Posted by: Victor | December 18, 2007

Towards the Cessation of Church Suicide by Sir Anthony Buzzard

Click here to read Towards the Cessation of Church Suicide: A Theology of Peace from an Anabaptist Point of View.

Anthony Buzzard offers a refreshing perspective on this simple yet important topic of peace. His primary proposal is that Christians should not be in positions where they will ever do harm to their fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

“This pervasive biblical theme is dealt a lethal blow when it is proposed that believers can join in the slaughter of their brethren in other nations. Such fratricide suggests only that Christianity does not work – that the spirit is too weak to overcome the natural hostilities of the flesh. The New Testament is thus rendered pointless. Mankind, in his dealings with different peoples, is not benefited by Christ at all. Hatred is not replaced by love. Little wonder that we find James protesting that friendship with the world means inevitable hostility to God (James 4:4). Nowhere is this more clearly shown than when “believers” join in the killing of other members of the Body of Christ. Satan must count this his greatest triumph; for Christ is then divided against Christ, the church commits suicide, the body self-destructs, and the evidence of God’s spirit at work internationally amongst the peoples of the earth is destroyed.”

“This kind of argumentation supporting the case for an international Christian church does not depend for its success upon a few biblical texts. It is axiomatic throughout the New Testament that Christians are bound to a higher priority than loyalty to the individual nation-state. God has made each Christian a member of the universal body of Christ. The priority of responsibility to fellow believers, irrespective of national origin, is abundantly clear in our Christian documents. Repeated commands about gentleness, forbearance, unity in the spirit and the power of the visible witness of Christian love fill the pages of the New Testament. How can anyone imagine that bombing other Christians can be anything other than an absolute denial of the faith?”

This article brings up an important question – if individuals are to be recognized as Christ’s disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35), how could it ever be that Christians would harm other Christians anywhere in the world and still feel honest about being identified by his name?

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