Posted by: sean | February 17, 2008

Misc Arguments Against Pacifism

I must say that I find this highly misguiding, people who preach that Jesus was a Pacifest do not preach the truth.

It is true that God, and thus Jesus, loves peace, and wants us to live in peace with one another, however Jesus himself shows us time when Peace is NOT the answer. An example of this is when Jesus whips those who are gambling in the Temple and using it as a Market Place, he even overturns the tables.

Jesus instructs Christians to carry swords to protect ourselves and more importantly to protect others. He teaches us to Love our Neighbours, and to Love our Enemy. Tell me, if our enemy is trying to kill our neighbour, how do we show our neighbour Love by allowing them to die. We do not, it is our job to step inbetween our enemy with our sword drawn and declare in the Name of Jesus that we Love him, but if he doesn’t stop, we will kill him.

Moses calls the Lord a Warrior, since Jesus is God, this means that Jesus is a Warrior, and when he returns he will deal death to countless millions of people, does this mean he doesn’t Love them? Ofcourse not! But in order to protect those who Love him, Jesus must do away with those who would harm them.

When Peter draws his sword and cuts the High Priest’s Slave’s ear off, Jesus does not stop him and tell him to get rid of his sword, rather he tells Peter to return his sword to his sheath where it will be ready for use when it is once again needed, he demonstrates this by announcing that he can summon all the legions of angels to come and kill all those who opposed him, however he will not because it would run counter to God’s Will, and thus he warns his Disciples, that those who draw their sword in THIS situation will surely die by the sword, as they will be working COUNTER to God’s will.

The old testament, which is God’s Testament is full accounts of God empower the Jews to Kill. So much so that each Jewish warrior was the match for 5 non-Jewish warriors.

I will leave this off by saying that the Bible tells us their is a Time to Kill, and no the Ten Commandments do NOT say thou shalt not Kill, they say should shalt not MURDER, and there in lies the difference.

Thanks for your time,

May God Bless you and Keep you.

(originally submitted as a comment by Magnarr

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Responses

  1. Magnar,

    Thanks for stopping by…

    We’re talking about the Temple incident over here: https://loveyourenemies.wordpress.com/2007/04/24/jesus-cleansing-the-temple/

    “Jesus instructs Christians to carry swords to protect ourselves and more importantly to protect others.”

    Do you have any chapter or verse to support this? Surely in the passage we are talking about here, Jesus asks them to get swords, however, there is no reason stated initially. As we look at the outcome, we might well take his reason to be to teach them that “those who live by the sword will die by the sword”. There is no “this situation” in Jesus’ words here. Clearly Peter had not yet lived by the sword, he was a fisherman. Had he finished his task of living by killing others, and allowing Jesus to live by killing others, surely Rome would have sent even more men (nor could Peter take on a legion of trained soldiers himself).

    “Tell me, if our enemy is trying to kill our neighbour, how do we show our neighbour Love by allowing them to die.”

    Surely we don’t allow them to die. We have never suggested that here. We get involved, but we do not kill. The ends (saving someone) are not justified by the means (killing someone), then you have turned into the transgressor for you perform the same action you try to prevent him from performing.

    The judgment at the end of the age done by Jesus is nearly impossible to use as justification in the here and now. One, Jesus will be able to judge perfectly, we cannot. Two, we are told explicitly not to judge before the time, that is, not to act as Jesus coming in judgment deciding who is righteous and who is wicked and punishing as such. Three, this judgment is God’s right which he has given to his son Jesus – he has not given this to us. I could go on, but I think that is sufficient.

    God’s empowerment of the Israeli nation to kill was predicated on one very important fact, and three ancillary facts. One, in many cases they were performing God’s judgment – God told them to go out and judge this nation because of their sin. Again this is God telling them explicitly. We cannot take this as an implicit idea that Israel is free to do anything. Two, God protected the land from other nations, through Israel. Three, all of this was predicated upon Israel’s obedience to the covenant, when the covenant was broken, they were judged by these other nations. And four, in many cases the Israeli people did not have to fight, God fought for them.

    As for the ten commandments, did not Jesus act as a teacher giving us a fuller interpretation and understanding of all the commandments? Didn’t he tell us what God wants from us in terms of marriage and divorce, what the meaning of the sabbath is, corban and taking care of family, and much more? When Jesus said “love your enemy and pray for them”, instead of the vengence of “an eye for an eye” – NOT killing your enemy is the LEAST you can do, far lower on the list than praying for them, and taking care of them. Is Jesus your Lord?

  2. Jesus himself shows us time when Peace is NOT the answer. An example of this is when Jesus whips those who are gambling in the Temple and using it as a Market Place, he even overturns the tables.

    Where does it say Jesus whipped people? This is reading into the text. It looks more to me like a symbolic protest on the order of non-violent civil disobedience than anything else. For Jesus to whip humans makes the cross a mockery.

    Moses calls the Lord a Warrior

    Indeed, the God of Jesus is called a warrior and does use violence. However, we are not God and we have a different role to play–a prophetic role. We are to function as signs of the coming kingdom in the present evil age. We are the people who have already beaten our swords into plowshares. We have been given a higher calling than the saints of past ages by Jesus who changed the way we live. To live by the law of violence rather than the law of peace is to disregard the words of Jesus and to act as if his advent made no lasting difference in the people of God.

    You bring out another good point that the apocalypse will be violent. Yet, it is not clear whether or not we will participate in that violence. Furthermore, we have our marching orders for now–love, not hate, peace, not war, meekness, not revenge. We dare not intentionally disobey Jesus or else we will surely hear him say, “why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” (Lk 6.46).

  3. First, nowhere does Jesus or his disciples advocate the use of violence. In fact, they explicitly reject it repeatedly. Jesus instructs his followers to not take “an eye for an eye,” or “resist an evil man when he strikes you.” Not only does he condemn violence, but he actually tells us to “love our enemies and do good to them.”

    Jesus forgives his enemies even to the point of death. I Peter 2 tells us the meaning of Jesus’ nonresistance, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.”

    Jesus never tells Christians “to carry swords to protect ourselves.” In fact, he says, “Those who try to save their life will lose it, but those that lose their life for my sake will save it.” We are instructed to like Jesus “take up our crosses daily and follow Him” if necessary.

    It is true that Jesus told his disciples, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one,” but he says right after, “Because it is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; I tell you that this must be fulfilled.” He says they should get swords for the fulfillment of prophecy, NOT so that they can protect themselves. This interpretation is confirmed by his statement later that night that “everyone who draws the sword dies by the sword.”

    Jesus teaches us that our “enemy” is our “neighbor.” There are no distinctions for how we should treat one over the other for as Jesus says, “Just as God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike, so must you love those that do not love you.” Although the oppressed suffers physically, the oppressor suffers morally; we should care for both equally because as Romans 13 says, “Love does no harm.”

    There is no evidence that Jesus used violence when clearing the Temple. It never says that he harmed anyone. Also, he had legal and moral authority to flip tables in the Temple. Every Jew under Jewish Law had the moral and legal obligation to clean up corruption, so he was not trespassing on anyone else’s right. This point becomes even more clear when we consider that this was LITERALLY his Father’s house. He had the same moral and legal authority to flip tables in his Father’s house as I do in my house!

    God’s judgment as found in the Old Testament and Revelation does not allow for us to use violence today. As I Peter 2 tells us, we must leave violence to “Him who judges justly”; God is always the judge over who lives and who dies, not us because as history has shown, people are pretty poor judges over who lives and who dies.

    Even if the Temple incident and Revelation are good examples of the “unpacifistic Jesus,” it is irrelevant because we are not instructed to follow the example of the “unpacifistic Jesus,” we are instructed to follow the Jesus who did not retaliate when insulted, struck, and killed.

    Why should we need to use violence? “For if God is for you who can be against you?” “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  4. Ultimately it comes down to faith–childlike, simple faith that if we live the way God desires that he will take care of the rest.

  5. May i ask u one question? Suppose you love your wife and daughter intensly.Now take one day after returning from work find out few of your enemies are raping and killing your near and dear.What will you do then.Oh you cirtenly tell them oh my dear enemies I love you so much please continue your friendly activities.Is that all you would tell or u fetch a pistol or sword and kill them.I know some of you still cross this argument.But I think the debat will end if jesus come back in 20th century and tell us what should we do But until his second visit we should cast out devils to protect honest because two things can not stay at a same place like light and darkness.Thank you Sean for your view.

  6. John 2:15 “he made a scourge [whip] of cords, and drove [them] all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

    • “Drove them”, yes. It doesn’t change much in the context, no matter what translation you read. But the differences of (inferred) material in our ideas are as far apart as they could ever possibly be. I do apologize if you weren’t insisting upon Jesus being violent to get the people out of the temple. However your post is misleading if thus is true.
      The differences of this “connect the dot” truth are exceeding beyond anything else mentioned in this thread.
      “Drove them” no more means “Whipped them”, then when a person fires a gun in the air to drive out a crowd, no more means he shot a few. There is a huge contrasting outcome to the two. Inference won’t so us any good here.


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