Non-resistance

From Academic Kids

The concept of Non-resistance is based on a reading of the first half of Matthew 5:39, part of the Sermon on the Mount, which says, "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person."[1] (http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?passage=MATT+5:39&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on&showxref=on)

Originally it referred to non-resistance to the Established Church during the religious troubles in England following the English Civil War and Protestant Succession.

Members of some Christian denominations, especially from Anabaptist and Peace church backgrounds, have interpreted this verse to mean that Christians should not do anything, violent or not, to resist evil. In the 20th century this brought some conflict within Amish and Mennonite churches between pacifists who believed that nonviolent resistance was acceptable and traditional leaders who held to a strict doctrine of non-resistance.

Today, the Old Order Amish and other Amish groups still hold strictly to non-resistance, but the majority of Mennonite churches have moved toward pacifism.

Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi were notable advocates of non-resistance.

See also

References

  • The Principle of Nonresistance (http://www.bibleviews.com/Nonresistance-Horsch.html) - written in 1927 by John Horsch, a Mennonite church leader.
  • Non-resistance (http://www.mhsc.ca/encyclopedia/contents/N656ME.html) - article in the Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia
  • Tolstoy on non-resistance (http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/authors/tolstoy/non-resistance.htm)

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