TonusOH24 minutes ago
I think it began as a way of codifying the stance against military service. I'm not sure when or how it was extended to activities like voting or serving on any sort of political body.
______________Here is my reply to the post:
Rome and War went together like forks and knives.
When Christians were invited to join the feast - they refused!
Constantine must have exclaimed, "I've got the unruly Christian unified by he Apostles Creed, but now I have to deal with their CONSCIENCES."
The solution was the drafting of a theory of war that made it acceptable to Christian boys and men.
A brilliant fella by the name of AUGUSTINE drafted a lovely "get out of jail free" proposition.
THE JUST WAR THEORY
I'll keep it dead simple.
Romans 13 really means: if your government tells you to kill - you must obey but it isn't counted against you as a Christian because God gave the go-ahead to the Gentile Authority.
You see, when the government and religion are both on the same page, it is THEOCRACY.
The Superior Authority says, "Jump" and you ask, "How far?"
The Superior Authority says, "Kill." and you say, "Bang, you're dead."
There was no NEUTRALITY ISSUE because no CONSCIENCE was troubled.
Not until Protestants broke from the Catholic authority was CONSCIENCE reborn!
It was every man for himself once again.
Lots of denominations had run-ins with various governments over conscience. It took many hundreds of
years to come up with solutions.
The U.S. came up with ALTERNATE COMMUNITY SERVICE.
This worked quite well - except for the fake consciences of Jehovah's Witnesses who
were told they were under a different Theocracy. Do as the GB says - not the Superior Authority.