Friday, August 18, 2006

More thoughts on Pacifism

Well, it took a little longer than I expected...

The standard objection I get to pacifism is the right to defend oneself or loved ones. This objection is very problematic for several reasons:

1. By killing the person who is assaulting, you are almost sure to be sending them directly to hell. How is that loving? You are condemning a person to an eternity without God. Why? In many cases it has nothing to do with protecting individuals, but rather protecting material goods—that are all going to burn in the end anyway!

2. The right to defend oneself, or loved ones, although sacrosanct in U.S. culture, is not a biblical right. This is the major stumbling block for many. We are so acclimatized to culture that we assume it is right. As Christians, we have no rights. We are slaves of Christ, He is our master. He commands us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us. Culture says, defend what is yours, kill if necessary.

3. The scenario omits the most important character—God. By taking the situation into our own hands, we are removing the divine defender. Romans 8:28 says that God is working, not as an after thought running around trying to fix everything, but actively working. Scripture repeatedly says that vengeance belongs to the Lord. Scripture also says that the death of His saints is precious in His sight.

4. We value life more than obedience in our culture. We obey if we understand or can explain it. God doesn't ask our permission or opinion. He's been running the world a lot longer than you or I have been around and has proven over and over to be wise and loving and altogether good.

I'm running out of time, so these last two are just mentioned:

5. Our god is too small. Yes, the lower case is intentional.

6. We undervalue the power of prayer. We pay lip service to it, but don't stake our lives on it.

Hopefully I will be able to flesh these last two out...

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