Statement of the Position of the Church of God on War

(Resolution Approved by Ministers of the Church of God in 1948 & 1961)

The ministers of the Church of God assembled at the Annual National Camp meeting (July 21-30, 1961) at Neosho (Monark Springs), Missouri, being aware of the present critical world situation and the urgent need for the Church to reaffirm its position in regard to participation in war, approved and adopted the resolution which had been approved by the ministers of the Church of God at the Oklahoma State Camp meeting in Guthrie, Oklahoma on August 13, 1948, which reads as follows:Read more

Questions and Answers Concerning Self-Defense, Law Enforcement and the Military

How supportive can a Christian be of law enforcement and the military?

As good, Christian citizens it is not hypocritical to appreciate the role and function of law enforcement and the military while not engaging ourselves in combat-type situations where we would have to take someone’s life. Without local and national keepers of the peace, there would be chaos and very little freedom. We experience the freedoms we do because of the sacrifice of people who daily place their lives at stake for our benefit. There are supportive and even spiritual functions that Christians can fill for law enforcement and military personnel. It is important to remember that Christians are citizens of two countries. Our primary service and code of conduct is founded in the spiritual, but that does not preclude appreciation for the other.Read more

Conscientious Objection

Obeying God Rather than Man

A conscientious objector is a person who refuses to serve in the armed forces or bear arms on moral or religious grounds. Historically, many conscientious objectors to war have been imprisoned and even executed when their beliefs conflicted with that of the government.Read more

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou shalt not kill. —Exodus 20:13

Some translations use the word “kill,” but the word is better translated “murder” in this passage. Murder is the unlawful, intentional taking of a life with malice.

Right after this command was given, God instructed the Levites to take up the sword and kill people who had turned to idolatry. God was not being contradictory under the law He had just given to Moses, for the killing was administered justice.

While the Bible places great value on human life, this specific command is not the foundation of New Testament, biblical nonresistance.

A Spectacle Unto the World

God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake….  —1 Corinthians 4:9-13

The apostle Paul paints a vivid picture of the trials and suffering of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. It is an encouragement and challenge to devoted ministers of the gospel.

Paul alludes to the Roman practice of bringing gladiators, armed with weapons, into the amphitheaters to fight wild beasts. If the gladiators survived, they were later disarmed and left defenseless before beast and man to be killed. If they escaped, they were eventually forced to contend with another assailant that would bring certain death. Ministers of the gospel may as Paul suffer many trials, persecutions, false accusations, poverty, and sufferings in this life; but it is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.Read more

Biblical Fasting

“When exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; spiritual weapons of God’s providing, ‘mighty…to the pulling down of strongholds.’” —Arthur Wallis
Old and New Testament Practice

Fasting from food for spiritual benefit was taught and observed by both Old and New Testament saints. Men and women of spiritual renown throughout history have fasted. This list includes Moses the lawgiver, David the king, Elijah the prophet, Esther the queen, Daniel the seer, Anna the prophetess, Jesus the Son of God, and Paul the apostle. Fasting is an avenue of clearing the mind and spirit in humility before God, and it opens the door to a deeper spiritual connection with the Lord. There is no true spiritual benefit to fasting when it is a mere physical observance. Historically, fasting for many people became nothing more than an outward act of piety. Ascetic practices alone have never drawn mankind into a closer relationship with God. In all areas of spiritual devotion, outward manifestations and observances are only as strong as the inward spirit which seeks to please the Lord in humility and holiness. John Wesley said, “Some have exalted religious fasting beyond all Scripture and reason, and others have utterly disregarded it.” There is a biblical practice of fasting that is of great benefit to God’s children still today.Read more

Fasting and Prayer

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. —Daniel 9:3

If more men and women of God would set their face to the Lord and seek Him in fasting and prayer, I am convinced that we would see more spirituality, more anointing, and more power with God. The subject this quarter is on the subject of fasting. It has been an abused and misunderstood subject and is becoming a lost practice among many professing saints.Read more

4 Types of Fasts

Supernatural Fast

A fast divinely enabled by God.

Moses fasted for two periods of 40 days. Deuteronomy 9:9, 18

Elijah did not eat for 40 days. 1 Kings 19:8Read more

Bible Study – Fasting

Scripture Reading: Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD. —Joel 1:14

Summary: Fasting is a long-held practice of God’s people in both the Old and New Testament and is a needful part of a Christian’s life today. It is an outward act of self-denial that can help focus the mind, body, and spirit on the things of God. It is a channel of power with God for deliverance, guidance, anointing, and spiritual growth.

Definition: While Christians should practice self-denial in many areas, the word “fasting” in the Bible means specifically to abstain from food.Read more

Questions and Answers on Fasting

How frequently should one fast?

The New Testament does not give guidelines for how frequently one should fast. The Pharisee in Luke 18:11-12 fasted twice a week. By the time of Christ, the Pharisees had turned fasts into legal bondage. The best advice is found in Galatians 5:18: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” We need to be led by the Spirit in how often we fast. There is a danger that a spiritual observance done regularly can become a form or ritual without true spirituality. Fasting, whether regular or occasional, is a personal decision between an individual and God. Some people have broken their health because they fasted too frequently and too long. This is not temperate and is not caring for the body as the temple of God.Read more