It almost sounds like a comedy. When you see Desmond Doss enter the scene as a young man, he seems like a goof, and you wonder what kind of idiot is going to join the army and refuse to carry a rifle. Is this like Gomer Pyle? Continue reading →
A look into the history of the Restoration Movement, “Campbellism” wave, and how historically the mainstream Churches of Christ ceased to preach against war in the wake of persecution from the government.
A Digest of The Omnivore’s Dilemma Part 6: Resolving Our Food Dilemmas or “What is the perfect meal, anyway?”
“The blessing of the omnivore is that he can eat a great many different things in nature. The curse of the omnivore is that when it comes to figuring out which of those things are safe to eat, he’s pretty much on his own.” -M.P.
Humans are able to eat so many things, and yet so much that we eat (or can eat) is also harmful. We have natural instincts that keep us from dying, like taste, disgust, and the feeling of a full belly. But we also like to refuse to listen to our body, or our mind. Continue reading →
From the post:
“My invitation to you, my brothers and sisters who would one day beat your swords into ploughshares (but not just yet) is simply this: at least be more welcoming to peaceful peasants such as I am, who have welcomed God’s kingdom into our lives by laying down our sword and shield (perhaps preemptively) by the riverside to study war no more. We are doing no harm to you. Further, I would challenge you to consider what it is worth making your ploughshares into swords and your gardening tools into spears over.”
From the post: “So you pacifist types, what will you do if some armed intruder breaks into your home to murder/rape/rob/cannibalize you and your family?” What this really is, is a leading question. They expect that you will say, “Just let them eat my babies, I guess,” and then they can chide you for being an irresponsible, unloving, yellow-bellied terrible excuse for a spouse/parent/guardian. But if they can get you to say, “I would use violence to defend my family,” then they can back you into the corner of saying, “Well, how is going to war any different when you go to war to defend others?” Of course there are two obvious counters: a) no recent wars have actually been premised upon such lofty ideals (no matter what the leaders of our Empire tell you) and b) the immediate threat of a specific armed intruder is a much simpler moral dilemma to parse out than the often dubious claims upon which actual wars are based.
“You can kill us, but you cannot hurt us.” -Justin Martyr
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”-Tertullian
*Matthew 5:9; 5:38-45; 26:52; Luke 6:27-28; Romans 12:14; 12:17-21; 1 Cor. 4:12; 1 Peter 3:9; and Revelation 12:11
Having finished the book A Faith Not Worth Fighting For, I have one wish, that it was instead called A Faith Worth Not Fighting For. I think that phrase is more positive and more accurately reflects the essays within. The Christian faith is something I will fight for in my heart and in the endeavors of my faith, not with weapons, but with the piercing sword of the spirit that gives new life. Here the authors explain why they chose the title they did, which I think is justified. Continue reading →
Chapter 13 is about the alleged violent Jesus in John’s Revelation. J. Nelson Kraybill asks “What About the Warrior Jesus in Revelation 19: ‘He has trampled out the vintage’?”
To start with, Kraybill reminds us that “we should read Revelation as reassurance that God has chosen to act and redeem in the midst of a messed up world.” That’s important, considering some of the weird interpretations of the book that have come up over the ages. Far too many people still believe that it’s something like the “Left Behind” books that themselves left wisdom and truth behind. What John writes is in essence a revealing. In all the troubles Christians were undergoing and about to undergo, we Jesus is revealed. That is the purpose of the book John wrote on Patmos. Continue reading →
The last chapter dealt with the centurion. This chapter deals with the temple incident.
John Dear in Chapter 12 asks, “Didn’t Jesus overturn the tables and chase people out of the temple with a whip?” Most of the paintings of this incident were done after versions of the Bible were disseminated that translated the word as “whip”. Like paintings of a white Jesus, sometimes these old images continue through a culture, regardless of what a text says.
However, Dear makes it clear that this incident reminds us that “the nonviolent Jesus was not passive. He did not sit under a tree and practice his breathing.” Jesus was very confrontational, and may have seemed angry enough to hit someone or more. It’s no wonder we may think his actions at the temple prove he wasn’t nonviolent because it was so…action-oriented. “His nonviolence was active, provocative, public, daring and dangerous.” Continue reading →
In Chapter 11, Andy Alexis-Baker looks at the case study of a Roman Soldier: “What About the Centurion?”
The argument has gone that since the centurion showed great faith, and that Jesus commended him, and did not tell him to leave the service, that it was ok for the centurion to be a soldier, and thus it’s ok for Christians to war.
But if you grew up with the heritage of faith that I did, you are very very familiar with how the whole “making arguments from silence” thing works. I’ve seen whole debates on whether silence is permissive or prohibitive (or either of these exclusively). Baker says “Jesus’ silence on the centurion’s profession has become a tacit endorsement of Christians becoming involved in state-sponsored killing.”