Where are the Blessed Peacemakers?
Religion Dispatches Magazine posted an article recently on embracing non-violence in the Christian tradition. In it, Elizabeth Drescher argues that the violent imagery in Paul’s writing accounts for a great deal of the violent posturing going on in churches today, but she also argues that these images have been misapplied and misunderstood. She challenges us that, “It is time…for Christian churches to atone for their own role in the culture of violence within which we all suffer by standing actively against it week upon week upon week in the pulpit and on the street.”
From the article:
The “armor of God,” too often turned to violent purposes, is comprised of truth, righteousness, and peace. Paul’s “helmet of salvation”—that which protects the center of human thought and reason—and “sword of the Spirit” are not of course acts of aggression, but words. Hence, likewise, the sword of justice wielded in the Revelation of John (Rev. 19:11-15)—the New Testament book most often cited in violent, apocalyptic Christian fantasies—extends from the mouth of the white-robed representation of the risen Christ. He slays the forces of cosmic evil not with physical aggression, but with the same “Word of God” that Paul calls out as the fundamental instrument of Christian faith, righteousness, and peace.
Christians, we seem to forget in all the clucking over the extent to which fried chicken sandwiches do or do not represent ideological preferences, are meant to use words, and to use them in particular for peace. This peace—the “Peace of Christ” in Christian tradition—is the heart of Christian teaching and practice, upon which rests everything from faithful stewardship of creation, to economic justice, to the rejection of violence as a solution for personal, familial, social, or political disagreements.
In this clip from this weeks sermon, Greg Boyd comments on how Christians should respond to the events in Ferguson St. Louis and how that response should always be in love and to help heal both sides. The full sermon is here: http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/heart-smart-qa
If we take the command to turn the other cheek literally, what about the command to gouge out our eyes? Or cut off our hand? http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0452.mp3
Question: Greg Boyd describes himself as a pacifist. I am curious to know what he thinks about wars or any other situation where genocide is happening. When such evil things are being done by force and violence, how should Christians, and other moral, loving people for that matter, respond? Are we really to use only non-violent…
(This post was written by Greg on Sunday, October 28, 2007. It was such a controversial entry that he had to write a follow-up post which you can read here) Brad Cole is a friend of mine who runs a ministry called Heavenly Sanctuary. This ministry puts on Conferences around the country on the Character…
We recently posted a video Q&A on open theism and we received a lot of positive feedback. We’re happy to share another of these today on the question of non-violence. Greg has answered this question previously, but he expands on his answer here in a way he never has before. Be blessed!
In the last message of Mixed Signals, we take a look at Islam and how Kingdom people should be responding to the growing worldwide Islamic movement. We explore the growing disparity between the life Jesus led and calls us into and the normal worldly response to those who are different or potentially threaten our way…