The Mennonite tradition is well-known for its rejection of participation in warfare. This pacifism has many fruitful expressions over the past nearly 500 years. However, Mennonite pacifism has a shadow side as well. In my article, “Pacifism is a gift from God” (published in the Gospel Herald, February 1, 1994), I reflect on some of the problems with this tradition and propose a strongly grace (rather than obligation) oriented approach to pacifism.
I do believe in pacifism as a core conviction that should be taken seriously by all followers of Jesus (indeed, all human beings). However, we need to think through the motivations for our commitment to nonviolence. I believe this commitment must ultimately stem from love if it is to be fruitful and sustainable.