This should be interesting…

I have Quaker friends and Mennonite friends. I have told them for a while now that I am challenged by their belief in non-violence and that I am almost a pacifist, I just reserve the right to use some violence when I feel it’s necessary, they usually laugh at me and tell me to keep thinking, which I appreciate. Follow the link, read the article and let me know what you think. I was challenged to the core, what about you guys?


~ by Rickard on September 23, 2008.

12 Responses to “This should be interesting…”

  1. As one of your Mennonite friends, Rickard, thanks for posting this. I, too, am deeply challenged to keep learning what it means to love our enemies.

  2. The question “Who is my enemy” is an interesting one? Because when we can answer that we have only a few options as far as to how to treat them…

  3. why would they laugh?
    are they parents?
    wouldn’t we kill to stop our children being killed, if necessary?

    loving our enemies does not mean abandoning God given responsibility and love for our children, or other defenceless ones.

  4. They laugh, I think, due to my constant questions and my “testing” of their opinions and convictions and at the fact that we can still have a dialouge…
    They are excellent parents and have reminded me that the early church did not choose to kill when faced with violence but sometimes choose death rather than killing another human being.
    This is a complicated issue for me but I have great respect for my “pacifist” friends and often think I don’t really know what it means to not “live by the sword”…
    You bring up a good point though…
    Maybe we can get one of my friends to comment on that…

  5. can we choose death for another?
    that’s my point…
    it’s one thing doing it for ourselves in martyrdom…
    but – 2 issues
    allowing our kids to be killed – I don’t think the N.T. sanctions that…everthing seems to point towards ”love protecting’ – not being passive..

    and, allowing our children to become orphans that would be abused and/or killed [in some situations], or die because they cannot support themselves, I do not believe is sanctioned either.

    why did Jesus say ‘a sword is enough’?
    I know it wasn’t an all time decree – but it was because something needed to survive to be passed on.
    there are exceptions to many ‘rules,’

  6. Yeah, this one is complicated for me also. I can’t get past the fact that the ealry church saw human life as something very “sacred” and would not take up violence against the Romans.
    They did not revolt against the Romans and they would not defend themselves with violence and as a result saw many children die. They saw this as following in Jesus’ foot steps as He had also faced death at the hands of His enemies, and at the end He asked God to forgive them, not punish or destroy them.
    I used to think that my pacifist friends were weak and passive but as I have gotten to know them I have been proven wrong. They are just living out their belief that a human life is so precious they will not destroy it. They would put themselves in harms way to absorb the evil meant for someone else. They are very brave humans…
    I am still at the point where I would really hurt someone bad if they would try to do domething to my wife or kids but I am less proud of that fact then I used to…
    I am glad you’re hanging out with me on my blog to discuss this…it’s helpful for me…

  7. Did our heavenly father intervene when they were torturing his son to death? I struggle with this too. Right now if someone touched one of my kids I would react very violently….but does that make it right. Could Smudge77 back up his/her “love protecting” with scripture? All I know is it is my nature to react to everything but as I grow closer to the Lord I see myself resonding rather than reacting(and boy that has been a slow process).

    I know when I was in YWAM that we were instructed to respond in the opposite spirit. We were instructed to just wrap ourselves around another team member if they were ever physically attacked and take the blows for them…not lash out in anger. From there we would pray and ask for the Lords protection. I would much rather have the Lord protect my kids than me. Just some thoughts.

  8. I say what I say because human life is sacred. Especially that of children and other voiceless.
    Why would the early Christians feel their kids’ lives [given to them as their ministry [service] in the normal Hebrew understanding of ordinary life being ministry and sacred/holy], were less sacred than the Romans?
    No, I believe an idealised, and inaccurate, view has been handed down by the Institutionals.
    I think the martyrdom can be good and right [and some have no choice], but it has been romanticised by some, and we can be in danger of violating the very love for Life that our Lord has by putting it on a pedastal inaccurately.
    Why did jesus tell the Jews to escape to the hills [in Matt. 24]

    I am very ‘proud’ that I would fight like a tigress for my kids [and my elderly mom]…as this is God-given, I believe…this is natural in the sense of holy-natural.
    Obviously I would try to safely disarm, rather than kill, but I would do what is necessary.
    Defence on ‘home ground’ is very different to initiating attack…whether physically or verbally.
    Love always protects [1 Cor.13]

    sorry, this is not you I’m reacting against, but forms of super-spiritual belief in many guises.

  9. I don’t see my pacifist friends throwing their kids at their attackers in a “hey, take my kids first” kind of way. I am sure they would run away, hide, take their place or try just about anything to protect their kids but if it came down to it they wouldn’t kill.
    I don’t feel you are attacking me at all, you are being passionate about this and that is fine.
    Hey Matt, good to “see” you here in Vikingson Land. I think what you are describing is what I’m hearing from my pacifist friends.
    Yeah…this is good food for thought…

  10. Matt, you said
    ”I would much rather have the Lord protect my kids than me. Just some thoughts.”…

    so, you do what you said, and you are killed…
    then what?
    your kid’s are left defenceless, and are raped, abused murdered.
    this really happens in some countries

    There is nothing unspiritual about being truly lovingly practical and thinking this right through to the limits.

    Matt, you said..
    ”Did our heavenly father intervene when they were torturing his son to death”

    of course not – Jesus, God in the flesh, had volunteered for that…[our kids would not be able to make that choice]

    ‘I come O Lord to do Your will, a body you have prepared for me’
    ‘Your will, not mine, be done.’

    He was to be the saviour of the world.
    The One to make Atonement
    The Redeemer
    There was no other way….

    how is that of comparison to a human protecting their God-given human kids who are not there to make atonements or be redeemers for the world.
    For Jesus did that – ‘it is Finished’!
    The price is paid.
    the doctrine of physical redemptive suffering via humans is a heresy.

    emotional/spiritual suffering furthers our sanctification if we will let it – but that is not physical redemptive suffering – only Jesus did that – gloty to him, not us.

    you asked for scriptural backing for my statement of love protecting. Hope you saw I gave the actual scripture incase that hadn’t resonated in one’s memory.
    1 Cor. 13 – ‘Love always protects.’
    [this is a big subject though, we find that God, Himself, does it, reading old and new testaments – but there has been enough from me as it is].

  11. […] is grappling with pacifism… should it go as far as dinner with […]

  12. Well this is a real tough one Rickard. As you probably know from our recent pun “wars” I’m up on guns and ammo lingo. I also am trying to fully integrate my pacifist beliefs with the fact that I own some 9mm weapons. I have to admit it I love to go out to the target range and shoot a few clips. I don’t hunt, and can’t stand the thought of someone being killed. Like most people though I think if faced with the choice of watching a friend or loved one be harmed or killed I would take the non-pacifist response. I just finished reading The Shack and am about to start Amish Grace. I don’t have any definitive answers but I would appreciate all of your prayers as I continue to grapple with this issue. Grace and peace.

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