Following the Prince of Peace in Virginia Mennonite Conference
We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance even in the face of violence and warfare.
Although God created a peaceable world, humanity chose the way of unrighteousness and violence. The spirit of revenge increased, and violence multiplied, yet the original vision of peace and justice did not die. Prophets and other messengers of God continued to point the people of Israel toward trust in God rather that in weapons and military force.
The peace God intends for humanity and creation was revealed most fully in Jesus Christ. A joyous song of peace announced Jesus’ birth. Jesus taught love of enemies, forgave wrongdoers, and called for right relationships. When threatened, he chose not to resist, but gave his life freely. By his death and resurrection, he has removed the dominion of death and given us peace with God. Thus he has reconciled us to God and has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation.
As followers of Jesus, we participate in his ministry of peace and justice. He has called us to find our blessing in making peace and seeking justice. We do so in a spirit of gentleness, willing to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. As disciples of Christ, we do not prepare for war, or participate in war or military service. The same Spirit that empowered Jesus also empowers us to love enemies, to forgive rather than to seek revenge, to practice right relationships, to rely on the community of faith to settle disputes, and to resist evil without violence.
Led by the Spirit, and beginning in the church, we witness to all people that violence is not the will of God. We witness against all forms of violence, including war among nations, hostility among races and classes, abuse of children and women, violence between men and women, abortion, and capital punishment.
We give our ultimate loyalty to the God of grace and peace, who guides the church daily in overcoming evil with good, who empowers us to do justice, and who sustains us in the glorious hope of the peaceable reign of God.
-Article 22 of the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective
Visit our friends at:
Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Central Committee Peace Office
Thirdway Café (MennoMedia) answers questions about peace
Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives is an hour-long documentary produced by MennoMedia about overcoming mistrust, hatred, and violence.
Resources on Christian nonresistance and pacifism from Anabaptist-Mennonite sources (Bluffton University)