This teaching continued in some places among Christians over the years while being dismissed by others as the church came under the protection and control of the government. Some Christian sufferers of the inquisition fled to the Alps in northern Italy where a remnant survived.
The following story comes from an early issue of the Gospel Visitor:
It is related that a company of soldiers were ordered at a certain time to march into a small town and take it. From the description of the persons and circumstances connected with the incident, it is believed that it took place in the Tyrol, a province of Austrian dominion in the southwest frontier of Germany. However, it was settled by a colony who believed the Gospel of Christ and proved their faith by their works.
As it is customary in such cases, a neighboring village, appraised of the fact, sent a messenger in haste to inform the inhabitants that troops were advancing to their town. They quietly answered, "If they will take it, they must."
Soldiers soon came riding in with colors flying, fifes piping their advance. They looked around - saw the farmer at his plow, the blacksmith at his anvil, and the women at their chores and spinning wheels. Babies crowded to hear the music and the boys ran out to see the trainers with feathers and bright ribbons. Of course none of these were in a proper position to be shot at.
"Where are your soldiers?" they asked. "We have none," was the brief reply. "But we have come to take this town." "Well, friends, it lies before you." "But is there nobody here to fight?" "None, we are all Christians."
Here was the condition of things wholly unexpected. The sort of resistance which no bullet could hit. The Commander was perplexed. "If there is nobody to fight with, of course we cannot fight," said he. "It is impossible to take such a town." So he ordered the horses' heads to be turned around and the soldiers passed quietly out of the village.
This simple incident, whether true or not, in every particular shows how easy it would be to dispense with armies and navies if men only had faith in the religion they profess to believe.
Source: Lest We Forget and Tales of Yester-Years, Vol. III, Rolland F. Flory