Positive movement

Nov 19, 2018 by

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In “Evangelical Evolution” (North of the 49th, Nov. 5), John Longhurst points out that evangelicals have not always opposed abortion. Their evolution on this issue is a positive thing. Martin Luther and John Calvin were against abortion, but they believed in war and the death pen­alty and in executing people for heresy. If evangelicals today consider executing people for heresy unthinkable, it is not because they never have believed in executing heretics in the past.

The church in the first three centuries was pacifist, at least to the extent that every known Christian writer and theologian opposed Christian participation in warfare. These same writers spoke out against abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty. Today some people, including some evangelicals, affirm a consistent life ethic, opposing every attack on human life, not just abortion. The Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective affirms this ethic. Perhaps someday evangelicals will be known for opposition to all violence against human life.

Jerry C. Stanaway
Villa Park, Ill.

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