F O U N D A T I O N S 12 who mistreat you, but allow yourself to be struck again rather than to strike back. He rejected political power when it was offered to him, and he refused to defend himself with force, rather letting himself be killed. We must do the same. The way of peace demands reverence for all life, above all each human life, since every person is made in the image of God. Christ’s word and example, as ­affirmed by the teaching of the early church, absolutely forbid us to take human life for any reason, directly or ­indirectly, whether in war or self-defense, through the death penalty, or by any other means, including ­euthanasia or abortion.* As conscientious objectors, we will not serve in the armed services of any country, not even as noncombatants. Nor may we support war-making or the use of deadly force by others through our consent or aid. We refuse to wield governmental power by serving in high office or in any position such as judge or juror that is vested with power over the life, liberty, or civil rights of another.† Likewise, in obedience to Christ’s teaching, we cannot swear oaths or make any pledge of allegiance. We love our country and our countrymen, but equally we love all our fellow human beings regard- less of their nationality, ancestry, race, creed, culture, or social status. Our loyalty is to the kingdom of God. * See for example Didache, 1.1–4, 2.2, 3.2 (ca. ad 60–110); Athenagoras of Athens, Legatio, Chapter 35 (ca. ad 176–180). † Peter Walpot, “Article 4: Concerning the Sword,” in The Great Article Book (Großes Artikelbuch, ca. 1577). Luke 4:5–8 John 18:36 1 Pet 2:20–25 Gen 1:26–27; 9:5–6 Matt 26:50–54 Rom 13:9–10 2 Cor 10:3–4 Jas 3:18 1 Thess 5:15 Luke 12:13–14 Matt 5:33–37 Jas 5:12 Jas 2:1–13 Gal 3:28 Phil 3:20