striped gray rock

The earliest Christians embraced Jesus’ message of peace. Indeed, up until the time of Constantine the early church taught that Jesus forbade his followers to kill. The most profound theological foundation for this conviction was the cross – that Christians should love, not kill, their enemies, as Jesus had shown them. Miroslav Volf is right: “If one decides to put on soldier’s gear instead of carrying one’s cross, one should not seek legitimation in the religion that worships the crucified Messiah.”

When Jesus commanded his disciples to love their enemies, did he mean we should never kill them?