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Once the Pentecostal peace witness extended throughout the movement and around the world - but was eventually muted and almost completely lost in the American Assemblies of God. This book tells the story of that shift. As Paul Alexander documents, "The war church is a harlot church!" so said an early 20th century fiery Pentecostal preacher - reflecting the conscientious objection and nonviolence that was the official position of the Assemblies of God, 1917-1967. Pentecostals spoke in tongues, prayed for healing, and refused to kill for America, stating that "the clear teachings of the inspired Word of God" showed that "as followers of the Prince of Peace" they could not "conscientiously participate in the actual destruction of human life." But by the end of the 20th century, the majority of AOG pastors in America believed that Jesus himself would support war and that they should kill for their country if necessary.
Once the Pentecostal peace witness extended throughout the movement and around the world-but was eventually muted and almost completely lost in the American Assemblies of God. This book, which is "gripping, powerful, and prophetic," says Amos Yong, tells the story of that shift. "The antiwar, Christian, pacifist sentiments of the Assemblies of God that Alexander describes . . . juxtaposed in close proximity to their pro-war and anti-pacifist passion and identification with America . . . is simply striking," comments J. Denny Weaver, in the C. Henry Smith Series Editor's Foreword. The implications, observes Cheryl Bridges Johns, Professor of Christian Formation and Discipleship, Church of God, "are worth examining by all traditions asking, 'Will our children have faith?' At the same time, mentions Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Religion, Harvard Divinity School, Alexander's narrative "suggests that Pentecostals may yet reclaim this invaluable element of their heritage."
Buy Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God (The C. Henry Smith Series) by Paul Alexander from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781931038584 & 1931038589
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