Columbus Mennonite Church

Peace Statement

This was adapted from Mennonite Central Committee’s peace statement and was approved at the congregational meeting on February 2, 1992 by unanimous vote.

Our Faith and Allegiance:

1.      We confess our dependence on God, the Merciful One, who wills life for all people. The social, economic, political and military crises which confront our lives require us to reaffirm our view of God as love, and the godly life as the way of peace. To love God is to treat           people lovingly. (Leviticus 19:18, I John 3)

2.      We confess that Christ taught us to love our enemies, instructing us that war, both within and without, is sin and an expression of human failure. (Matthew 5, James 4).

3.      We believe Columbus Mennonite Church is called to be a community that transcends the political, economic, cultural, and social boundaries of this world. In this community we share joy and suffering, strive to live in peace and harmony, and seek to represent the wisdom and will of God in the midst of world disorder. (Isaiah 58:6-8 and Ephesians 2).

4.      We acknowledge our connection through Christ to all people. The longstanding alienation and attempts at domination among different groups of people is an affront to the Divine will and must be transcended with a fundamental respect for all people.

5.      We acknowledge the profound longing for peace and justice around the globe. These legitimate desires have been persistently thwarted by tyrannical leaders and national powers, causing the fear and humiliation which lead to social, economic, political, and military warfare.

6.      We recognize that a foreign crisis is also a crisis for North Americans. While our physical suffering may be minimal, our society, especially the church in North America, is wrenched by a crisis of faith. Our society has come to systematically calculate the massive destruction of humanity and the earth. We recognize a world system has been created which is dependent upon military domination rather than mutual regard and respect for our common humanity.

7.      We long for God’s peace for those caught up in war: innocent church, soldiers, those disabled in body, mind or spirit, and all of their families.

Our Commitments:

1.      We commit ourselves anew to the demanding task of living our historic conviction by following the way of Christ. Discipleship and nonresistance call us to conscientiously oppose conscription of body, mind, and money for war. We instead choose to commit these resources to serving God and others. (Luke 10, Romans 12)

2.      We commit ourselves to work more actively for public policies that reduce militarism, war, and political and economic inequities. We must work persistently and faithfully for a more peaceful and equitable world community.

3.      We commit ourselves to a continuing Mennonite presence of friendship and fraternity with churches and communities around the world in ministries of healing, reconstruction, and bridge-building. We want to continue to learn from the richness of the Christian faith and the spirituality of other cultures.

4.      We commit ourselves to responding to the new victims of violence by being with the suffering people of the world. We want to incarnate our conviction that God forbids us to view another people as an enemy, through extending relief and assistance wherever need exists. 

5.      We commit ourselves to sharing our belief that peace is the will of God. We are grateful for the religious leaders who have led in the struggle for peace. It is imperative that we resist the use of religion to sanction war and violence. We encourage our members to reach out to those caught up in the realities of military life.

6.      We see community in a world of loneliness, forgiveness in a world of wrong, sharing in a world of need, healing in a world of brokenness, and peace in a world of conflict.

We call our members to a new level of generosity in order to respond to the victims of war and the challenge of peacemaking. We invite contributions for relief and reconstruction for war-affected areas.

We pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness for ourselves and all people. We pray for the healing of the wounds of war and hatred. We pray for the renewal of our members’ energy from God’s Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for all people.