Menu

This site is designed to investigate the historic, Christian practice of loving one’s enemies. All are invited to participate and work with us to discover truth with regard to this vital subject. Please read our purpose statement. Note: this site is not associated with any ministry, denomination, or college though we have sought to pull together the very best of what is available from the early Christian writings, historic Anabaptism, as well as many other authors from the last couple of centuries (i.e. Leo Tolstoy).

Scriptures:

Each post includes one text which bears on the subject. The Scripture reference is the title. The post begins with quoting the verses in the title. Next the poster writes a commentary to flesh out the implications that this text brings to our study on loving our enemies.

Early Christian Writings:

Each post includes quotations from the Ante-Nicene Fathers. The reference will be the title. Each post includes quotation and dates from each author.

Difficult Questions:

The question posed will be the title of each post. The issues in this category include various applications of the Scriptural and historical research. Questions could include “Should Christians be in the military?” “Is self-defense ever justified?” “Does pacifism imply non-participation in all government institutions?” and so on.

Counter Arguments:

The post title will be a short phrase identifying the argument against pacifism (eg. Just War Theory). It is important that the poster does not mis-represent the view they intend to defeat. Straw-man arguments don’t help anyone. Please summarize the argument against pacifism and then analyze it and respond.

Audios and Videos:

Free mp3s of people talking about pacifism and issues related to it. If you have a good lecture or sermon on pacifism please drop a link to it under Feedback.

Anabaptist Literature:

The post title contains the name of the person who is being considered. The body of the post will be filled with a quotation from a member of the radical reformation followed by commentary.

Heroes of Non-Resistance:

Each post will be titled by the person’s name. Next any relevant quotations from historical sources will be made. Last, the poster provides how this person demonstrates the doctrine of non-resistance. It is likely that many of the historical people in this category will be martyrs but this is not necessary to qualify.

Quotes:

The title will be a short phrase expressing the major point of the quotation. Please cite the source and make available any web links that may apply.

Articles on Pacifism:

Here is where one can find a variety of articles that address various issues related to Jesus’ radical command to love one’s enemies that do not fit into the categories listed above.

Online Books:

Books here can be read online and are free from copyright restrictions. Examples include, The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy, War Inconsistent with the Religion of Jesus Christ by David Low Dodge, and The Early Christian Attitude to War by C. J. Cadoux. If you know of an e-book that we should add, please let us know by going to our feedback section.

Books:

A listing of recommended books on this important subject. While there may not be agreement on every point raised by each author, these books capture much of the heart of Jesus’ command to love ones enemies. Short description and online ordering information included.

Responses

  1. nice menu

  2. Thank you for addressing this very important issue. It is a topic that should be of great interest and concern for anyone desiring to observe and obey the teaching of the Lord Jesus Messiah.

    If I may, I would like to recommend two books that I have found valuable on this subject for your consideration.

    1. Militia Christi: The Christian Religion and the Military in the First Three Centuries by Adolf Harnack.

    2. Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace: A Historical Survey and Critical Re-evaluation by Roland H. Bainton.

  3. I am looking for short stories (true ones), real illustrations of people who have followed Jesus’ teaching to love enemies. Current stories would be best, but historical ones would be okay.
    Can you help me?

    • I have one and miraculously we are partner in business now…

    • I have one…
      Through God’s amazing agape love, I was able to forgive the woman my husband had an affair with.
      The things that happened between them, somehow triggered every pain from my childhood and past, past of sexual abuse, of dysfunction, I don’t really understand, all I know is it triggered those deeply hidden and painful things…and it was so difficult, I was suicidal, no not everyone who encounters this situation is, but for whatever reason, I was.

      I was absolutely miserable for the entire time I fed the hatred toward her, what she did, what my husband did, was with me when I woke up, and with me when I went to bed, and every single moment in between, and this is the way it was for almost a whole 2 years…I, being a Christian, knew that forgiveness was the only option for me, whether or not she was sorry, I had to forgive in order to move on, or in order to continue in my marriage.

      Well for those 2 years, I prayed for her salvation, thought positive thoughts, would say things out loud like; “I forgive.._____”…did all I could do by my own will power to muster up forgiveness within myself, to no avail…that’s when I got desperate, nothing was working, finally I put up my hands in surrender to God, and said ‘Ok, what do I have to do to be able to forgive her because I can’t do it in my own strength, I’ve exhausted myself trying to forgive her.’

      And God led me to these 3 verses; Colossians 1:8, Romans 5:5 and Romans 15:30, God showed me that HE would put HIS unconditional love inside my heart FOR her, because human love can only go so far…

      So of course I began praying these verses into my heart day and night, the feelings toward this woman began to change, I began to wish well for her and her life, I no longer minded that she was still on this earth lol..and finally one day, I felt God say that I needed to go and tell her that I forgive her, of course, my thoughts were ‘NO WAY!’ and ‘God, you know all things, don’t you realize what she did to me, what they both did to me, what she did to my kids, to my marriage, to my family? She should be the one apologizing to me, why do I need to go and tell her I forgive her?’
      But like I said, I was desperate to get this thing out of my life, this misery, this bitterness, this obsession with her justice, or with ‘karma’…I already let unforgiveness and all that comes with that, take over my life and steal my life for the past 2 years and agreed to do whatever God told me to do..
      which was get her a gift, something that has been the greatest blessing in my life, that was His Word, my bible, so I bought one (with my savings for my home lol) and went to a gathering I knew she MIGHT be at..
      And she was there, she shouldn’t have been there because she at the time was going to school out of state, but there she was, I felt it HAD to be God..
      BUT just to be sure it WAS God’s will, because it sounded ABSURD that God would have asked me to do such a thing, after all, what wife in thier right mind, and in my situation, would walk up to the woman their husband had an affair with, and say “I forgive you”..
      So I prayed that morning ‘God if this is your will, then please somehow let someone tell me to walk up to the one that has brought all this pain into my life, and forgive em, someone who doesn’t know my situation.’
      And that morning I went to a church gathering, a service, where a pastor preached this EXACT thing, he was talking of going to your offender, and forgiving them, that it would lead to freedom, gave scriptures found in Malachi 4:2, Matthew 18:21-35, and I think Romans 12:14-21.
      Well shortly after this,like literally a couple hours later, God gave an opportunity, I was able BY HIS strength alone, do the uncomfortable crazy thing of walking up to this woman and tell her that I forgive her, she ended up apologizing and accepted the gift I gave her.
      I basically told her what the bible tells us, that none of us deserve God’s forgiveness, but He gives it anyway, that we don’t have to hide in shame or carry the weight of our past sins on our shoulders for the rest of our lives, that once it’s forgiven, we can move on.
      God helps us do the IMPOSSIBLE, and I am free :)

      • Cass,

        Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story of radical love and forgiveness. You are a testimony to Jesus’ wisdom.

  4. We don’t have a section for this on our website. I seem to remember David Bercot’s book mentioning a few such stories. If you track any down, let us know and we’ll post them under the Heroes of Non-Resistance section.

  5. Sean,

    Is there any way that we can start a new thread in the “Scriptures” section? If not, can you start a thread quoting John 8:1-11? I’d like to start a discussion on this passage. Thanks.

  6. Matthew,

    The story of the adulterous woman is a later addition which was not in any of the original manuscripts. It is a good story and may even be historically accurate but we have no way of telling.

  7. Sean,
    But its in the King James Version!!!

  8. Sadly, it’s in every version although all of the translators know it was not in the earliest copies.

    We can certainly discuss it if you want, but I’m not sure what it has to do with loving your enemies.

  9. I am the publishing manager for a new small Anabaptist publisher. We have just released our first two books.

    The theme of our publishing is “Overcoming Evil with Good.”

    Overcoming Evil God’s Way by Stephen Russell gives many every day examples of people who loved their enemies both in the past and in the present.

    http://christianlearning.org/OvercomingEvilGodsWay.html

    http://christianlearning.org/AnnieFunkLivedtoServeDaredtoSacrifice.html

  10. Sean:

    Please contact me about how we can promote these books. Thanks, Ernest

  11. Ernest,

    I’d love to have your books in our Books section. I’ll email you to follow up on this.

    grace & peace

  12. Thought you might be interested in the book I just published on loving your enemies and overcoming evil with good. It is called “Life in Death: A Journey From Terrorism To Triumph” and it is about the death of my brother on the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 and how I am overcoming evil by serving the people of the country responsible.

    • Hi Lisa, my purpose for contact is concerning the Scripture reference to Love Your Enemies-I am at present doing a study on that subject-as I received an email with this very same study-so then I went to Google, and this is how I came across your contact. I would be interested in any material you may care to pass onto to both Barbara-my wife) and myself. Sincerely Tom and Barbara-from Queensland Australia

  13. Greetings to one and all,

    To Nancy,
    You were “looking for short stories (true ones), real illustrations of people who have followed Jesus’ teaching to love enemies”

    I have just finished my blog on Love your enemies, a personal journey on loving my enemies at http://www.whatseestthou.blogspot.com/

    but in order to get a bigger picture to what i was talking about, please also read my family’s testimonial at http://www.crossofjesuschrist.com

    We went through most of our lives trying our best not to “hate our enemies” and that is already hard enough but when it comes to loving your enemies, it is a gift from God our dear Lord Jesus Christ.
    Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find.

    God speed,
    Genesis

  14. Since this blog is about nonviolence and pacifism in the name of Jesus, I came to a rather frightening quandary for mainline Christian denominations. I was reading a terrific book that came out a few years ago by Thomas Merton, who was a Catholic monk in Kentucky, and had several best-sellers in the 1950’s. In the early 1960’s he wrote a book about the Cold War, which was at a fever pitch with fallout shelters and such, but his Abbot in France told him not to further it or publish it and quit writing about the topic. –Well. it was published in 2004 called “Peace In the Post-Christian Era.” It is an excellent, excellent theology of the problems of that early nuclear age, and nearly everything he writes is relevant today.

    In it, he pointed out the irony that the nuclear nations at that time were nations make up mostly of Christians who were developing a policy of deterrence. What a shame it would be if they were the ones who destroyed the earth.

    So it led me to this question, quandary—Since it is largely the Christian nations with the weapons of mass destruction, and if humans destroy the earth with their weapons, did Jesus’ cross really redeem the world? (Catholics use this response in their Stations of the Cross liturgy, and I think several other denominations also use the saying and profess it in their faith or creed.)

    Perhaps that is one for very high Church leadership, since they seem to be stuck on the thought that Augustine’s Just War is still possible.

  15. Ive tried emailing you at the address left on scroll publishing to no avail, the email returns undelivered, is there another address?

  16. I have recently become an advocate of Christian non-resistance and I am glad to have finally found a website that supports and discusses the truths of Jesus’s words on non-resistance. One website that I visit that contains many resources on non-resistance literature is nonresistance.org, just sharing some extra resources for anyone who’s interested.

  17. I apologize, I just noticed that you already have that resource listed on your web-page, but I do highly recommend a reading on the website about a group called the Moravian’s who were christian pacifists. The book is called
    Behold the Lamb: The Story of the Moravian Church
    It is a very emotionally provocative and spiritually inspiring read.

  18. Greetings would love to hear from you-sincerely Tom Varney Queensland Australia

  19. Another resource that may be of interest is Christian Pacifism: Fruit of the Narrow Way, now in ebook format for Nook, Kindle, or PC.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 225 other followers

%d bloggers like this: