Category Archives: non-violence

This Guy Understands

I am totally with him on the ambiguity of the Christian position on war.

As Christians, I think its fairly clear that we should be non violent people. If we believe in the Resurrection, we have no reason to fear death, from terrorists, from our own government, or from the gangbangers that live down the street.

But, its not our calling to change government policy to one of non violence. God uses armies to punish sin… he may use terrorists to punish sin as well. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that while Christians should not support war, we have no right to try and force our morality through law on this country, or any country. Christians operate from a power under position… its a groundswell of love that doesn’t need the threat of force to achieve its objective. We need just the opposite… the willingness to lay down our lives (not kill others republichristians) for those who despise us.

The Christian Left nor the Christian Right should be trying to force their morality on others. If we vote, lets vote for someone who has values similar to ours, but recognizes that our country affords certain rights to everyone.

Advertisements

Its been a while since I last posted

I really apologize. I’ve been crazy busy. Yesterday I packed up all my things and moved to East Nashville.  Needless to say, that was a stressful thing that I still haven’t recovered from.

The illegal immigration “debate” is delving deeper and deeper into racism over at Mike Cope’s blog. The comments are ridiculous.

 Also, some more Abilene link love, GKB has gotten the non violence ball rolling once again. Again, comments are getting crazy.

This morning I woke up and turned on the TV (I only have NBC until my cable gets hooked up) and the Today show was doing what seemed to be wall to wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death. We have two seperate wars going on, Iran continues to threaten us with nuclear weapons, and the news is talking about Anna Nicole Smith.

 Is something wrong with our priorities?

This May Be the Most Important Post I Ever Make

Are you paying attention?

Good.

I’ve been mulling over this for a couple of days, deciding on whether or not I should post about it, or just go out on the street corner and shout it out. After discussing with Phil Wilson and Scott Freeman, I decided that writing it on a blog probably would give me a least a little time for the message to get out before I’m killed by angry mobs.

America can’t win the War on Terrorism.

That’s right, America CAN’T win the War on Terrorism.

Now, before you dismiss me as a Liberal schmuck, I offer you this disclaimer. There was a time in the not too distant past, when I would have gone of the handle just reading those words. I was super Republican and I let everyone know it. I was knocking down commies and hippies at every corner of the web.

Then something changed. I realized that when Christ says that we are to love our enemies, he’s not just talking about the guy that is trying to take your job at work, or the teacher who has a beef with you for no reason. He’s talking about people who want to harm you, steal from you, murder you. He’s talking about Islamofascists, Nazis, Gangbangers, and Communists. And there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to love a person if you want them to be killed. None. So I gave up war.

I haven’t set out to protest any of the conflicts we’re in around the world, though. I know that Governments are going to do what they will do, and I will disagree with that, but my job is not to make the government “Christian” (because it can’t be), but to show Christ to everyone that I meet.

Which leads me to my original point. America can’t win the war on terror.

We are generally a nice group of people. In most cases, we don’t bomb people indiscriminantly (though some feel Iraq was unjust, and I can sympathize with that position) and we send aid to others, and we let people worship freely. We allow many things that many other countries don’t. Freedom of speech, press, right to bear arms, etc. We are a free nation.

And because we are good, we fight wars differently than others do. We attempt to fight fair. We will do our absolute best to keep civilian deaths as low as possible, even if that means losing some of our own men.

And that is why we can’t win the war on terror.

There is no way to defeat a guerilla army, one that hides among commoners, straps bombs to their chests, and blow themselves up, without complete and total annihilation. It just won’t happen. Just as fast as we can kill these people, more are joining their ranks (or cult, if you will) because they become angry (understandably) that we are killing their countrymen. It’s happened before in history if you recall. There was a King named George and a group of colonies who didn’t like being treated as second class citizens. They rose up, but they didn’t fight conventionally. They hid in bushes, they set traps, they didn’t line up in rows in a pasture and shoot at each other. Cause they couldn’t win that way. And eventually, the American forces defeated the British and won their independence.

Those same tactics are at work here, except, the stakes are much higher. No longer do people fight wtih muskets and cannons but with nuclear bombs and biological weapons. Guerilla Warfare has changed and it will defeat us. Maybe not in the conventional way. They won’t come in and take the White House and cut off our President’s head… but as soon as someone gets a nuclear or biological weapon to detonate in this country, its gonna be 1984 for all of us, and that will be the end.

This country that started off with high hopes of Liberty and Justice for All will become just another tyranical state, dictating all sorts of decisions that you take for granted at this time. And its going to be bad.

And my message for everyone is simply this. Do NOT put your trust in a country, a creed, or even in an ideology that is not Christ. America cannot save you from the principalities and powers that work against us. Only Christ can. And he will, eventually, save us all. But if you put your hope in this country, your faith in this country… when it falls, its gonna be a hard fall for you.

I pray that people relinquish their faith in the system to solve all our ills, and put their faith in Christ and his lifestyle that leads to a cross, but also to salvation.

Randy Harris

Last night at College Hills, Randy Harris spoke on the topic of being “Ordinary Radicals”.

He didn’t come up with this phrase on his own, its part of the subtitle of the Shane Claiborne book “Irresistable Revolution”. He spoke about how we’ve watered down Christianity and how younger people are going to have to show the adults, not just prove to them through sermons how we’re supposed to be living.

I thought it was a great topic. He made some great points (I wish I’d taken notes) but I really thought he shyed away from saying some stuff that needs to be said. He asked us to re read through the gospels and list all the things that Jesus says that we are uncomfortable with. I could think of a zillion right off the top of my head. Turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, give your undergarment as well as your cloak, as well as things that Paul said  that expound on these statements like ‘do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’.

Thing is though, what disappointed me, was that Randy used the situation of dealing with a crazy church of christ preacher as his enemy. Was Jesus talking about our response to people who speak ill of us? Yes. Absolutely. But I think we as a church have used these type of examples as the only means by which we are to forgive and turn the other cheek. While its not often easy to respond in a Christlike way to those people, how about the example of the would be suicide bomber, the communist, basically, the enemies of our nation? We are called to love those enemies just the same as the enemies who aren’t threatening our lives. This would have been a great opportunity for Randy to show the power of the ressurection. We do not fear death because of Christ. It frees us to love others, even when it is dangerous for us. It frees us from so many things when we don’t just look at the easy examples of loving. I don’t think anyone would disagree here in saying that it would be easier to love the guy who condemns you to hell for using instruments than it would be to love Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jong Il.

But over all, it was great to hear from Randy. He always brings a good message, and I’m glad that he’s more and more becoming a bigger voice in our movement.

War and Peace

All day long I’ve been thinking about this and how its going to effect our lives and the lives of countless citizens of this earth in the next couple weeks or months.

Jesus offers us some challenging words in regards to how to respond to violence. Turn the other cheek. What does that mean, exactly, and how should that apply in my life?

Some would argue that its a completely personal thing. Personal enemy and personal response. If someone I know hits me… I shouldn’t retaliate.  Others believe that it is beyond that. I should never show violence towards anyone. And finally, some believe that this call to pacifism should be an ideal of governments. Basically, when someone lobs a bomb at you… don’t do anything.

I have trouble with all of these responses. I think maybe they are all right to an extent… or maybe all partially right. Maybe if someone hits me, I shouldn’t hit them back. But, if someone is threatening the life of another, and I have the opportunity to save them, even if it causes harm to someone, should I do it? Or, can I support my government in war, even though my christian ethic believes violence is wrong? Or is governmental violence wrong in every situation. Was it wrong for us to fight in WW2? Was it wrong to drop the atomic bombs on Japan? It killed and injured many, many people. However, it saved a lot of lives (american and japanese) that would have been lost in a ground invasion of that country.

How does a true disciple of Christ follow the “turn the other cheek” teaching ?