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You’re Not a Pacifist Are You?
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. And it might interest you to know that he does not call himself a pacifist. You should really check it out.
From Brian’s post:
But I actually don’t claim the label of pacifist, and for this reason: pacifism is a political position on violence; it’s a position one could adopt apart from Jesus Christ — as for example the great writer and humanist Kurt Vonnegut did. But I am not a political pacifist. What I am is a Christian. And as a Christian we can talk about how Christ informs humanity on the subject of violence.
In my long and winding journey I’ve come to understand that to live gently in a violent world is part of the counterculture of following Christ. This is not something I would ever have arrived at on my own. I am not by nature a gentle person. For most of my life I have viewed violence with a kind of affection. In my youth I got in plenty of fights. I enjoyed violent movies. Cowboy justice held a romantic appeal. As a pastor I supported nearly all (if not literally all) of America’s military adventures. If my views on violence have changed — and they have — the blame falls squarely on Jesus! It’s not like I just woke up one day and said, “Hey, I think I’ll adopt a position of Christian nonviolence just for the fun of it. I bet that will be popular!” No, that’s not what happened. What happened was once the red, white, and blue varnish was removed from Jesus and I learned to read the gospels free of a star-spangled interpretation, I discovered that my Lord and Savior had a lot of things to say about peace that I had been missing. I was as surprised as anyone! But once you’ve seen the truth you can’t un-know what you know and be true to yourself. So let’s talk about it.
Tags: America, Brian Zahnd, Counter-Culture, Gentleness, Gospels, Jesus, Kingdom Living, Non-Violence, Pacifism, Peace
Penal Substitution View of Atonement: Did God the Father Just Need to Vent?
In this video blog, Greg outlines the penal substitution view of atonement which says that the Father poured out his wrath on Jesus instead of us so that we could be forgiven. This view is very common and you might even be nodding your head in agreement with that description. However, this view creates some…
Lighten Up: Misunderstood
via Laughing Redhead Studio
How can you believe Matthew’s report about the Jewish cover up of the resurrection?
Question: In Matthew it’s reported that Jewish authorities tried to cover up the resurrection of Jesus by saying the disciples stole the body while the guards were sleeping. I don’t buy it. How would Matthew know about this story, since it was a secret conversation the authorities had with the guards? And how could they…
The God Who Embraces Our Doubt
Lawrence OP via Compfight Zack Hunt over at The American Jesus posted some of his thoughts on doubt, and it seemed fitting on this week before the Doubt, Faith & the Idol of Certainty conference to share what he had to say. We’re thinking he must have stumbled on Greg’s book or maybe God is…
The Coming Kingdom & Racial Conflict
In the book of Revelation, we see a glimpse into the future. John says he saw, …a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And…
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…