Jesus and non-violence

Vision refreshedThere is a cost to being opposed to violence. The cross stands out as the ultimate price of non-violence. Jesus allowed men of violence to nail him to that cross and apparently triumph over him. But the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the ultimate triumph of love over violence.

Violence is the actions of men or women against other men and women, involving physical or psychological force, in an attempt to gain power over other people.

  • In children it results in bullying
  • In evil men it results in criminality
  • In despots it results in oppression
  • In nations it results in war.

[Read more…]

How should we respond to ISIS?

Some questions

  • isisHow should we respond to the evil that ISIS represents?
  • What is our personal response?
  • What should be the response from our nation?
  • Should we respond to violence with violence?
  • Who is setting the agenda: ISIS or the West?
  • Is there a case for a ‘holy war’?

[Read more…]

Sri Lanka 27 years on

Colombo

The modern city of Colombo

I first visited Sri Lanka early in 1988, but have just returned from what must be about my 30th visit. The roots of the poverty relief charity, Kingscare/Karuna Action developed here, and the country has been central to it’s work and vision.

I remember well my first visit. I came with a burden and a dream along with a certain amount of idealism. I knew that God had called me to take some action to relieve poverty which I knew held so many in it’s grip of slavery. I had read every book I could find, both Christian and secular, on the subject of poverty and world problems. I was anxious to find ways that the Church of Jesus Christ could be a blessing to the whole world.

[Read more…]

Jesus: Responding to Violence

NONVIOLENCEWas Jesus a pacifist? Does he expect his followers to be pacifists? Is it right to defend ourselves, or our loved ones, from violent attack? Is non-violent protest the only way to change the world? Should we use military means to prevent the excesses of violent dictators in the world. These are difficult questions, but if we want to follow Jesus we must take his teaching seriously.

As I look at this world, I am convinced that the only way evil will ever be overcome is by love and forgiveness. Non-violence is proactive and not cowardice. Turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, involves bravery and being convinced that in the end, love wins.

Jesus very plainly said that we were not to resist an evil person using force. There are no qualifiers to his statement, no get-out clauses and no exceptions. [Read more…]

Hating our enemy or loving our enemy

mlk enemy to friendI was asked recently to speak at one of a series of meetings with a general theme of “War and Peace”. This article is an expansion of my notes.

What did Jesus say about war? What did he say about patriotism? Did he encourage his followers to be pacifists? Jesus did not address these issues directly at all, but his teaching does give us some principles which can totally change our attitude to war and our attitude towards our enemies.

[Read more…]

Broken justice systems: the legacy of Colonies

Uganda MenWhat can be done about the broken justice systems around the world, particularly those in developing countries? We need first to understand the history of those countries.

When I was a child, I was fascinated by maps. I had a world map in which vast areas were coloured in Red, which I was proudly told by my parents was the British Empire. An empire where ‘the sun never set’ and I felt special and privileged to belong to the ‘best country on earth’! In fact, most of the world, two hundred years ago, was controlled be european nations: Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia and even Belgium. Colonies spread though the South and Central America, most of Africa and great swathes of Asia. It was the colonial era. [Read more…]

How violence effects poverty elimination

poverty is the worst form of violence GandhiMy dream is to see a world in which extreme poverty is eliminated. But there is a largely hidden problem which frustrates attempts to deal with economic poverty. A recent study pointed out that the number one problem that poor people face in developing countries is not starvation or disease but a fear of violence. Violence keeps people poor and prevents them bettering themselves and their families.

Imagine …

  • Imagine living in a community where you are totally outside of the rule of law. Where the police force and courts only look after the well-off and the educated. Where law enforcement is under-funded and cannot cope with the multitude of crimes committed against the poor and the vulnerable. Where the police force and courts are corrupt and accept bribes from the guilty.
%d bloggers like this: