Christianity and War


In a nation torn in two by the strife of the Civil War, there were some who dared to question whether Christians could possibly participate in the killing. In 1863, soon after the Battle of Gettysburg, John M. Brenneman wrote to explain Anabaptist convictions against participation in warfare. He began by explaining that a true Christian is one who follows Christ’s example, who is obedient to Christ, and who is filled with the Spirit of Christ. Having established this definition, he uses it to show that war is completely inconsistent with a Christian profession. The life of peace, love, and nonresistance is the life of obedience and following Jesus, and the only way of living which is truly spiritual.

War and peace; sword and cross; world and Christ. Which will we choose?


“This volume will serve well the current generation of those who want to follow Jesus, together.”

—Leonard Gross

Director Emeritus, Mennonite Church Archives

For the epub edition, click here.

For the PDF edition, click here.


Additional information

Book Author

John M. Brenneman

Publication Date

Originally published 1863; republished 2017








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