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Christian Pacifism
Comments by Stephen Augustine - 16 Jan 2002 - 1218

Maynard and others,

Maynard wrote:

 Try to live that way?  You'll end up with
  --  lots of SELF-sacrifice
  --  lots of OTHER-sacrifice

Your above claim is not truly proven.  It is to a large part an opinion formed on the basis of how conflicts are dealt with now.  Whereas large scale militarism is the norm and the people of Earth spend a trillion dollars every year on the war machine virtually nothing is spent on
peaceful means and methods of conflict resolution.  Whereas violence is institutionalized, nonviolence (or peaceableness) isn't even in the vocabulary of most people.  We have studied the "art of war" for thousands of years but it has only been in the past 20 years that peace studies programs (for example) have started to germinate in universities.  In any event, the current approach of non-pacifism still ends up with "lots of SELF-sacrifice" and "lots of OTHER-sacrifice" as witnessed by the millions and millions of lives lost in the past 100 years alone.

Maynard wrote:

It's ONE thing to tell OURSELVES that we need to be rug mats for others, but quite ANOTHER thing to tell OTHER folks that THEY must choose to suffer indignities and even physical harm because of the "free choices" of those who perpetrate barbarities upon them.

Christian Pacifism does not equate to being a "rug mat".  It is not passive, it is an active effort to bring about a world worthy of God - without taking the lives of others (and for me "others" means humans and animals).  Roger Kimble posted a vivid account of death in a slaughterhouse (see copy at end of email). You and I can probably see that any being who would inflict that kind of suffering on another living creature is "barbarous" and guilty of perpetrating "barbarities". However, I don't see too many folks rushing to use violence or military force to end that flavour of barbarity.

Maynard wrote:

Surely we often hear pacifists tell us (and others) that WE ought to do 'X', and/or NOT do 'Y', and we're given an array of rationales for doing 'X' and not doing 'Y', but are we obliged to agree with and/or believe those rationales?

I suppose we aren't obliged to believe or do anything.  For that reason one could very easily reject all the arguments you or I may present about adopting a vegetarian diet because it did not suit their worldview and their convenience.

In Christ's Peace,

Isaiah writes about the Messiah as being "The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).  Jesus calls upon all believers to become peacemakers, and says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons [children] of God" (Matthew 5:9).  Paul writes, "For the anxious longings of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons [children] of God" (Romans 8:19).

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