they call Nuclear Pacifism.
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What does a nuclear pacifist believe?
That the use of an atomic weapon can never be justified as the consequences of the use of such a weapon would never be equal to the evil that needed to be defeated. They don't necessarily rule out the use of force in other ways.
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What are the attitudes to violence in the earliest parts of the Bible? Give an example.
They're quite stark. For example, there is a psalm that celebrates the defeat of the Egyptians.
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"The Lord is a warrior; the Lord his name" How is this problematic for many?
Because the idea of God as a warrior - how could he fight on one side or the other?
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What level do some Christians believe violence can be justified? What might they be less willing to do?
At the national level by fighting in a war that they believe is just. They may be less willing to endorse violence in other contexts
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What might a Christian make a distinction between?
Force and Violence
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What is the difference between violence and force? Give an example of a person who might use force.
Violence is destructive whereas force might be trying to restrict a person from behaving violently, such as when a police officer might use force to stop a person from using violence.
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What do some Christians believe that Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount tells them?
That they should avoid personally seeking revenge, such as when Jesus tells his followers to offer the other cheek if they are struck.
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What might some Christians say about Jesus' teaching to offer the other cheek when struck?
These ideas only apply to individual Christians not whole countries.
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What do many Christians emphasis the importance of?
Order in a society being the will of God and that as a consequence, Christians should try to support the governments of the world trying to take order.
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What do many Christians say where governments use violence in such practises as torture?
It should be addressed - as that abuse of another being clear contradicts the idea that all image are made in the image of God
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What do Quakers believe?

Back

That Jesus required pacifism.

Card 3

Front

What are Quakers? What do they refuse to fight in?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Even though Quakers refuse to fight in wars, what might they be willing to do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why do some Christians believe pacifism is naïve?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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