If you have read any of my blog posts then you will know that I care deeply about justice for the powerless and for the voiceless of this world. The principal of justice is very important, but we need to be very careful about how we apply justice. How often have we heard people effected by crime cry out, “We want justice” when they really mean that they want revenge and to see perpetrators suffer. This may be a natural response but as followers of Jesus we should not seek revenge and retaliation. Continue reading “Beyond Justice”
There 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.
Was 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. Continue reading “Jesus: Responding to Violence”