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Inside Out: War and Faith

It’s been 72 years since Victory over Japan Day and the close of World War II. Treaties would still need to be signed, but Japan’s surrender ended the on-again, off-again global warring that had begun with the start of World War I in 1914. 

Americans celebrated the war’s end with enthusiasm, but the number of people killed and the horror of the fighting through both global wars shaped the world and the Church. Many of our questions today are tied to the heroism and the failure of individual Christians and whole denominations during these years.   

“We’re still talking about issues of Church and State: how do the Church and the State work together? How do they cooperate? When should the Church stand up against the State?” says Jennifer Woodruff Tait, managing editor for Christian History Magazine. “We’re still wrestling with people who say they are conscientious objectors, with this idea that there’re people who say, ‘No, there are no wars that are just. There’s no violence that is just.’ This is still a question in the Church.” 

Christian History Magazine published an issue on the world wars this year to mark 100 years since the US entered World War I. 

“We’re still struggling with how to aid refugees. That was perhaps the timeliest aspect of it,” Tait says. “And we’re still trying to figure out how humans can inflict terrible evils on each other.”Tait encourages us to learn from the ways Christians lived their faith during the wars. “In responding to atrocities in war, we can just say this doesn’t concern us, and I want to just keep my nice life, or we can say, no, God is really calling me to help in some way and I need to find out what that is.

 

 

Listen to our 12-minute recorded conversation by clicking on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above.

 

 

 

 

Read the “Faith in the Foxholes” issue of Christian History Magazine.

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