Thursday, December 01, 2005

What If We Really Are Supposed to be Pacifists?

What if Jesus really did mean for us to be pacifists?
I have friends who would answer "Of course!" and ones who would answer "Of course not!" I have relatives in the military, relatives who have their concealed-carry permits, and (on the other hand) friends who belong to the church of the Bretheren. And it's hard because i respect all of them and don't want to offend or to discredit the things they believe so firmly.

But i cannot picture Jesus carrying a gun. I can't picture him hurting anyone, even in self defense. He left some dangerous situations out of concerns for his safety, but as far as we know, He never fought back. He spoke up for himself sometimes. He didn't collapse into a miserable pile of defeated humanity.

But of course we can't ignore that this is the same God who commanded the Israelites to attack and annialate (sp?) whole groups of people. I guess you could call it localized genocide. The "man after God's own heart," who is still one of our examples of faith, was a man of war.

But what if, like so many other things, the rules have completely changed since Christ has come? What if the time for that is past? I really like the quote that "the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing," and it makes sense. But what if we really are more powerful when we refuse to fight than when we do? What if God was trying to tell us about a spiritual reality that doesn't seem to make sense in our normal world - but is still true? What if it's one of those things we have to take on faith?

There's a third option, what if it's right to fight for someone else, but not in self defense? What if we should defend others, even through violence, but what if it's selfish to defend ourselves?

I really don't know. I'm not trying to bash the military or the NRA or any of that. But i really wonder. What if we're going about everything the wrong way? If i am a follower of Christ, shouldn't that include His lack of violence?

1 comment:

Aaron Geist said...

Good question. I know the world would look a lot different if all Christians were pacifists.