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Why Christianity is Nonviolent

Matthew 10:16

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Pacifism, a belief in harmlessness, nonviolence and the rejection of war and aggression has deep roots within Christianity. Central to the pacifist stance is the understanding that as followers of Christ, we are called to embody love, compassion, and forgiveness. By examining key biblical verses and teachings, we will uncover the principles that guide us toward nonviolence.

Love and Compassion as the Foundation

Jesus Christ's teachings serve as the cornerstone of Christian pacifism. In Matthew 5:39, Jesus says, "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." This verse highlights the transformative power of love and compassion, encouraging believers to respond to hostility with gentleness rather than aggression.

Overcoming Evil with Goodness

Romans 12:21 echoes the pacifist message by proclaiming, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." As Christians, we are called to break the cycle of violence and vengeance by responding to wrongdoing with acts of kindness, forgiveness, and understanding. By doing so, we have the potential to transform conflicts and promote peace.

The Example of Jesus

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus exemplifies the principles of nonviolence. During his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebukes Peter for attempting to defend him with a sword, stating in Matthew 26:52, "Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." Jesus's refusal to resort to violence, even in the face of injustice, serves as a powerful lesson for his followers.

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule, found in Matthew 7:12, states, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." This principle of treating others as we wish to be treated encompasses the essence of pacifism. By avoiding self-defence, we acknowledge the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, refusing to inflict harm upon others regardless of their actions & sins against us.

Trusting in God's Sovereignty

Pacifism requires placing our trust in God's sovereignty and ultimate justice. Romans 12:19 reminds us, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay,' says the Lord." By relinquishing the desire for retribution, we recognize that God is the ultimate judge & justice will be served in accordance with His divine plan.

The Power of Witnessing

By embracing peace, Christians have the opportunity to be powerful witnesses to the world. When we respond to violence or aggression with nonviolence and love, we demonstrate an alternative way of resolving conflicts. Our commitment to peace can inspire others to reconsider their own beliefs and actions, leading to a ripple effect of positive change. Jesus said in John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not like the world gives.

The Kingdom of God

Jesus consistently taught about the Kingdom of God, a realm characterized by justice, mercy, and peace. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." By choosing peace, Christians align themselves with the values and principles of God's Kingdom, actively participating in its realization here on earth.

Trusting in Divine Protection

One of the challenges often raised against pacifism is the concern for personal safety and protection. However, Christians who embrace pacifism place their trust in God's protection and providence. They believe that by aligning themselves with God's will and principles, they are ultimately safeguarded by His loving care, even in the face of danger. Exodus 14:14 states The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.


Christian pacifism embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ, promoting love, compassion, forgiveness, and nonviolence. By adhering to the biblical principles discussed above, we can actively contribute to building a world where conflicts are resolved through peaceful means. As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to live out these principles, fostering a culture of understanding, reconciliation, and enduring peace.