As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I adhere to the Bible’s guidance on matters of war and violence. Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their neutral stance when it comes to military conflict. This position is firmly rooted in scriptural principles and the example set by Jesus Christ.
The Bible at Isaiah 2:4 foretells that true worshippers of God “will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” This prophecy reflects God’s purpose for humans to live in peace, not in conflict. Additionally, Jesus emphasized the importance of peace and love for one’s enemies rather than violence. His famous Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5:9, states: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Jesus also set the pattern for his followers when he told Peter, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) This instruction was given even when Jesus was faced with imminent arrest and execution, showing that his followers were not to resort to violence even in defense of their Lord. This provides a clear precedent for Christians to abstain from armed combat.
The early Christians followed Jesus’ teachings and example closely, maintaining neutrality in political affairs and abstaining from military service. Historians note that early Christians were recognized for their stance of not participating in warfare. Jehovah’s Witnesses continue this tradition of neutrality today, obeying the biblical command to “be peaceable with all men” found in Romans 12:18 and to follow the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves, as stated in Matthew 22:37-39.
It is also important to consider the counsel of the apostle Paul, who wrote to Christians in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things.” This indicates that true Christians engage in a spiritual warfare rather than a physical one. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we thus abstain from involvement in any kind of military service or warfare, following the Bible’s guidance to pursue peace and to show love to all.