By John Driver
John driving force tells the background of the early church from the shut of the recent testomony via Augustine. He indicates how there has been a gentle shift in considering as Christians grew to become excited about the army until eventually they misplaced their peaceable method of fixing clash. a favored therapy of the 'Constantinian shift.' quantity 2.
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Additional resources for How Christians made peace with war: early Christian understandings of war
Athanasius, an Egyptian church leader, also wrote after the accession of Constantine to power. He referred likewise to the prophetic vision of Isaiah 2:14. He reported that the Greeks and barbarians had been torn by international and civil strife. When they became Christians, however, they had turned to peaceful ways. . They who become disciples of Christ, instead of warring with each other, stand arrayed against demons by their habits and virtuous actions. And they rout them and mock at their captain, the devil.
While this was an im- Page 42 portant consideration for this opposition, it was not the only or most important reason. The church's opposition to militarism was also ethical. Even more, it was systematic. The ethical bases for Tertullian's rejection of militarism are especially clear in his sensitivity toward human life. This concern is both stated and implied in his writings. Tertullian believed humans are the unique center of God's creationthat they bear the divine image. 39 Therefore, a person's life is precious.
He was arrested for this offense against Roman army ritual and presumably executed. In his treatise, Tertullian inferred that there were other Christians in the ranks at the time. But he accused them of pretending that they could serve two masters. Tertullian also lamented that some Christians of his time would see this as a mere matter of dress. Many were becoming lax Page 32 in their Christian commitment in order to avoid persecution, he concluded. 27 But more fundamental than the question of the military crown, and the idolatry it implied, was the question of whether military service is proper at all for Christians.