being a pacifist

the question of being a pacifist has been brought to my attention again. let me share with you my personal view and see what you think

i am still amazed that christians would even think of violence as a solution of any problem, or as a retaliation to any situation. jesus, himself, was perfectly capable of self defense, yet he chose not to defend himself; he allowed his enemies kill him and even asked that his murderers be forgiven. we need to follow his lead.

i saw a gross bumper sticker that asked: "who would jesus bomb?" what would you answer? if looked at from another point, we can see something of value in those words. we are specifically called to follow jesus example of suffering love and non-retaliation (1 peter 2:21). when we ask the question "who would jesus bomb?" our answer can only be :no one." so my questions to you (and i would like anyone to truly answer these with their open hearts - respond if you think pacifism is wrong) are:

how would you think jesus would act to being attacked?
how would jesus deal with a person who was asulting his family?
how would jesus deal with violence?
would jesus fight in a war?
would jesus take the life of another if attacked?
would jesus beat a person up is that person was attacking him?
what would jesus do in response to violence?

would you deny that jesus died for the life of his enemies? (rom 5:8-10) keep in mind that jesus gave us a specific reason to love our enemies, "so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven" (mat 5:45), to be like him!

let me share a little example with you that most christians support, the death penalty. if a man kills another does that man deserve the death penalty? if you take a life do you deserve to die in return? of course he does, but does it make it right to kill him? must we all receive what we deserve in the form of a punishment? remember, jesus was questioned concerning the death penalty (for a crime God specifically commanded the death penalty for in the old testament) and what did jesus say? jesus did not say it was undeserved; he said to those gathered with stones in their hands, "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." (john 8:7). does not the same reasoning apply to a others, and nations, seeking to "punish" another "evil"? can any person you know of truly cast the first stone? can you cast the first stone?

if we believe, and trust that God will take care of us, we must work by faith; God is fully capable of handling those who do evil and does not need our help. we should not fear others, even those who could, maybe, possibly kill us or do us harm (matt 10:28). what you need to remember is that "loving everyone" is the basic truth, not some sweet catchy cliche, of the message of christ. we have to stand by our faith and realize if we are truly conquerors in all things by being in jesus, then nothing can separate us from the love of God. (rom 8:37-39)

i find it unfortunate that it is too easy for us today to fall to the reaction of violence. it is a belief of the modern popular culture that the only way to stop people from doing evil is with violent force. we need to remember that according to scripture God's truth is that our real enemies are spiritual, not physical (eph 6:12); so they must be opposed with spiritual means (2 cor 10:4), not violence.

scripture teach us to oppose violence with love and peace, it does not teaches us to oppose evil with violent force. we are not to live in accordance with culture (rom 12:2), so we need to remember that God, who created this universe, tells us that the world was not found on violence, it was found and designed differently, out of love, peace, grace and forgiveness.

here are some scripture to think about and pray over:

"love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you." (mt 5:44, lu 6:27, lu 6:3)
"do not use force against an evil man." (mt 5:39)
"do not resist evil with evil." (mat 5:38-40)
"forgive and you will be forgiven." (lu 6:37)
"do not be anxious about your life."(lu 12:22)
"he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword." (mat 26:52)
"in everything do to others as you would have them do to you." (mat 7:12)
"do not return evil for evil." (1 pet 3:9, rom 12:17, 1 thes 5:15)
"overcome evil with good."(rom 12:21)
"beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (rom 12:19)