When George Fox in 1651 refused to accept a commission in the military, saying “I told them I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars,” he testified to the transforming power of God in his life. “He did not just say that war was morally wrong and we should try not to be part of it. He did not say that the Sermon on the Mount prohibited fighting and that we were to obey its precepts, so as to usher in God’s kingdom. Rather he said that he lived in a power (God’s power) which eradicated the causes of war from his heart. War was no longer possible for him
because he already lived in the peaceable kingdom, not because he hoped to bring it about with his efforts.” (Sandra Cronk, Peace Be with You: A Study of the Spiritual Basis of the Friends Peace Testimony, p. 11.)

3 Comments on the power of this life

  1. Wow. “He already lived in the peaceable kingdom.”

    Volf’s new book, The End of Memory, speaks in similar ways about forgiveness.

    It also reminds me of the way Francis Schaeffer use to say that we live “as if” we have died and been raised with Christ to the right hand of the Father and then have returned again.

  2. rodney neill says:

    hi len,

    Although I find the peaceable kingdom statement admirable and attractive when faced with evil in this world eg Nazism in the past sometimes you have to fight in war.


  3. len says:

    Yes, while Fox wouldn’t likely agree with my application, for me its less about the sword or not the sword than it is about where my life is centered. I won’t justify US military in Iraq, but rather agree that uncer certain circumstances military intervention (UN) is acceptable.