Showing posts with label Christian Pacifism.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Pacifism.. Show all posts

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some Thoughts On Dr. King

The Friday before Dr. King's birthday, I always have students ask me what I think of Dr. King. As I invariably do, I ask them what they think. But this year, I had two freshmen pretty much pin me to the wall in the last five minutes of Civics class and tell me to (once and for all!) give my opinion. So, this is what I told them.

Like many figures in history, Dr, King is "heroified," to use a James Loewen term. To a certain extent, this transformation has done him a great disservice. My primary gripe is that he is consistently made out to be a more secular figure when it was Jesus Christ and His heart of peace and love that drove Dr. King to action. Certainly, he had a profound sense of civic duty for equal rights but we shouldn't mistake the origin of his passion. The other element of his personality I urged my two students to consider is that he was not a perfect man. I wrote about this two years ago and it is still very important to remember. He made mistakes just like anyone else. He had doubts just like anyone else. He had moments of weakness just like anyone else.

In the final analysis, however, our country today is something he would have broken down and cried over with tears of joy. I told the two young women in front of me, one black and one white and best friends since pre-school, that in so many ways his dream has been realized. We aren't perfect in terms of race or prejudice but we have come a very long way. My students children's generation...simply can't conceive of a time when people were treated differently because they were black. It's as foreign to them as a time when people didn't text or have a computer. They just don't grasp the concept and that means that a great stain has more or less been culturally eliminated. I then asked them what they think Dr. King would be doing today if he was around. They both said the same thing.

"Helping people who are sick and who are poor."

His dream continues to be fulfilled.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Words

But this word of the Lord came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. (1 Chronicles 22:8)

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matt. 5:38-39)

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Matt. 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28)

Put your sword back in its place...for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. (Matt. 26:52) 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matt. 5:9)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Deeply Rooted In Nonviolence

I'm not much of a Wikipedia guy but their entry on Christian pacifism is excellent. We sadly forget how our Savior was deeply rooted in nonviolence...