WW1 and Conscientious Objection

by wizzstick 2 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • wizzstick

    Interesting audio article:


    Nothing about the Bible Students of course. JW's says that because they weren't clear on the the issue of neutrality during WW1 they were punished with prison sentences for the Directors.

    So it's interesting that God chose them rather them the Quakers or other Christian faiths who took the stand they did and suffered for it...

  • prologos

    One surprise was that the international worker movement, or local unions,- did not exert their choice to have members refuse to be inducted into the armies.

    These armies were staffed by the lower classes that were sent into the mutual slaughter. It is that group that suffered most.

    it was/is like blue collar rednecks electing Republicans.

  • blondie

    I remember in some of the publications men were told to put on the uniform but to fire up in the air!!!???


    Stances against war change over time. For instance, whilst the Church of Christ had a large pacifist faction this is now limited predominantly to followers of the teachings of David Lipscomb. Likewise, changes have occurred within the Watchtower Society. Originally, Bible Students participated in non-combatant duty and even went to the trenches.

    "There is no command in the Scriptures against military service. It would be quite right to shoot, not to kill." Zion's Watch Tower 1898 Aug 1 p.231 (see also jv p.191)
    "There could be nothing against our conscience in going into the army. Wherever we would go we could take the Lord with us, the Captain of our salvation, and wherever we would go we could find opportunities to serve him and his cause." Zion's Watch Tower 1903 Apr 15 p.120

    The Watchtower requested prayers for America to defeat Germany during World War One.

    "In accordance with the resolution of Congress of April 2nd, and with the proclamation of the president of the United States of May 11, it is suggested that the Lord's people everywhere make May 30th a day of prayer and supplication. ... As says the spirit through the Apostle Paul: "I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." (I Timothy 2:1-3) Let there be praise and thanks-giving to God for the promised glorious outcome of the war, the breaking of the shackles of autocracy, the freeing of the captives (Isaiah 61:1) and the making of the world safe for the common people--blessings all assured by the Word of God to the people of this country and of the whole world of mankind." Watchtower 1918 Jun 1 p.174

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