5757504378_6208d5a775

Little Pacifism

Richard Beck spoke about something he names Little Pacifism on his Experimental Theology website. It’s so easy, in the name of peacemaking, to become angry and aggressive. I suppose this is just part of what it means to be human. However, if we hope to bring the Kingdom of God closer the earth (and to our neighborhoods) it just makes sense to start small, to start where we are. Let’s not behave violently, in the name of non-violence. And, by all means, let’s try to avoid being jerks whenever possible.

From the article:

I think one of the biggest failures of the pacifistic witness is when we don’t practice nonviolence in our personal relations. Pacifism is too often projected onto the global scale. The conversation becomes almost exclusively about war between political powers. And no doubt that’s an important conversation. But it can get a little abstract and philosophical. And some pacifists can be less than charitable toward others. Let’s call this big conversation heroic pacifism.

Me? I don’t think a lot about heroic pacifism. I probably should, but I spend most of my time thinking about violence in my personal relations, how I treat people–my family, people at work, people at church, people in the line at the store, commenters on this blog. My practice of nonviolence isn’t heroic in scale. I practice a little pacifism, a small pacifism. I try not to be a jerk.

Image by David Goehring. Sourced via Flickr.

Related Reading

Podcast: Who is Allowed to Kill and Who Isn’t?

How could it have been ‘just’ to Kill Hitler but also not something a Christian should do? Greg wrestles with non-violence in a world where God uses the violence of others for his own will. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0360.mp3

You’re Not a Pacifist Are You?

 Jayel Aheram via Compfight Brian Zahnd wrote a great piece the other day on this topic. He contends that when he is asked this question, it often has the same flavor of the question, “You’re not a pornographer are you?” Why is this question so contentious among believers? Brian has some interesting ideas about it.…

Quotes to Chew On: Desires

Marcos de Madariaga via Compfight Here’s a quote that comes to us via Andrew Sullivan’s blog: “We are rarely presented with an authentically fulfilling trajectory for our desires… If we are created for infinite satisfaction, we really only have three choices about what to do with our desire in this life: We will become either…

Dancing with the Triune God

What does it mean to live in the presence of God now? How do we do this? What does it mean to be in the presence of God for eternity? In this video produced by The Work of the People, Greg Boyd shares what it means to for us to be in God’s presence and allow…

What the hell are we doing here?

Meet Collin Simula. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is a part of Central Vineyard church. He is a 30-year-old graphic designer, and a happily married father of three. Collin has spent his whole life in the Church, in every denomination imaginable, from Calvinist/Christian Reformed churches, to a Baptist high school, being a part of…

Spiritual Warfare: What is it?

The Kingdom is “not of this world,” and neither is its warfare. Jews had always believed that God confronted spiritual opposition in carrying out his will on earth. In the Old Testament, these evil forces were usually depicted as cosmic monsters and hostile waters that threatened the earth. For a variety of reasons this belief…