Statement of the Position of the Church of God on War


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:

Whereas: The Holy Scriptures teach us that our first duty is to God, namely, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength,” and the second is like unto this, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Furthermore, Jesus taught His followers to love their enemies, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5:39, 44-48).

And Whereas: There are many other scriptures such as John 18:36; Matthew 26:52; Romans 12:14, 17, 19-21; Luke 6:81, which definitely forbid us to take up arms to fight or defend ourselves; and whereas, because of the teaching of such scriptures we are conscientiously opposed to accept non-combatant service in warfare or to work in any factory or plant which is directly engaged in producing instruments and/or munitions for the destruction of human life and happiness.

And Whereas: We are conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form at any time, whether civil, political, or religious.

And Whereas: We are conscientiously opposed to the purchase of defense or war bonds and stamps for the prosecution of war.

And Whereas: We are citizens of the United States of America, in all things willing to live honestly, believing that our government is ordained of God and praying for our President and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness.

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved: That the above statement be adopted as a uniform teaching and practice of the Church of God.”

—L. D. Pruitt, Secretary, Guthrie, Oklahoma

(Printed in Faith & Victory, November 1961)


[A resolution, similar to the above, is necessary from the church for legal purposes for members to be exempt from serving in the military if and when conscripted by some governments. Please note that truth stands on its own merit and needs not resolutions nor adopted statements of man to be uniform teachings and practices of the Church of God. Unless legally required, it is expedient to abstain from such practices as the Bible is the only creed of the Church of God. —Michael Smith]