Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why I'm a Pacifist

Grown ups don't punch people. That is unless they are criminals or they participate in some sort of sport that involves fighting. I always thought that was was a fairly logical statement but not everyone agrees with me. Under normal circumstances, if one grown up punches another, it shows a complete lack of self discipline. After all, if nothing else, it's a crime to punch someone. I believe it is refereed to as assault. Pacifist or not, it is my belief, that most people can live their entire lives and never encounter a situation that requires them to act violently.

So, now for what is apparently one of my top two most controversial beliefs. Why am I a pacifist? The simple answer is because I feel that this is how God wants me to live. It's a personal conviction. I have never insisted that everyone should take the same stand as me in living a life of non-violence. Thus, personal conviction.

The second reason is equally simple. You don't have to have doctorate in divinity to know that Jesus lived a life of non-violence. He was the author of such controversial sayings as:

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also." (Luke 6:27-31)

I understand that these are difficult verses to take at face value. There are a million scenarios where this seems like an impractical or irresponsible way to react. If someone was taking your best friend and mentor away to be unjustly put to death you may feel inclined to defend him by force. But, if your friend was Jesus he would say, put away your sword. I believe that God is sovereign and if he wants me to live a life of non-violence than his will will be done no matter the circumstance.

This is a blog, not a thesis paper so I won't delve into this any further. Perhaps by the dictionary definition I'm a true pacifist because I'm not going to take a stand against having a military or Mud Wrestling. At it's core my pacifism only really involves two people, God and me.
So, if you would like to punch me in the face feel free. You wouldn't be the first person to do it. If you decided to do so I can assure you of two things. One I will not hit you back and two I will file assault charges.


Helen Ann said...

You go, Dan! I just checked out a book from the library called "Engaging the Powers - discernment and resistance in a world of domination" by Walter Wink. It's the third in a series about the 'powers and principalities' and Jesus' call to fight them with prayer, love and non-violence - but he also makes a distinction between 'pacifism' and 'passivism'...Addresses those 'what if' questions regarding 'what would you do if someone is attacking your child?'...Haven't read too much yet, but good so far...I gotta get the other two at some point.

Francy said...

Dude, get yourself a Message bible or at least an NIV!