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Pacifist?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by eric m williams, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. In your opinion are followers of Jesus suppossed to be pacifists?
    ...why?
     
  2. From a physical perspective yes, from a spiritual perspective no.

    2Ti 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

    2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
    2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
    2Co 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
     
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  3. Jesus discouraged the use of unnecessary force (Mattew 5:9, Matthew 26:52) but acknowledged that legitimate force was, at times, necessary (Luke 14:31, Luke 22:36). Indeed -- as Jesus is God and God inspired both the Old and New Testaments, the Old Testament prescriptions for war (Eccles. 3:1-3) reflect Jesus' position on the matter of war.

    So, Jesus encouraged his followers to pursue peace and warned them of the evils of war, but he did not teach that war was never permissible.
     
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  4. I think that the "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" statement Jesus made pretty much covers it.

    There have been extreme situations where Christians have found it necessary to resort to violence to avoid annihilation, i.e German occupation of Greece during WW2, but thankfully those occurances are rare.

    For the most part we are required to be nonviolent.
     
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  5. Weapons of our warfare are not carnal....we fight spiritual battle that Jesus has already won for us..we are to RESIST the devil..we use Gods Word which is sharper than any two edged sword.

    So, no we are not pacifists in that sense..Jesus came to bring division not peace...between the sheep and goats, and then HIS peace that passes all understanding when we are HIS.

    He tells us to put on the whole armour of God. So whether we like it or not, we have to declare we are on Jesus side. We cant sit on the fence.
     
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  6. All I know for myself is that as I have aged and matured , the more pacifist(physically speaking) I have become. But like what was stated about survival, then I dunno...don't think I could sit back and watch a massacre unfold if I had the means to stop it. Where that could get me in trouble is witnessing another murder by cop episode going on in front of me against an unarmed "suspect" and I had the means to stop it. I guess I would have to place myself between the cop and his intended victim.
     
  7. If you are being honest about pacifism or turning the other cheek, it also means that you cannot call the police when your house is being invaded, or you are being mugged, or your wife is being raped etc.
    Calling the police is merely violence by proxy. ie. you are getting someone else to do the violence in your place. That's not being a pacifist!
     
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  8. #8 Francis Drake, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
    Nothing happened when I clicked the button, so I clicked again and ended up with a duplicate post to the one above. Tried to delete it and couldn't. Tried to wipe everything and it wouldn't let be post an empty box, so I added all this nonsense by way of filling the space. If those who have these skills can delete it please do.
    Motto-
    No matter how slow it is, never click twice, thrice, etc.
     
  9. Since it is germane to this discussion, I will start by stating that I voluntarily served a term in the Air Force. I am quite sure that God placed me in that service, both to accomplish things for His kingdom, as well as to learn to trust.

    I would like to state several things in relation:

    (1) God's people took Canon by conquest as instructed by the Lord.

    (2) In Luke 22, when the Lord was instructing his followers to make provisions for self sufficiency, he included taking swords, and there were two swords right at hand (in the possession of Jesus's closest followers)
    And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment." They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough." Luke 22:36-38 NASB​

    (3) Finally, I would like to pass along teaching I first heard in the Ft Myer Post Chapel: The scripture was from the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" Matt 5:9. The point of the sermon was that our Lord did not say "Blessed are the peace lovers". Wanting peace and not being ready to do what is necessary to achieve or preserve it is like sitting and cursing the darkness around and refusing to light a candle.

    Putting peace above working to free the oppressed from their oppression is just as problematic.

    This does not mean that I think wars are good. Waging war is not a personal choice. Serving can be, but is not necessarily by choice. I do know that my comfortable service does not approach that of many others who bravely did their duty, and still do, to their country (whether it be mine or some other country). I try to honor all those that have honorably served.



    I have no animosity to those that see these things in other ways,
     
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  10. There are many people that use those two numbered points as a basis to support the use of violence when necessary.

    As for number 1: Yes God commanded Israel to take the land of Caanan by conquest. In fact God commanded the use of violence in several other instances as well, but that was during the old covenant, we are in the new covenant now...thus a new way.

    As for number 2: the verses are often quoted to condone violence, saying that that Jesus is implying such by telling him to take 2 swords but no where does it say in those verses that that was the reason why he told His apostles to do so. People infer that this is so without a good basis for doing so. In fact the following verses tend to imply the opposite since Jesus goes on to rebuke Peter for using his sword in his attempt to defend Him. Further more, those verses are the only instance that might seem to support conditional use of violence, where in contrast there are several verses in different parts of the new testament where the opposite is supported.
     
  11. Well we recently remembered ANZAC day in NZ and that still leaves scars to this day. I can't in good conscience support war - thats why NZ is a pacifist nation, our defence forces are peacekeepers. So many families lost their dads, their husbands, their brothers..2,771 in all from a population of barely a million.
    They believed it was a war to end all wars...well it wasn't. And they weren't even fighting for our country it was for some other country - Britain. I don't know what to say its very upsetting.
    Yesterday the whole nation had a day off, on Saturday there were dawn services all over the country. So many people turned out. We had prayers. We will remember them.
     
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  12. First, just to be clear, I would like to point out that I am not condoning personal violence. As I said, waging war is not a personal choice but the choice of a country (or group). Law enforcement can also require the use of force (and is not personal use).

    As far as our other two points:
    As for number 1: Yes God commanded Israel to take the land of Canon by conquest. In fact God commanded the use of violence in several other instances as well, but that was during the old covenant, we are in the new covenant now...thus a new way.

    (1) Yes, we are in a new covenant, but God is the same God. It is not that He has changed, but that our relationship to Him has changed. The old covenant is not erased, just fulfilled.
    As for number 2: the verses are often quoted to condone violence, saying that that Jesus is implying such by telling him to take 2 swords but no where does it say in those verses that that was the reason why he told His apostles to do so. People infer that this is so without a good basis for doing so. In fact the following verses tend to imply the opposite since Jesus goes on to rebuke Peter for using his sword in his attempt to defend Him. Further more, those verses are the only instance that might seem to support conditional use of violence, where in contrast there are several verses in different parts of the new testament where the opposite is supported.

    (2) The issue here is personal violence against local authority. This is not the same as holding that a Christian law enforcement officer should not carry or use his weapon, or that a Christian soldier may not carry/use a weapon. Does any of the other verses to which you alluded to refer to military or law enforcement? Should these tasks be left only to non-believers?

    Do you have a comment regarding being a peace maker rather than a peace lover (my #3)?
     
  13. I believe that we should avoid violence unless it gets absolutely necessary. Like other posts have said, Jesus wanted His disciples to carry a sword, and this must mean that He was okay with self defense. The Bible also says to try to be at peace with everyone, and not to jump to a fight. So in conclusion, we should not be jumping to fight, but we should be ready to defend ourselves and not afraid to as well. Of course if we are dying for God we should take that with great honor.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-5 KJV
    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    This verse should clear some things up.
     
  14. I have been thinking (and doing a little 'googling') trying to identify if any pacifist ever created peace. The closest I can come up with was Gandhi, who was certainly instrumental in ending, or at least greatly diminishing foreign oppression in India.

    Does anyone have a better example?
     
  15. The only "pacifist" who created peace was Jesus, and I'm not sure if He was even a hard core pacifist. Doesn't seem like it because of the story with Him forcing those evidence to evacuate the temple. To create "peace", you need violence. But true peace comes from Jesus Christ alone, I believe.
     
  16. If you want a New Testament reference, you could try:

    And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
    Rev 19:11-16 (NASB)
     
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  17. #17 Mykuhl, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
    Ok, first I would like to ask: as the body of Christ, whom do we serve...God or man?

    If we serve God then ultimately we do what God commands always. If God commands us to kill we kill, if He commands us to turn the other cheek, we turn the other cheek. In the old covenant God commanded to kill in several instances but in the new covenant He does not command this anywhere. In contrast He commands us: " You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I tell you not to resist and evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, to turn the other also." Matthew 5:38-39. Notice he says not to resist an evil person? Also, notice that in context this was said after He starts with what is said in verses 17-20. It is true that God does not change but as you can see the way He deals with us does change. As you well know Jesus is the Word made flesh so as God he can interpret His commands in what ever way he chooses.

    With reference to personal violence against local authority: the verses previously mentioned in Luke seems to reference just that. If as the popular view states that Jesus was implying that his apostles take 2 swords in order to defend themselves....then who were they supposed to defend themselves against? The local authorities that came take Jesus away to be crucified? The text would imply as much since this happened pretty much right before they came and took Him away by force. So then I don't see how these verses support your idea that the issue is violence against local authority...please clarify.

    Yes, if we are going to live by what the bible teaches us then I believe that we should leave the positions of law enforcement and military to unbelievers. The above verses that I mentioned in Matthew as well as 2 Corinthians 10:2-5, and Ephesians 6:12 support my view. Notice how in Corinthians is says, "for though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh." And how Paul says that the weapons of are warfare are not carnal. Also in Ephesians how it says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. To me these verses apply to military, law enforcement or any other instance.

    I don't have a comment to your #3 point that you brought up yet.
     
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  18. Pacifism is not the same as isolationism. Like switzerland was a neutral country, but they harbored a lot of war criminals and money in their banks. America and britain got others to fight deadly wars for them.

    Well, our in terms of country mine is in the Pacific Ocean and we are all for peace. We are meant to fight 'the good fight' which is accomplished not with war or violence. Usually this is accomplished by playing cricket or rugby games.
     
  19. Well, maybe not rugby. netball and bowls.
    Tennis and golf. Or rowing.
     
  20. Ok, first I would like to ask: as the body of Christ, whom do we serve...God or man?

    They are not mutually exclusive, although they are markedly different. After my military service, I held other Jobs. I believe I served each of those organizations well. None of that interfered with my Christian Life.

    With reference to personal violence against local authority: the verses previously mentioned in Luke seems to reference just that. If as the popular view states that Jesus was implying that his apostles take 2 swords in order to defend themselves....then who were they supposed to defend themselves against? The local authorities that came take Jesus away to be crucified? The text would imply as much since this happened pretty much right before they came and took Him away by force. So then I don't see how these verses support your idea that the issue is violence against local authority...please clarify.

    They were to defend themselves against any who would do them harm (highwaymen, Jewish zealots that do not accept Jesus, etc). Travelers between towns were targets of many who had no other trade. In Jesus's time, the Romans did try to bring some order, but between towns, as traveling witnesses would be, was not well patrolled. Where would Jesus's followers get the two swords from, and so quickly? Since they were now to be carrying money, they would be a greater target for thieves.
    Yes, if we are going to live by what the bible teaches us then I believe that we should leave the positions of law enforcement and military to unbelievers. The above verses that I mentioned in Matthew as well as 2 Corinthians 10:2-5, and Ephesians 6:12 support my view. Notice how in Corinthians is says, "for though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh." And how Paul says that the weapons of are warfare are not carnal. Also in Ephesians how it says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. To me these verses apply to military, law enforcement or any other instance.

    Leaving such things to unbelievers...
    In 2 Corinthians, Paul was defending himself from verbal attacks, and choosing not to return accusation with Ire. As for Ephesians, Paul, again is talking about personal struggle against sin. For our spiritual growth, sin is the enemy. As member of society, I may not make war in the name of that society, but if the society is at war, then that is quite different. I may also protect my family and myself if any would offer us violence. My level of preparedness is determined by how likely I believe it will be offered, and to the extent.

    I have been saddened by several times (and I will not tell you which) that my country went to war. But my country did not ask my permission, nor should it beyond constitutional requirements. I chose to serve in the military precisely because I believed that without the military, the society that allows me to serve God first would be destroyed (and so would many others).

    By the way, I was purposely over-the-top with my reference to Revelations... I believe you are being equally over-the-top with your reference 2 Corinthians & Ephesians.
     

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