Neutrality

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The Watchtower Reprints, July 1, 1898, p. 2332

"If, therefore, we were drafted, and if the government refused to accept our conscientious scruples against warfare (as they have heretofore done with 'Friends,' called Quakers), we should request to be assigned to the hospital service or to the Commissary department or to some other non-combatant place of usefulness; and such requests would no doubt be granted. If not, and we ever got into battle, we might help to terrify the enemy, but need not shoot anybody."


The Watchtower Reprints, August 1, 1898, p. 2345

"Notice that there is no command in the Scriptures against military service. Obedience to a draft would remind us of our Lord's words, 'If any man compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.' The government may compel marching or drilling, but cannot compel you to kill the foe. You need not be a good marksman."


The Watchtower Reprints, April 15, 1903, p. 3180

"There could be nothing against our consciences in going into the army. Wherever we would go we could take the Lord with us, the Captain of our salvation, and wherever we would go we could find opportunities to serve him and his cause. If it came to the point of battling we above all others need have no fear of death, but we, assuredly, would be obliged to draw the line when commanded to fire, and we could not, in harmony with the divine program, fire upon a fellow creature with the intention of taking his life. If we fired we should be obliged to fire either into the air or into the ground."


The Watchtower Reprints, April 15, 1903, p. 3180

"There could be nothing against our consciences in going into the army. Wherever we would go we could take the Lord with us, the Captain of our salvation, and wherever we would go we could find opportunities to serve him and his cause. If it came to the point of battling we above all others need have no fear of death, but we, assuredly, would be obliged to draw the line when commanded to fire, and we could not, in harmony with the divine program, fire upon a fellow creature with the intention of taking his life. If we fired we should be obliged to fire either into the air or into the ground."


The Watchtower Reprints, June 1, 1918, p. 6268

"A Christian might not have been able conscientiously to engage in the military activities of a country offering only combatant service; later, when the opportunity is enlarged so that he may choose some good work such as the hospital or ambulance service, he may with a free conscience take such service. A Christian who may have been presented the perverted viewpoint that the Red Cross work is only the aiding of that killing which is against his conscience, cannot help the Red Cross; then he gains the broader viewpoint that the Red Cross is the embodiment of helping the helpless, and he finds himself able and willing to help the Red Cross according to ability and opportunity. A Christian, unwilling to kill, may have been conscientiously unable to buy government bonds; later he considers what great blessings he has received under his government, and realizes that the nation is in trouble and facing dangers to its liberty, and he feels himself conscientiously able to lend some money to the country, just as he would lend to a friend in distress."


The Watchtower, February 1, 1951, p. 77

"Because they are wholly dedicated to God by their vows to him through Christ, Jehovah's witnesses are according to God's Word no part of this world which is governed by the political systems. For this important Bible reason they tell officials of the government that they conscientiously object to serving in any military establishment or any civilian arrangement that substitutes for military service."


United In Worship Of The Only True God, 1983 ed., p. 167

"An examination of the historical facts shows that not only have Jehovah's Witnesses refused to put on military uniforms and take up arms but, during the past half century and more, they have also declined to do noncombatant service or to accept other work assignments as a substitute for military service. Why? Because they have studied God's requirements and then made a personal, conscientious decision."


The Watchtower, May 1, 1996, p.20

"What, though, if the State requires a Christian for a period of time to perform civilian service that is a part of national service under a civilian administration? Here again, Christians must make their own decision based on an informed conscience...What if the Christian's honest answers to such questions lead him to conclude that the national civilian service is a 'good word' that he can perform in obedience to the authorities? That is his decision before Jehovah. Appointed elders and others should fully respect the conscience of the brother and continue to regard him as a Christian in good standing."


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