refusing to get political

it is not secret, i am pro-peace.

i believe all war, no matter the reason is against the teachings of christ. i will stand on my faith and i will be willing to die for it, i am just very unwilling to kill for it. as we approach the 3rd anniversary of 9/11 i see more and more people claiming to be for peace, but in reality they simply are doing it for politics, and that is a place i can not go -

living very close to the capitol of california i was asked if i wanted to partake in the rally on the capitol steps in support of peace. when i started to ask deeper questions i got answers i was not happy with - it seems that the "rally for peace" was more "anti-war" then "pro-peace" - let me explain how i see the difference -

anti-war people seem to be a group that is more against the war because of politics, then because it is wrong to kill another human. they (mostly this group called "moving on") seem to be more against the political system, then in support of any kind of peace.

pro-peace people are people who stand against all wars, no matter who starts it, why it started or even if it seems to have a "good" end in store. i believe that no good can come of the taking of a human life.

there are those who disagree with me and stand firm on the fact that the war can be a "right and just" thing - and when i mention that i am pro-peace, they are quick to ask "then what do we do with the scripture in the old testament that speaks of war, and of just war and of going to war to protect the weak" - i say we simply ignore it - after all, it is not the first time we would ignore scripture.

what do you do with the scripture that allows the killing of infants?
what do you do with the scripture that seems to support beating a child?
what do you do with the scripture that supports the separation of the races?
what do you do with the scripture that allows for slavery?
what do you do with the scripture that supports being married and having girlfriends?

you see, we are willing to ignore some scripture because we just don't see that as a christian reality - it would be unheard of to teach that whites and blacks should not marry - it would be seen as not very christian to support slavery - it would be seen as very unchristian to think in terms of being married and having girlfriends on the side - even thought an old testament argument can be made for the killing of children, racial separation, slavery and even the "christian" understanding of infidelity. we have said that the new covenant of christ changed those and opened out heart - yet, for whatever reason, we hold on to the doctrines of war and the inhuman, unchristian idea that violence solves any issues -

just my opinion


Martin Kelley said...

Hi Punkmonkey,
Thanks for the great post. As publisher of Nonviolence.org, I'm always trying to make the point that we should be more than just anti-war and that nonviolence means a whole lot more than holding a sign at a rally. Over time I've also been becoming more public that it's Christ's teachings and the tradition of Christian pacifism that's motivating and inspiring my work. Thanks again, I'm linking to this piece from my main Nonviolence.org blog.
In Friendship,
Martin Kelley
personal site at www.nonviolence.org/martink

Anonymous said...

Not really anonymous: Justin Cunningham, Colorado

Here's my problem... what about defending the defenseless? Speaking only from my perspective, I have a wife and 2 kids. What is the "nonviolent" response to a murderous or ravaging threat to them? Even further, if I by circumstance come across a woman being ravaged in an alley (for example), what is the "nonviolent" response?

My problem is that such people will do one of two things: 1) cut and run, which is my preference; or 2) turn on me. What then?


lucas said...

hey john o'keefe,

long time no read or hear from you... hope the ministry is kickin' it for reals old school. i agree with you 100% - 1. i don't know that it's okay (well, not okay with me) to say we ignore certain scripture. i'm okay with interpreting or disagreeing with scripture, but not ignoring it.

Anonymous said...

hey punk monkey. I was on a post modern website and I came across your from a link. I was reading this post and you brought up the question of ignoring scripture, and then stated some. These included being married and having a girlfriend, or beating you wife was one of them. Could you please show me scripture for these. I would like to look into them more. Thanks.

john o'keefe said...

well, you asked me to give you scriptures to support the:

"being married and having a girlfriend,"

look in the ot - and it is loaded - many people were married and had "other" ladies in their life - many of the "other women" even gave birth to children :)


"beating you wife was one of them."

look back in history, and you will see that women were considered property of the man - and as such could be treated as such - many scriptures were used to support this - they were wrong, but you can not deny that history is real.


Anonymous said...

this does not give me any scripture. Would you tell someone searching to go find it themselves?

As for the many wives, that doesn't mean that God condoned it. It is something that people did.

For beating your wife, again, this is something that the bible doesn't condon just because it was culture. Show me scripture for it, and I will recant on my statement.

john o'keefe said...

no, but if you were hungey why slap the hand offering you a sandwich? :)

i could tell you, but you would not see it because you are not thinking the way they were thinking - do you deny that the church held women back? enforced and encouraged slavery? considered children as "little adults?" do you deny that god allowed people to have a wife and "extras?" i am not asking if you agree that they should be allowed today - i am asking if you deny that that was the major theological point of view back in the day? -

if you do, then reread history - you will be suprised :)


Reloaded said...

On polygamy, the prophet Nathan says God gave David his wives in 2 Sam 12:8

7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms.

I couldn't find wife beating, but the Law in Leviticus permits burning daughters that act like whores

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9)

or, if your wife helps you in a fight, by grabbing a guy's balls, her hand must be cut off (Deut 25:11-12)

That's why I'm a follower of Jesus and I no longer hold the Bible sacrosanct. To me, the Bible is not the infallible fourth member of the trinity. Because I believe some parts are the beliefs of man, and not the words of God, and that's a shame, but that's the way it is.

I'm more interested in a relationship with Jesus than in getting every last letter of the Law and Doctrine in place.

Lastly, good post. I believe use of force to aid oppressed people (wife, family, another country) is justified, BUT making stuff up about the threat level another country poses, or "reorganizing" some countries and doing little about other more oppressive countries is wrong.

Those are my beliefs. You are not required to believe them. My beliefs do not require you to.

Daniel said...

I am glad I found this thread because I have been asking some questions along these lines. Is there anywhere in the New Testament that says that Jesus Christ approved of war? Is there anywhere that says he approved of killing another human being? I know the Old Testament condones both, but I am looking for answers about Christ, and they would have to be substantiated in the New Testament.
I do not believe Jesus Christ would ever have supported war.
I have a real distrust of anyone who claims to be a Christian, but who supports war, or the death penalty, or murder and killing.
I am opposed to all war, because war is brought upon people by greedy leaders, and the people who fight the wars do not benefit from them. The use of violent means to achieve a result perpetuates violence, and the results are only temporary, until a more violent power comes along.