Enemy-Loving Non-Violence

Jesus Said, “Buy a sword.” What did he mean?

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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…

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Was the Early Church Pacifistic? A Response to Paul Copan (#11)

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In Crucifixion of the Warrior God (CWG) I argue that Jesus and Paul instruct Christians to love and bless their enemies and to unconditionally refrain from violence (e.g. Matt 5:39-45; Rom 12:14-21). Moreover, I argue…

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The Violent “Church Triumphant”

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In light of how central enemy-loving non-violence is to Jesus’ teaching and to his cross-centered revelation of God, we have to wonder why the church has refused to listen to its head and instead condoned…

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Jesus and the “Favored Nation”

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Nationalism lies at the heart of the Old Testament narrative. This concept is intimately wrapped up with the law-oriented covenant God made with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, for at the heart of this covenant…

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God’s Non-Violent Ideal in the OT

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While God condescended to working within the violent-prone, fallen framework of his people in the Old Testament—as I argue in Crucifixion of the Warrior God—the OT is also full of references to how God worked…

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The Call To Nonviolent Discipleship

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The cross wasn’t simply something God did for us. According to the NT, it was also an example God calls us to follow. Yet, as discussed in the previous post, most often the call to…

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Why Don’t We Practice Non-Violent Love

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Why in the history of history of the church has enemy-loving non-violence so rarely been attributed to God and so rarely been espoused as the defining characteristic of kingdom people? In light of the fact…

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The Distinguishing Mark of a Child of God

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Jesus claimed that loving enemies was a precondition for being considered a child of God. “[L]ove your enemies,” he taught, “that you may be children of your Father…” (Mt. 5:44-45, emphasis added). And again, “love…

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Jesus and Nationalistic Violence

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Throughout the Old Testament, we find Israel spoken of as God’s “chosen nation.” The Israelites were to be a nation of priests whom God wanted to use to unite the world under him (Ex 19:6)….

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What Power Do You Trust?

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Governments and nations have always relied on fighting to survive. They punish criminals who threaten their welfare. They go to war against enemies who attack their borders or stand in the way of their agenda….

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Violent Thinking

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When most people think of violence, they think of physical violence. But the truth is that our actions are only violent because our hearts and minds are violent first. For this reason, Jesus emphasizes purging…

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The Radically Distinct Kingdom of God

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Yesterday, we posted a video where Greg mentioned the radical distinction between the kingdom of God and the governments of the world. The following explains this distinction further. Nothing is more important to the cause…

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Nations and Violence

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In this video by The Work of the People, Greg shares why there is no such thing as a Christian nation. Nations are not the kind of things that turn the other cheek, love their…

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The Unfaithfulness of Violence

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  For more videos like this be sure to visit The Work of the People.

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Do the Gospels Promote Anti-Semitism?

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been looking at various passages from the Gospels that have been used by some to argue that Jesus condones violence. Here is a link to each of…

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Why Didn’t Jesus Denounce Military Service?

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A common objection to the claim that Jesus and the authors of the New Testament were opposed to all forms of violence is that neither Jesus nor anyone else speaks out against it. When soldiers…

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Did Jesus Instruct Us to Arm Ourselves?

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Over the past few posts, I’ve been dealing with the passages that are frequently used to argue how Jesus condoned violence. One of these takes place just after the last supper and just before Jesus and…

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Jesus Came to Bring a Sword?

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Jesus said: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Mt 10:34).  Some, both modern scholars along with church leaders…

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Why Did Jesus Curse a Barren Fig Tree?

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While no one argues that the NT advocates violence explicitly, many allege that some passages reflect violent attitudes toward outsiders, and especially toward non-believing Jews, while others detect an element of violence in some of…

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Violent Parables?

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Some try to argue that Jesus did not make loving enemies and refraining from violence an absolute mandate. They make their case on the basis of several passages from the Gospels. The first concerns the…

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