"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.VI Pg.9
January 1942

Who Is A Consistent Conscientious Objector?

John T. Lewis

To answer the above question intelligently we must study the difference between a temporal government, its purpose and mission, and the church or spiritual kingdom, its purpose and mission. Every temporal government has been founded by, and stands upon the sword. The spiritual kingdom was founded by, and stands upon love. A temporal government must defend its rights among the other nations of the world, these rights should be preserved by peaceful means if possible; but by the sword if necessary. Our government also proposes to protect the rights and liberties of its law abiding citizens, from human leeches, racketeers, gangsters, rapers, premeditated murderers, etc., in its own borders. Therefore, our jails, penitentiaries, electric chairs, or gas chambers, all of which are absolutely necessary for the preservations of decent society.

With these observations before us, which are axiomatic facts, a person who does not believe in war under any conditions, has absolutely no right to a seat in our national congress, the only constitutional source of a declaration of war in defense of our country. Look at the pathetic, but absurd spectacle of Montana's incongruous congresswoman, Jeannette Rankin, voting against a declaration of war against the fanatical war lords of Japan, after their sneaking, contemptible, diabolical, unprovoked, copperhead stroke at the very life line of the United States' government, on that peaceful Lord's day, December 7, 1941. A stroke that will go down in history as the very essence, and climax of perfidy among nations at peace among themselves. Jeannette Rankin's vote could only mean the acquiescence in the destruction of our government, and the ultimate slavery of its people to an unscrupulous, and idolatrous nation. Therefore a pacifist, who is against war under any conditions, should never be woven (voted) into the warp or woof of a temporal government. I also believe that every one who votes, or otherwise takes part in political campaigns, should not only be ready and willing, but should be required by the government to back his ballot with the bullet. Christ himself said: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servant's fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36). Jesus knew that the kingdoms of this world would fight for their rights and existence. Yet He declared that his servants would not fight even to protect his life. "A consistent conscientious objector," therefore, must be a consistent, faithful Christian, who takes no part in politics, but respects, gives his moral support, and pays taxes to the government that gives him his religious freedom. His claims, then, for non-combatant service, should be made on his individual convictions, his belief in, and his respect for the teaching of Christ, and not on the flimsy claims that "the church of Christ does not believe in war." I believe it to be both misleading, and confusing to the government, for the preacher and elders of a congregation to get up a manifesto, sign it, and send it to Washington, declaring that "the Church of Christ is against carnal warfare." During world war Number 1, Brother J. W. Shepherd, and Dr. J. S. Ward, if I remember correctly, went to Washington to present the no war claims of "the Church of Christ" to the government. Congressman Houston, from Tennessee, who also claimed to be a member of the church, and whom Brother Shepherd had known from childhood, treated them, if not with contempt, with less respect and consideration, than Gen. Crowder himself did. I cannot conceive of a worse medley of contradictions than for church members to vote to send a member of the church to the United States congress, where war must be declared, then after war has been declared, send a delegation to Washington to tell the government that "the church of Christ" does not believe in war. There can be no clear line of demarcation between the church, or spiritual kingdom of Christ, and the temporal, or political government, so long as we have "political persons" in our pulpits, and church members seeking and receiving, political preferments and emoluments. War and capital punishment are necessary evils in civil government, which Paul declares, "is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil." (read Romans 13:3-7). Since the civil government or powers, have been ordained of God to punish evil doers, and since the New Testament teaches that a Christian cannot take vengeance on evil doers, therefore the Christian should not become entangled in political affairs. I believe in the absolute separation of the church and state. Therefore I do not believe our government should give the Pope of Rome, and his cardinals, any more recognition in governmental affairs than it gives the Methodist Bishops, and their presiding elders, and that should be absolutely nothing, but, freedom to run their church affairs.