We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.
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.
Image by Jayel Aheram. Sourced via Flickr.
Podcast: Shouldn’t We Also Take the Command to Cut Off Our Hand Literally?
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
The Kingdom, Just War Theory, and Ukraine
History textbooks often read like surveys of how countries handled war with other nations. The stuff between the conflicts reads like precursors and aftermath to the history-making actions of war. Now we observe the rising tension between Russia and Ukraine along with other world leaders as they try to determine how to respond. Sadly, church history…
Why Did Jesus Command His Disciples to Arm Themselves With Swords? (podcast)
In this episode Greg looks at the command in Luke 22 to buy a sword. Episode 46 http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0046.mp3
Should Christians Arm Themselves?
Jerry Falwell Jr, the president of Liberty University, recently encouraged the students to arm themselves saying, “I always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walk in and kill.” In the light of Christ’s teaching, what should be our response? First, the NT is quite…
Jesus Said, “Buy a sword.” What did he mean?
Yesterday, I challenged the common assumption that Jesus was violent when he drove out the animals and turned over tables in the Temple courts. (See post.) Today I want to look at the second episode some site to suggest Jesus wasn’t totally opposed to violence. It takes place just before Jesus and his disciples leave…
Be the Change Now
Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s a profoundly Kingdom teaching. It seems to me, however, that few people adopt Ghandi’s philosophy. It’s far easier to focus our attention on how others should change. It’s far easier to spend our energy assigning blame for the problems of society…