Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Implications of the Pacifism of Jesus

Jesus went to the cross rather than taking up arms against his enemies. True, he chased the money changers out of the temple; true he said I have come to bring a sword dividing even family members from each other. But surely the weight of his teachings including the Beatitudes and such passages as turning the other cheek indicate that he was at heart a pacifist. His kingdom was not of this world.

Now this can put Christians in a fine kettle of fish. What if for example you are in this world as a Christian policeman or in the military. If you are to be a follower of Christ you cannot possibly be in a good number of essential occupations. A Christian certainly cannot be the President of the United States for that office must stand ready to employ military intervention as is clearly seen from the days of George Washington.

These considerations make it tempting to deny that Jesus was what he was – a pacifist. We stew, sputter, and rationalize but with little satisfying effect.

There is only one escape from this dilemma. We must ask in seeking guidance for our behavior not "What would Jesus do?" But "What would Jesus have me do?"  If I wish to heal as a doctor, I complete years of study and internship; I do not without this preparation simply enunciate to the ill "Believe in me and you shall be healed."  A doctor must come to realize that he is not the Son of God, but a humble servant of Christ--the implication, in this case, being years of onerous study.  Just so, a police officer concerned with justice must protect the innocent (as Christians must do) with preparation and tools of this world in this kingdom here and now, not simply affirm "peace, be still." (It goes without saying that we would expect a far different approach from a Christian policeman than from a Nazi SS trooper.) 

Print Page