Thoughts about "Just War" / Pacifism
If you heard the sermon, you realize the problem: Jesus is a clear advocate of non-violence whenever he is speaking of the kingdom he calls us to embody, and yet Paul speaks of the need for the government to bear the sword as an instrument to curb evil. Through the ages, the church has sought to reconcile these two things and has often done so by embracing one truth at the expense of the other. I'm of the conviction that we need to wrestle with the tension inherent in the teachings and seek to become people of peace who understand that, in a fallen world, the day may come when we will be called to war for the sake of preserving the life, dignity, and freedom of either our own nation or others. This position too, creates many problems, but we need to be willing to live in these tensions if we are to be faithful.
Here are few questions to provoke our thinking on this issue. If you missed the sermon, you'll be able to get it online on June 14th at the Bethany website.
Feel free to share, regardless of where you stand on the just war/pacifist continuim, how you see the following issues:
1. What are the main reasons you hold the position you do?
2. What are the challenges inherent in your position? How do you deal with them?
3. How can a community dialogue together on these things if the community is diverse in their beliefs on these matters?