”Some Christians will never shake their pacifism, and there is little anyone else can do to convince them otherwise.”–Bill Muehlenberg
??? Look. I’m all for states acting as states and not as religious entities. I’m all for acknowledging that there are wars that are just and that force is a prime necessity for government. But Christians arent the State. Individual pacifism on the part of a believer is neither irresponsible nor immature.
I have never until today heard of Bill Muehlenberg.
It seems that he runs a sort of Parachristian website fuelled by indignation, Godwinism and Chuck Colson’s brand of righteous warrior thinking.
But already in all the early discussion about this, a lot of very fuzzy Christian thinking is emerging. Lefties and pacifists of course only think this is bad news. They trot out all the usual tired arguments about how all killing is wrong, and how violence never solves anything.
Indeed, so much silly thinking on this has appeared in such a short period of time that I am quite amazed to be honest. We expect non-believers to come up with such silliness, but for believers who should know something about their Bible to do so as well is simply sad.
The Church that rose over the last two millenia, growing to span the globe in spite of persecutions, has long wrestled with whether we embrace the sword, the shield or a little of both. There are arguments to be made on both sides, and as a Christian who supports the death penalty I am well aware of how extremely nuanced those discussions are.
CALLING THOSE WHO HOLD AN OPPOSING POSITION ‘stupid’ IS EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN BY CHRIST HIMSELF.
But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire.
That’s Jesus talking, recorded in the 5th Chapter of Matthew, verse 22. And no, I’m not prooftexting. Jesus is addressing this very thing…arguments that inevitably arise between those who are close familially, socially, religiously.
This, then, is my chief problem with the Culture Wars (Muehlenberg’s site is called ‘CultureWatch’, not ‘Bible Watch’)and the battle so many Christians do on that front. There is so much focus at winning the high ground in the battle forsome ephemeral and transitory culture that we are often ceding the territory outlined by Jesus himself.
Blessed are the meek. The peacemakers. Those who mourn. Those who are persecuted.
It isnt an attracive field to the world. It’s at once both wishy washy and rock hard. But it is the territory asserted for us by the same Christ who healed the centurion’s ear. So let us argue all we must about whether to bow or do battle. But may we please never forget in whose name we ALL take the action we’ve chosen, and let us never cease to honour that sacrifice which makes us brethren.