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This blog records my transition from the Churches of Christ to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pacifism

i'm not saying this isn't a hairy issue. i'm not saying there doesn't seem to be a lot of common-sense exceptions. i'm not saying that there aren't troubling cases for committed pacifists. i'd like to consider all these things. But i want to start with just some very simple questions.

If a person (um, say a disciple of Christ) were committed to obeying the teachings in the following scriptures, then how could he/she ever behave violently toward another person? How could we ever violently resist someone, or use violence as a means to accomplish any goal, yet remain obedient to these passages while doing so?

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect
." (Matt 5:38-48)

"For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (1Peter 2:19-23)

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21)

4 comments:

godesertwandering said...

Guy,
This in no means is to start an arguement only for clarification purpose only.

Can you explain where killing enters into the context of these three verses?

I want to be clear, I am against violence when the situation is non-life threatning. But when the cirumstances cross that line I believe all options become open to concideration.

Thank you.
In love,
Steve Valentine

reborn1995 said...

Steve,

You have more than demonstrated your gentleness, patience, meekness and sincerity over at Jay's blog. It wouldn't have crossed my mind that you were trying to bicker. i really appreciate the general tone and candor among those who disagree over at Jay's blog. The church in general could use more of that tempering, amen?

Let me write a second post attempting to answer your question. At the moment, i'm supposed to be working on a take-home midterm due by midnight tonight! Jay's blog is giving me extremely tempting reasons to procrastinate. =o)

Blessings,

Guy

godesertwandering said...

Guy,
Thank you for your kind words!

Please do not let me hold you back in your studies. Answer when you can. And thank you for the conversation.

Jay's is such a great place to be drawn to, like a moth to the flame.

Good luck with your midterm.

Steve Valentine

godesertwandering said...

Oh and yes, AMEN!

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