Church Councils

Egyptian Church Order AD 200-235

16.7 If someone is a gladiator, or one who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he shall cease, or he shall be rejected.

9 A military man in authority must not execute men. If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall be rejected.

10 If someone is a military governor (has the authority of swords), or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected.

Didaskalia Church order AD 300

[Forbids the receipt of monetary help for the church from] any of the magistrates of the Roman Empire, who are polluted by war.

Church of Alexandria AD 300-350

A Nazarene (Christian) may not become a soldier unless by order…. It is not fitting for Christians to bear arms.

Council of Nicaea AD 325

If a military man wanted to convert, he would first have to do penitence for ten years, which was even more than the penitence of seven years required for someone who denied Christ under persecution.

As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military belts, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of 3 years as hearers, be for 10 years prostrators.

Apostolic Constitutions AD 390

Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon who goes to the  army and desires to retain both the Roman government and the priestly administration be deprived. For “the things of Caesar belong to Caesar and the things of God to God.”

Council of Chalcedon AD 451

You shall not accept military service nor any secular dignity, and if they do not repent… they shall be anathematized.

See Christian Councils