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12/13/2005

GUIDANCE FOR THE MISGUIDED

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

~all quotes from Martin Luther King Jr

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some questions, respectfully-asked, given that there are various pacifisms:

Is yours one that holds that our nation, or any nation, should not use force to defend itself, or innocents in other nations?

Is yours one that holds that police should not use force to defend the innocent?

If so, and given that you believe we have political responsibilities to advocate for justice -- understandably -- will you advocate for the eradication of police and military?

Best,
Brant

12/13/2005  
Anonymous Ardman said...

I had a Theology professor in College who was pure pacifist. There was a colloqium that was a debate about the war in Iraq. He held the anti-war side. This was at a time when I was misguidedly in support of the war (because I was told they had weapons of mass destruction). He didn't change my opinion at all. Someone asked him the question of what he would do if someone was trying to rape his wife. He couldn't really say, but stood by his belief that violence was never the answer.

Needless to say, I didn't find anything even remotely convincing in his argument.

12/13/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Brant, great questions. And I have answers, but knowing that this will be the first time I've explained my brand of pacifism on SHLOG.COM, I want to be very careful how I word it. So give me a day to work on being concise and clear in order to avoid confusion.

12/13/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's cool -- I look forward to reading it.

Brant

12/13/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

In the meantime (I'm moving into our house today! So don't know that I'll get more time today to answer such profound questions as yours) riddle me this, Brant:

What are we Christians to do with the almost thirty passages of scripture in which Jesus speaks about peace making, not living by the sword, loving enemies in very specific life sustaining ways, leaving vengeance and punishment of non-Christians to God alone, fleeing our enemies, turning our cheek to our enemies, etc. AND the Old Testament prophesies of a Prince oF Peace whose followers will turn swords into plowshares and who will inhabit nations which do not war against each other. AND Ezekiel 36 and other OT passages in which WARRING is prohibited and even punished by God and called profane - God even enlarges His covenant beyond the Jews to us Gentiles because the Jews warred without God's permission. AND what are we to do with the example of Jerusalem Jews/Christians in Acts who feared God more than man and therefore did not retaliate against their persecutors. It seems like the onus is put on the pacifist to defend non-violence from a biblical perspective (and it can be done) but those against pacifism are not able to explain how they interpret such passages on violence and peace.

I'll answer your questions about my view but I'd like you to put that large brain of yours to work explaining how you interpret these passages to mean anything but a call to non-violence by God for God's people.

See you here tomorrow hopefully.

SG

PS. I didn't even ask about early church history (before Constantine) which in large part is full of pacifist teaching - even bishops kicking people out of church who work for the government that wars. Now we interrupt church services for live broadcasts of Presidential addresses and applaud declarations of war.

12/14/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I just re-read that last comment of mine and I'm afraid it could be read as me being upset or irritated. I'm not. Especially not with you, Brant. I truly think you could teach us all some stuff about this whole subject and I'm glad you're asking tough questions. I wanted to share my question for the other side of the spectrum as well. Hope all this exchange is taken in the spirit of learning and not fighting. I'm not in the least upset, just in a hurry, and I'm not good at written diplomacy when I'm in a hurry.

Bye for real this time.

SG

12/14/2005  
Anonymous tunz4jesus said...

Shaun,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly believe that nonviolence is the answer for most situations. But I do not believe we can apply this standard across the board. Surely there must be examples we can think of where the more humane thing would be to take action. Please know I believe this to be a very rare case. Hitler, Saddam Hussein when he gassed thousands of innocent woman and children of the Kurd tribe, and possibly those who impose their will on little girls by subjecting them to a mutilating circumcism. I believe we have a responsibility to care for the widows and orphans, and the unborn children who can not speak for themselves. Please don't get me wrong, I am not about bombing abortion clinics or other countries to impose my will upon them, it is not by any means necessary, but when do we say stop mistreating the defenseless or there will be consequences.

12/14/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.leaderu.com/humanities/demy.html

12/14/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun.
Have you read any of these?

Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way
Walter Wink

Biblical Pacifism
Dale W. Brown

Choosing Against War: A Christian View
John D. Roth

Brody

12/14/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what Hauerwas said in response to being asked why he is a pacifist: "because I am violent son of a bitch"

Seth

12/14/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew 5:39
But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:44
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Luke 6:27
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Romans 12:19-21
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Colossians 3:11
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

1 Peter 3:9
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

James 4:12
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?

brody-

12/14/2005  
Blogger bridgett said...

Nothing tests my faith and my practice like a commitment to nonviolence. It makes me ask myself about what I really believe at all the sore broken moments when I don't want my theological buttons pushed. Do I believe that God will punish the wrongdoer with mercy and justice beyond my power to comprehend? Man, is that hard stuff! If I really believe that, though, then my path as I understand it is to behave compassionately and with humility, not retributively.

I am so glad that we're having this conversation.

12/14/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Read the new post answering Brant's questions...sort of.

SG

12/14/2005  

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