Church of the Brethren Peace Heritage
The Church of the Brethren is one of the "Historic Peace Churches" along with the Mennonites and Friends.
Notwithstanding this heritage, there is much lively debate about the historic and contemporary Brethren commitment to peace and what form it will take in our time. Here are some contributions for your study and reflection. May they challenge you and touch your heart, that the Church of the Brethren and the Christian church as a whole may come to life as a people of peace for this time.
Question to Annual Meeting, 1865 (Civil War era):
"Can a brother be held as a member of the church who will, when put in the army, take up arms and aim to shed the blood of his fellowman?"
Answer: "He cannot."
Cited in D. Durnbaugh, "The Brethren and Nonresistance," in The Pacifist Impulse in Historical Perspective, Harvey L. Dyck, ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 131.
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Statements:
- 1958: Annual Conference Resolution, A Department of Peace
- 1967: The Church, the State and Christian Citizenship
- 1968: A Statement to Government Leaders of the United States Government
- 1969: Annual Conference Statement Obedience to God and Civil Disobedience
- 1970: Amendments to the Church of the Brethren Statement on War
- 1977: Statement, Justice and Nonviolence
- 1991: Statement, Peacemaking: The Calling of God's People in History
- 1994: Statement on Violence in North America
- 1996: Statement, Nonviolence and Humanitarian Intervention
- 2000: Statement, Affirmation of WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence
- 2002: Statement, The Shalom Team
- 2003: Statement, Call For a Living Peace Church
- 2004: Annual Conference Resolution on Iraq
- 2006: General Board Resolution, An End to the War in Iraq
- 2006: Annual Conference Resolution, Divestment from Companies Selling Products Used as Weapons in Israel and Palestine
- 2010: Annual Conference Resolution Against Torture
- 2011: Annual Conference Resolution on the War in Afghanistan
More Statements of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference
Ronald Gordon: "Pacifism in the Mold"
Background on Brethren Belief
The Brethren Revival Fellowship provides five essays on Brethren peace testimony:
- The Historic Brethren Peace Position
- The Christian and Nonresistance
- Interpreting the Way of Peace
- Blessed Are the Peacemakers
- From Biblical Nonresistance to "Peace"
Church of the Brethren General Board
- Young Peacebuilders
- Social Change