Det inte många vet är att största delen av den tidiga Pingströrelsen var pacifistisk, framför allt i USA. För någon vecka sedan arrangerade vi i Kristna Fredsrörelsen Uppsala en samtalskväll som jag ledde där vi grävde oss ner i hur det såg ut i pingströrelsens vagga i början av 1900-talet, och upptäcker att vapenvägran var väldigt vanligt förekommande. Med hjälp av antologin Pentecostals and Nonviolence utgiven av Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice kollade vi igenom tidiga uttalanden från centrala pingstledare såväl som från hela samfund. Några exempel:
Assemblies of God, USA:s största pingstsamfund, hade pacifism som officiellt ställningstagande i 50 år, från 1917 till 1967:
Resolution Concerning the Attitude of the General Council of the Assemblies of God Toward any Military Service which Involves the Actual Participation in the Destruction of Human Life.
While recognizing human Government as of divine ordination and affirming our unswerving loyalty to the Government of the United States, nevertheless we are constrained to define our position with reference to the taking of human life.
WHEREAS, in the Constitutional Resolution adopted at the Hot Springs General Council, April 1-10, 1914, we plainly declare the Holy Inspired Scriptures to be the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, and
WHEREAS the Scriptures deal plainly with the obligations and relations of humanity, setting forth the principles of ”Peace on earth, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14); and
WHEREAS we, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, believe in implicit obedience to the Divine commands and precepts which instruct us to ”Follow peace with all men,” (Heb. 12:14); ”Thou shalt not kill,” (Exodus 20:13); ”Resist not evil,” (Matt. 5:39); Love your enemies,” (Matt. 5:44): etc. and
WHEREAS these and other Scriptures have always been accepted and interpreted by our churches as prohibiting Christians from shedding blood or taking human life;
THEREFORE we, as a body of Christians, while purposing to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizenship, are nevertheless constrained to declare we cannot conscientiously participate in war and armed resistance which involves the actual destruction of human life, since this is contrary to our view of the clear teachings of the inspired Word of God, which is the sole basis of our faith.
The Weekly Evangel, den mest inflytelserika amerikanska pingsttidningen, skrev följande under första världskriget:
From the very beginning, the movement has been characterized by Quaker principles. The laws of the Kingdom, laid down by our elder brother, Jesus Christ, in His Sermon on the Mount, have been unqualifiedly adopted, consequently the movement has found itself opposed to the spilling of the blood of any man, or of offering resistance to any aggression. Every branch of the movement, whether in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, or Germany has held themselves to this principle. When the war first broke out in August of 1914, our Pentecostal brethren in Germany found themselves in a peculiar position. Some of those who were called to the colors responded, but many were court marshaled and shot because they heartily subscribed to the principles of non-resistance. Great Britain has been more humane. Some of our British brethren have been given non-combatant service, and none have been shot down because of their faith. – “The Pentecostal Movement and the Conscription Law,” The Weekly Evangel, 4 Augusti 1917, s. 6.
Charles Fox Parham, som ofta kallas pingströrelsens fader, sa:
The past order of civilization was upheld by the power of nationalism, which in turn was upheld by the spirit of patriotism, which divided the peoples of the world by geographical boundaries, over which each fought the other until they turned the world into a shamble. The ruling power of this old order has always been the rich, who exploited the masses for profit or drove them en masse to war, to perpetuate their misrule. The principle teachers of patriotism maintaining nationalism were the churches, who have lost their spiritual power and been forsaken of God. Thus, on the side of the old order in the coming struggle, will be arrayed the governments, the rich, and the churches, and whatever forces they can drive or patriotically inspire to fight for them. On the other hand the new order that rises out of the sea of humanity knows no national boundaries, believing in the universal brotherhood of mankind and the establishment of the teachings of Jesus Christ as a foundation for all laws, whether political or social.
– Charles F. Parham, Everlasting Gospel, pp. 27-28.
Och Frank Bartleman, en central gestalt under väckelsen på Azusa Street där pingströrelsen startade, skrev följande:
The Church has no place to flaunt flags of national preference. God’s grace and gospel are international. Christ died for all men. Antichrist means to run the church by government edict. Then we will have state and Church. The State will dictate to the Church. The flags represent fallen nations, with fallen nationalistic, sectional prides, ambitions, etc., that breed strife, enmity, jealousy, and war, for they are without Christ. We do not belong to them.
Government is squarely up against God in its demands on Christians during war time. And Christians are squarely up against the question whether they shall obey God or man.
Should those in authority forbid the preaching of practicing of the Gospel, which Gospel forbids to the Christian the exercise of war, there is but one thing for him to do. He must obey God.
– Frank Bartleman, Christian Citizenship
Det finns många, många fler exempel, se här. Även i Sverige har vapenvägran varit vanligt i pingströrelsen, jag känner till många pingstvänner som vägrade tjänstgöra i armén på 60- och 70-talet. När den Helige Ande kommer över en, så drivs man till att lyda Bergspredikan och sprida liv istället för död. Det är det hela pingsten handlar om.