Ain't Gonna Study War No More

War continues to destroy so many innocent lives across the country. The civil war on Syria continues to wreak havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilian men, women, and children.  With the rise of the rhetoric around the war of terrorism in light of recent events, I find it important to impart wisdom from the Bible in these troubling times.  War has never been the solution illustrated in the scriptures.

Especially if we look at the text from Isaiah 2:4:

4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

Church Women United has long stood against the echoes of war, even in our own founding. As our founding history, we gathered in December of 1941, in the middle of World War II. Our first actions was to circulate a petition signed by 84,000 church women “urging the United States at the signing of the United Nations Charter, to join and take its full responsibility in a world organization.”

In 1944, we established our own Statement on the Principles of Peace, that would direct our anti-war and prayerful peaceful actions from then on.

VOTED TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

  1. We recognize the “Six Pillars of Peace” as formulated by the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in American and “The Pattern for Peace” issued by Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders, as furnishing the cornerstones upon which world order must be built if peace is to be just and durable.

  2. We approve the resolution through which the Congress of the U.S. is on record as favoring the participation by the U.S. in the establishment of an international organization with authority to prevent aggression and open to all peace-loving nations.

  3. We favor the setting up at the earliest possible moment a United Nations Council to begin to plan for the general international organization.

  4. We believe that the United Nations must bring relief and rehabilitation to the peoples in war-torn lands until they are able to help themselves, and that the U.S. should accept its full share in this work both financially and through active service. We believe that the American people should willingly any sacrifice of food and money needed for this work.

  5. We favor international agreements by which all nations, large or small, may have access on equal terms to the trade and raw materials of the world, and we approve the Reciprocal Trade Agreements as steps toward the end.

  6. We favor the promotion through international organization of cooperation among the nations to improve labor standards, economic advancement, social security, and essential human rights.

  7. We believe that all peoples should have the opportunity to develop political freedom and that it is the duty of the stronger nations and of the international organization to hasten this development so that at the earliest possible moment this end may be obtained by all subjects peoples.

  8. We favor the reduction and control of armaments through international agreement.

  9. We believe that the church has a special responsibility to minister to war-torn lands through church agencies, and we favor, therefore, support of those agencies which have been set up to rebuild churches and religious institutions which have been ravaged by war.

  10. We believe in the ecumenical movement as the only truly world society at the present time, and we believe that the missionary program of the churches must be strengthened both at home and abroad, and that the promotion of this program should form a part of the task of the Committee on International Justice and Goodwill.

From there, we went on to make statements on military spending, create peace studies, have commissions to congress, and made several peace advisory groups and peace keeping and peacemaking statements. We wrote letters to Japanese Church Women who experienced Hydrogen Bomb testing in 1954, and we have spoken out about nuclear weapons from 1963.

We continue to be called to speak of peace, and to be a prayerful people just as Jesus taught us.  May we continue to spread a message of peace, as we pray for all of those around the world who continued to be affected by terrorism, military force, and war.

Church Women United