Thursday, August 18, 2005

Because of a Dead Guy...

I drove home last night after our Wednesday night main event, and passed a group of perhaps seven adults and twenty children holding up signs and candles in support of Cindy Sheehan and attacking President Bush. I know that some feel they can't say anything about her since she lost her son (though that idea is debunked thoroughly at Ann Coulter's website: www.anncoulter.com) but I feel a need to speak up about matters of perspective and truth.

I have pacifist friends and have told them that I don't mind them being pacifist at all (it makes it easier to get their stuff), but that I cannot join them. While some would try to convince me that Jesus was a pacifist it is clear that his daddy wasn't and there is still that problematical bit where Jesus tells his apostles to buy swords. Regardless, I would like to live in a world of pacifists, but pacifists can only live in a world where they are surrounded by men ready to do violence to protect them and allow them their illusions of superiority.

I asked one such friend if he would protect his family against attack and he said no. (NOTE: this extreme position is certainly NOT the position of all pacifists) I told them that if my son and I heard screams of pain and sounds of struggle coming from his house we would immediately arm, lock and load, and come in primed to protect them. He replied "I wouldn't want you to do that." I responded, "You can't stop me." I could not live with myself if I didn't go into harm's way and that caused others to die. I will NOT discuss everything in my history, but I will tell you that this is not a purely hypothetical construct to me. The best things I have done in my life is when I have placed it in jeopardy for a higher cause.

I am at my office today because of dead men. When I leave in a few minutes to get lunch I can choose from a huge variety of restaurants and pay a few dollars for a meal... all because of dead men. I can go shopping later, if I want, because of dead men.

Can we have some perspective here? Remember Iwo Jima? It is an island 5 miles long with a collapsed volcano at one end rising up 550 feet above sea level. In a five week long battle 6,821 Americans lost their lives on that horrible lump of worthless real estate. In five weeks we lost three and a half times as many precious lives as we have lost in the last three years in both Iraq and Afghanistan (@1850) . Did anyone demand that FDR or Truman stop vacations and meet with anti-war activists, bring all the soldiers, sailors and Marines home and make nice with the enemy after Iwo Jima? If so, I have never heard of them.

On D-Day, to break the yoke of some of the most wicked men to ever draw breath, we stormed the beaches of Normandy. 2,420 Americans were killed or wounded on that one day. In preparation for that invasion we lost over 1,300 killed in accidents. Are we better off because of that war? Only the most blind would say 'no.'

I believe that, should Jesus delay His return that long, my grandchildren will see a much more peaceful Middle East. Yes, other areas will still be evil and full of violence, but the stranglehold of Islamofacism can only be broken by brave, brave men and women willing to do violence, and lose their lives in the doing. My son will be joining them soon. He has begun applying for NROTC and ROTC programs in Michigan and Texas. We talk openly about losing legs, faces, and lives and that the politicians and clerics who cause such misery and pain will not miss a meal. He is willing to go anyway. He told me that it is what he wants to do; it is important and meaningful -- even noble. And if he dies? Then he died doing what he wanted to do and knowing it mattered.

His determination humbles me. So does that of all who have served before him. Go ahead and light your candles. You can do that because of dead men. Go ahead and say filthy things about soldiers and the US. You can do that because of dead men. But not in my house. In my house, because of a dead man, our Savior, who lives again, I will be kind and gentle to you and offer you the last dollar I have. But I will not respect you when you walk on the back of dead men only to attack them and what they stood for.

And for all of you who served or who had family members who served, may I say from the bottom of my heart: thank you. God bless you for the freedom I enjoy. I can live anywhere on the planet but I choose to live here, because it is the best, freest place on the planet. Because of dead men and the grace of God.

33 Comments:

At 8/18/2005 12:27:00 PM , Blogger Jeff Slater said...

Patrick,

Thank you for this.

My uncle was killed in WWII during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. He refused to abandon his gun in the face of an onrushing Japanese torpedo plane. He destroyed the plane, but the flaming wreckage landed on his post. He received the Navy Cross for his courage, and had a ship named after him. You can read all about it at http://www.ussslater.org/history.html

Thanks again for boldly speaking the truth.

Jeff

 
At 8/18/2005 01:43:00 PM , Blogger CrazyJo said...

Wow! Thanks for a great post. I had tears in my eyes at the end. My husband leaves for basic training sometime this year, and though it will be difficult God will get us through. I'm proud of him and the other members of my family that are in the military. I appreciate you sticking up for them!

 
At 8/18/2005 02:33:00 PM , Anonymous Lee Hodges said...

Thank you brother! You spoke my heart.

 
At 8/18/2005 04:31:00 PM , Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I respect your perspective, but disagree that all wars are created equal; therefore if one was right they must all be right.

A despot was removed in the person of Saddam, but the alternative we've provided in Iraq hasn't spared any more lives.

Is Iraq better off because of the war? Only Iraqis can say. Is Cindy Sheehan better off? She has a right to say whether she is, yes, paid for by the blood of many an American in many previous wars. Her son also had the right to pursue the call to duty he heard. And though I don't agree that citizens have a right to "attack" President Bush, they have a right to disagree with him.

And Ann Coulter can debunk all she wants to, because she has that right, too.

She just doesn't have the sensitivity God gave even the tiniest mother in his animal kingdom, and her words need to be weighed with that in mind.

 
At 8/18/2005 04:50:00 PM , Blogger steve said...

God Bless!

If you get a chance could you please say a prayer for a little girl named "Rebekah" who has cancer. God knows who you will be praying about! Thank you so much!

Trying to rally some good Christian Prayer for her and her family!

 
At 8/18/2005 05:33:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

Thank you for saying this. My grandaddy didn't get to see my mother and her twin sister until they were over 2 years old because he was cleaning up in Pearl Harbor. Thanks to those who make sacrifices for the rest of us.

 
At 8/18/2005 08:43:00 PM , Blogger Josh.Graves said...

Patrick. One thing (among many) that I respect about you is that you never hesitate to say what you believe. You've thought it through, weighed it through the lens of experience and are passionate.

This is one of your "stronger" blogs in tone. What happened today?...Did you catch Scoobie watching CNN again?

Just kidding. It is a joy to work with you.

 
At 8/18/2005 08:44:00 PM , Blogger Hoots Musings said...

I cannot think of a more eloquent post than yours regarding the anti-war movement.

Sadly the press chooses to focus on the negatives in Iraq. Ask any military person who has been there adn they will tell you the good the US is doing there. I have heard the testimony from a dear man who just got back. The Iraq people love us and want us there.

The thought of my freedoms existing because of a dead man are powerful and thought provoking.

 
At 8/18/2005 10:26:00 PM , Blogger JD said...

Does this woman not realize that she is being used? The liberal press didn't care about one word she uttered before she decided that her opinion is more important than anyone else's. And when it's all over, they won't be quoting her any more. She is being used to further the cause of people who do not care about her. This, to me, is sad.

 
At 8/19/2005 06:57:00 AM , Blogger Billy D said...

Patrick - As usual, just totally inspiring. How's the BOOK coming?
(I'll not let up on this. You need to write one, I'm begging)

 
At 8/19/2005 07:55:00 AM , Anonymous Mark Mason said...

Patrick -

Outstanding post, as always. It is good to know that not all brotherhood bloggers are left-wing political loonies. To recommend Ann Coulter - wow! - way to pick up your cross daily, brother! Seriously, though, thanks for paying homage to the heroes who have sacrificed all - who have shown the "greatest love."

Mark Mason

 
At 8/19/2005 10:26:00 AM , Blogger Scott Roche said...

War has it's place and can be a righteous thing indeed and I wouldn't say that Christ was a pacifist, but he never ordered his men into physical battle, nor did he advocate the use of those swords he told his disciples to carry. In fact when Peter cut the guards ear off, he put it back on. He didn't cheer the action.

To compare what we are doin in the Middle East to what we did in Europe and Japan of the 40's seems more than just a little absurd.

To suppose that this will be the first step in the walk to Middle East peace also seems absurd. To accomplish those things in Europe and Japan we crushed the opposition using massive man power and two nuclear weapons. That's not what we're doing here. Perhaps we should nuke them as some have advocated? I wouldn't be for that personally, but it would make our actions comparable.

As far as the word "Islamofacism" is concerned, why not just crush fascism wherever we see it? Why do we need to add that prefix? To do so implies that perhaps all members of the Islam religion embrace fascism. I think what's really happening here is there are men who are using Islam to suit their needs. Men have done that for centuries (if not millenia) with every conceivable religious/philosophical school. You're smart and don't really need to use cute buzzwords like that.

To clarify, not everyone who is against this war is against our soldiers or our country. Against our president maybe, but in America that's okay and as long as I am against those things and am respectful and intelligent I htink you owe me as much respect as I do you.

 
At 8/19/2005 10:38:00 AM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

We may disagree about many things (and I could write a book about your post) but let's not play games: to call Islamofascism by its name is not to defame all Islamists any more than to refer to Christian Identity Movement or Crusaders defames all Christians. I may also refer to White Supremacy Movements without defaming all whites.

 
At 8/19/2005 10:55:00 AM , Anonymous Eric said...

Patrick,

I am so thankful for you! I consider it a blessing everytime I hear you speak or read your words! May the Lord protect you and your family from the plans of the enemy.
You are in my prayers.

Eric Ebeling

 
At 8/19/2005 11:01:00 AM , Blogger Rick said...

Patrick,

I must admit that in most cases I find myself disagreeing with you. For example the “daddy” reference regarding the Almighty Father is beyond the borders. But, herein you have produced a worthy note regarding respect for the men fallen in the line of duty. May I also add to the list by suggesting (this being the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima) that the Enola Gay be given her right due as an emissary of peace.

I have in my library a photo of the infamous B-29 superfortress bomber (which delivered the “Little Boy” atomic bomb upon the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945) as a reminder that when evil persist that sometimes drastic means are necessary for salvation. Peter speaks of times like these: “For if God spared not” (2 Pet. 2:4-6).

God spared not the angels that sinned (v. 4). Mighty creatures that stood in the presence of Almighty God (Luke 1:19) who sinned could not be absolved of sin (Isa. 6). Creatures that are smarter, stronger and faster than humankind who sinned would not be spared from the wrath of God (Heb. 2:7). Herein are creature created for the purpose of ministering spirits (Heb. 1:14), yet when they sinned God detained them and reserved them for eternal chains of darkness (Jude 6).

God spared not the old world (v. 5). The old world that was a world created perfect. When Adam and Eve stood with all of creation before the eyes of God, He declared, “It is very good” (Gen. 1:31). This same world had eventually deteriorated to the point that God was grieved with their sins (Gen. 6:6). He determined and announced that humanity had 120 years to straighten up their act or destruction would come (Gen. 6:3). What you and I now live upon is not the pristine pinnacle of creation but a distorted heap of earth deflowered by the flood.

God spared not the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah (v. 6). When the twin cities became so defiled that ten righteous men could not be found, they were destroyed with fire and brimstone. The cities were had given “themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh” (Jude 7). God had enough of these cities ruled by their homosexual desires.

God spared not His own Son (Rom. 8:32). Sin was so horrible in the sight of God that He feely sent His only begotten Son to die upon the cruel cross at Calvary. As Jesus hung suspended between heaven and earth something happen that had never happen before nor would ever happen again: the Father and the Son were separated. Both by prophecy (Psa. 22:1) and the historical account (Mat. 27:46) we read of the words of Jesus upon the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The answer is found in passages like Isaiah 53:4-6; 59:1-2; Habakkuk 1:13; John 1:29: Romans 3:25 and 2 Corinthians 5:21. Sin insults the holiness of God and must be dealt with in a just way (Rom. 3:26).

Approximately 57 million people died as a result of the war, including acts of genocide such as the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, General Ishii Shiro’s Unit 731 experiments in Pingfan, and the attack on Pearl Harbor as a result of Japanese and German aggression. The Enola Gay brought the Japanese aggressor to her knees and resulted in “igniting peace” throughout the world. Thank God for the Enola Gay and her faithful crew.

Peace was made with the Japanese eleven days after the Enola Gay was sent as an emissary of peace. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing World War II to a close.

Lessons to learn from the Enola Gay:

When peace cannot be maintained or regained by words, action must be taken to secure peace (Eph. 2:13-18). The peace that passeth understanding is gained only by the Prince of peace upon the cross.

Someone has to step up and do the “dirty work” involved in peace. Someone had to tell the foolish Galatians (3:1) that they had fallen from grace (5:4) even if that meant becoming their enemy (4:16).

The stubbornness of wickedness must be meet with the steadfastness of righteousness (Eze. 3:8).

When wicked men persist and refuse to repent drastic means become necessary:

“let him be unto thee as an heathen and a publican” (Mat. 18:17)

“mark and avoid them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine” (Rom. 16:17)

“not to keep company with... No not to eat” (1 Cor. 5:11)

“withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly” (2 The. 3:6)

“a man that is an heretick... reject” (Tit. 3:10)

 
At 8/19/2005 11:14:00 AM , Blogger Scott Roche said...

"We may disagree about many things (and I could write a book about your post)"

So write a book. I can be educated.

"but let's not play games: to call Islamofascism by its name is not to defame all Islamists any more than to refer to Christian Identity Movement or Crusaders defames all Christians. I may also refer to White Supremacy Movements without defaming all whites"

Except that the groups in question chose/choose to identify themselves in those fashions. "Islamists" or Muslims as they are more properly called do not choose to call themselves "Islamofascists". That word (as far as I know) was made up by a flaky radio host (at least that's what he claims) and he wouldn't give a tinker's damn about whether he offended anyone. I think it is a word created with too broad a brush. I admire most of the other posts you have written but this one is not your best imho.

 
At 8/19/2005 11:15:00 AM , Blogger Scott Roche said...

"For example the “daddy” reference regarding the Almighty Father is beyond the borders. "

Unless I misunderstand what you are saying you are wrong. Using the word daddy in reference to GOd is perfectly apporopriate. That's what Jesus called him.

 
At 8/19/2005 03:42:00 PM , Blogger Jared Cramer said...

Patrick,
I wish you wouldn't write pacifism off so easily. I believe that the issues of Christian violence and non-violence are a little more difficult than you let on in this post (and, knowing you, I'm pretty sure you're aware of that). Most pacifists don't have "illusions of superiority," and don't attempt to hide behind the swords of those around them. Just-war theory (the more traditional view) argues that though there are times when violence is justified, it is only a last resort. Even pacificsm is more nuanced than you let on. For example:

“True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to an evil power…it is rather a courageous confrontation with evil by the power of love, in the faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflicter of it, since the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe, while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

It makes me sad when my more conservative brothers insinuate that because I am a moderate just-war theorist, I must not appreciate soldiers and must hate my country.

 
At 8/19/2005 04:00:00 PM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

I don't believe I insinuated that at all, my friend. And the Just War theory is firmly rejected by some of the profs here, as you probably know. They view anyone who holds to it as a far right wing militarist in sheep's clothing.

Sigh... no pleasing everyone, I suppose.

 
At 8/20/2005 08:19:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/20/2005 10:48:00 AM , Blogger Neal W. said...

There's a question I often find myself asking people who are in conflict:

"Isn't there a middle road?"

I will absolutely eliminate any threat to my family, and I would do the same for my neighbors. This is not a hypothetical situation for me either. But that value is a far cry from supporting the current war in Iraq. And not supporting the current war is a far cry from dishonoring the bravery and selflessness of those who gave their lives in WWII (and other wars). Having doubts about the current conflict is a far cry from insulting or demonizing the equally brave soldiers who are over there now facing dangers we will never know.

I can respect and support our soldiers, uphold your son's courage and selflessness, and recognize that there are indeed times when a nation must resort to war, all without getting on board the bandwagon of the Iraq conflict.

I know that I am here standing on the backs of many dead, brave American soldiers. I'm first in line to remember them on Memorial Day, I give gifts to all the veterans at my church on Veterans Day, a flag flies from my front porch. Those men have allowed me to have the comfortable life I have. But I also stand here on the backs of many slaughtered Native Americans, and that reminds me that just because my government would ask me to raise a rifle and fire on another man, doesn't make it a good thing. Life's a little more complicated than that...and so is the middle road.

 
At 8/20/2005 11:14:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

PM, I appreciate your passion and wisdom. Thanks for sharing with us.

I love your heart, brother.

DU

 
At 8/20/2005 12:04:00 PM , Blogger Rick said...

Capt. Eucalyptus writes...
"Unless I misunderstand what you are saying you are wrong. Using the word daddy in reference to GOd is perfectly apporopriate. That's what Jesus called him."

Rick here...
Capt., I do not know what happen to my post. It was here and then gone. I don't know if somehow I deleated it or I spoke out of turn and was removed?

Sorry about the mixup. If you are speaking of Abba Father, the tem Abba does not mean "daddy" as some suggest. It is Aramaic while pater is Greek. Because of its use as a title for God, it would be the same as saying, "God the Father" or "God our Father."

I hope this helps,
Rick

 
At 8/20/2005 12:50:00 PM , Blogger Eric said...

My grandfather served in WWII. He was a faithful minister of the gospel for his whole life. He served churches in Beligium, Nebraska, and Kansas, to name a few places. Last Thanksgiving his journey on earth ended after a long battle with both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
As a minister myself, one committed to non-violence, I struggled with his involvement in WWII. As we sat gathered together as a family around his bed in hospice, my uncle leaned over to me and said, "You know, I asked him about the war." I was shocked. I had never heard my grandfather talk about his time in WWII. "What did he say?" "I asked him if he ever killed anyone," my uncle said, "and he told me, 'No, I put my gun on my shoulder and prayed for the wounded, for all of them."

Since that time I realized that my uncle embodied the same spirit that I have long desired to live and express, creative non-violence. Pacifism is not something easily dismissable. As Christians, I believe that we are called to creative non-violence, a non-violence that allows the creative power of God to break into the midst of the chaos of the world.

Patrick, you are right that we stand on the shoulders of the dead, now living, Christ, but Jesus died because he refused to exert retaliative force. His willingness to embrace creative non-violence is the reason that God's new creation breaks into our lives today.

 
At 8/20/2005 02:00:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick:

Thanks for finding the balance between being a loyal patriot and faithful follower of Christ.

 
At 8/21/2005 09:15:00 PM , Blogger TCS said...

My father was a Marine in WWII. While were bragging. He pretty much sucked as a father. But that's another story.

Patrick,
I am reading this in the airport 5 hours from Wild at Heart Boot Camp. I feel the need to say we are all called to the spirtual war we were all born into. Open war is upon us whether we dare risk it or not.

Thanks for the post. It seems to have caused some to think.

 
At 8/22/2005 08:07:00 AM , Blogger Scott Roche said...

Well Rick since Jesus was God's son I have no problem imagining him calling God Daddy and since we really don't know exactly what level of familiarity the word Abba was intended to express (based on some reading I did) I will continue to believe that that is how he spoke to his father. And since I am his son and he expects me to come to him with all of my needs I will continue to come to him as if he were my Daddy and not my Father (different connotations to me). Hope that helps.

 
At 8/22/2005 09:45:00 AM , Blogger Eric said...

TCS,
Hope you weren't thinking I was bragging with the reference to my grandfather's participation in WWII. I was actually using it to show how, though he observed his call to serve in the war, he still refused to take up arms. That is a pretty creative form of nonviolence. His willingness to leave his weapon on his shoulder and take up arms in prayer for both sides personally reaffirms my commitment to Christocentric pacifism, or creative nonviolence.

I know we haven't met, but say Hi to all in 'Sippi for me. I have many amazing friends there.

 
At 8/22/2005 12:12:00 PM , Blogger Rick said...

capt., I did not intend to offend, my comments were simply meant to help.

The noun daddy has one meaning (Princeton University)"an informal term for a father; probably derived from baby talk."

It is this “informal approach” (that is an approach "marked by the absence of required forms or procedures or by the relaxation of prescribed rules") that bothers me. It seems to me that whenever Old or New Testament saints found themselves in the presence of God, they always used respectful terms in communication.

By the way, I would be interested in your sources; I am always open to further study.

Seeker,
Rick

 
At 8/22/2005 03:11:00 PM , Blogger Scott Roche said...

"capt., I did not intend to offend, my comments were simply meant to help."

No offense taken.

"It is this “informal approach” (that is an approach "marked by the absence of required forms or procedures or by the relaxation of prescribed rules") that bothers me. It seems to me that whenever Old or New Testament saints found themselves in the presence of God, they always used respectful terms in communication."

To be informal is not the same as to be disrespectful.

"By the way, I would be interested in your sources; I am always open to further study."

They are mostly online dictionary type things. All of them merely said is was a term for one's father.

The repetition, Abba Pater, seems weird to me, especially being two languages. I suppose that there's a good reason for it.

I suppose the more formal use of father bothers me given the context. If my child is crying out to me in pain or fear then I doubt they would be worried about being overly familiar.

 
At 8/24/2005 09:17:00 AM , Blogger Miss O'Hara said...

This is a fine post. I could not agree with you more - and for that reason, can't think of much else to say.

 
At 9/08/2005 11:34:00 AM , Blogger Rick said...

capt.,
I do apologize for my absence since your last post. Hospice, two funerals and preparing for a wedding along with the normal study time have taken me away.

I hope to be back soon.

Rick

 
At 12/17/2005 09:47:00 AM , Anonymous doug said...

I realize these posts are old and archived. I am new to this website/blog and could not resist adding a post even though it may never be seen.

I fail to comprehend one item in particular: the idea that either Christ or Christianity is pacifistic. “Turn your cheek” is to physically turn your own cheek, not turning someone else’s cheek. It is not instructed or implied that we should reach over and physically turn the cheek of someone else while they are being beaten, raped or killed. Allowing someone to kill my wife or daughters would be the same thing as my turning their cheek for the aggressor. On the contrary, I must stop the aggressor!

I am charged by God to provide for my family; that includes providing shelter and security. How can we pretend that we are charged to provide income to our family but not to protect them? To do so, seems to deny the “heart of the law” for the “letter of the law”. Jesus was angry when the Pharisees used religion as an excuse not to provide for their parents (Matt 15:3-8). The Pharisees were not taking care of their family! They were not providing financial support. However, the concept involved was “honoring your parents”. This concept is not limited to finances.

We are told that anyone who does not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (I Tim 5:3-8). Is God only concerned about their income and not their safety? It reminds me of Mark 2:23-28 “The Sabbath was made for man not the man for the Sabbath”. Would God expect us to feed them but then turn the cheek while they are being killed? Could it be wrong to allow starvation but not wrong to allow rape? (God forbid!) It sounds like a “letter of the law” mentality, when God clearly wants us to take care of our family. God was particularly offended (as revealed through Jesus) that the Pharisees, in the name of God’s law, did not take care of their family. I believe God would be offended that, in the name of pacifism, we did not protect our family.

Persistent and repeated cries for help eventually woke me from sleep while on business in Georgia. A woman had been stabbed repeatedly in the parking lot, not far from my room. Once awake, I called 911 and ran to her aid. If I had been awake and watching while the man was attempting to kill her, should I have called 911 but let him go on stabbing her? No, I should stop him…stop evil. Perhaps, a pacifist might be willing to risk death while confronting this man with love. Yet, a willingness to risk death does not guarantee her safety. The attacker will likely kill her next since she just witnessed him kill me. No, the aggressor must be stopped.

A pacifistic stance fails to stop a man without a conscience. The quote by Martin Luther King (above) depends on a heart that could be influenced by an act of love. However, the world is full of men with little or no conscience. History is full of men with little or no conscience. Even the scriptures record how hard the heart of man can be (such as Israel’s repeated rebellion in the wilderness, despite all God did). Hard hearts are indeed hard to move.

There is more than one way to stop evil. Repentance is one form of stopping of evil (turning away from it). Noah’s flood (God’s flood) was another way. Either way, evil must come to a stop. God is patient but he will put an end to evil. We either bend our knee in this life or we will be thrown to our knees in the next life. Korazin, Bethsida and Capernaum were condemned (why?) because they refused to repent. The “all loving Jesus” condemned them to Hell (unless you think Sodom residents are in Heaven). Note Romans 2:5 and 9. Where is the “pacifistic” Jesus in Revelation 19: 11-16? Where is the “pacifistic” Jesus while cracking the whip and turning over tables (John 2:13-16)? Jesus is the same yesterday; today and tomorrow (Heb 13:8) His nature does not change. In his love, he received our due penalty, the wrath of God toward evil.

------------------------
Eric said, “Patrick, you are right that we stand on the shoulders of the dead, now living, Christ, but Jesus died because he refused to exert retaliative force. His willingness to embrace creative non-violence is the reason that God's new creation breaks into our lives today.
---------------------

I believe you have your cart before the horse! Jesus did not “die on the cross because he refused to exert retaliative force”. He refused to exert retaliative force because he was willing to die on the cross! He was willing to die because he loved us. He was willing to take our place to rescue us. He was willing to die because he submitted to the plan. But, he could have “called ten-thousand Angels” (Matt 26:52-54). The Father gave Jesus the “authority to lay down his life” (John 10:17- 18). Jesus would not have sinned if he had destroyed his aggressors, just as he will not sin when he destroys them in everlasting Hell (the same “them” who did not later repent).

I believe “turning the cheek” is about humility not retaliation. Certainly, we should not be focused on our own rights, or revenge; humility declines to focus on itself. Turning the cheek is an act of humility. Read Phil 2: 5-8 again, “Our attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus”. He did not go to the cross because he refused to defend himself. He refused to defend himself because he humbled himself. Note again, he humbled HIMSELF. He turned his own cheek, not someone else’s cheek.

In fact, we should emphasize that Christ was not humbled on the cross “because he refused to use relaliative force”. He refused to use retalitive force because he humbled himself on the cross. The overwhelming point is humility. Pacifism changes the message from personal humility to a world that would not stop evil. Furthermore, “God will avenge”. If vengeance is wrong then God would be wrong to avenge! A belief in “creative non-violence is a disbelief in Hell. Hell is the ultimate, eternal violence, God’s wrath on wickedness. There is a reason to fear God after all! God is love, but he is also just. God is love but he is all righteous and holy. He will separate the sheep and goats! The sheep are those who embrace the righteous sacrifice of Jesus…a punishment because of sin!





I see nothing in scripture that has anything to do with “Jesus embracing creative non-violence”. God is both loving and just. Justice demands an end to evil. Love provides for mercy. Both of them give cause to hope in a faithful and unchanging God. Jesus embraced God’s nature (and his own nature) by fulfilling both love and justice on the cross. Where is your “creative non-violence” when God damns wicked, unrepentant men to hell? Where is Jesus embracing “creative non-violence” on the judgment day? It is inconsistent. We love to replace words in the Bible. We replace humility with pacifism. We replace justice with “fairness” (don’t get me started on fairness), little changes that lead to deception. And, we replace God’s desires with Satan’s little lies, “it’s ok to not provide for your family if your giving the money in the name of religion”. So, how about “it’s ok not to defend your family if you do it in the name of pacifism”?

“Creative non-violence” creatively changes the word of God.

I pray that you receive these words with an open mind. These words are directed at a thought, a concept. I am not trying to attack the person, but a doctrine. We are warned to watch our doctrine closely (1 Tim 4:16). That is my goal.

Intended in love,
Doug

 

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