- March 24th, 2009
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Stanley Horton, along with hundreds of other World War II era Assemblies of God members, was a conscientious objector. He shared this information with us at the PCPJ display table at the Society for Pentecostal Studies conference in 2007, explaining that it was the official position of the Assemblies of God and what he believed. Horton is a widely renowned Assemblies of God theologian and one of the first Pentecostals to complete graduate theological education at Harvard.
Marty Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh have written an excellent article for the 2009 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage, “The Social Conscience of Stanley Horton.” Their article is based in part on an oral history interview of Horton concerning his views on race and war. You can read their article and listen to their interview with Horton from the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website: http://www.ifphc.org/Horton
Also included on the above webpage are a lengthier article on Horton by Lois E. Olena (based on her forthcoming biography of Horton) and a 1983 interview of Horton by William Menzies.
The official position of the Assemblies of God from 1917-1967 concluded with this statement:
“Therefore we, as a body of Christians, while purposing to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizenship, are nevertheless constrained to declare we cannot conscientiously participate in war and armed resistance which involves the actual destruction of human life, since this is contrary to our view of the clear teachings of the inspired Word of God, which is the sole basis of our faith.”
For more on the history of pacifism, conscientious objection, and noncombatancy in the Assemblies of God, see Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God.