Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not Pacifism

I hate war, but I am not a pacifist.

If I come home from work and find my daughter being beaten up, I will not tell her to turn the other cheek.

If she is being attacked by one person, I will use force to try and set her free. Force is justified when protecting a person in harm.

If she was being attacked by ten men, my response might be different. Trying to force them to stop would probably be a waste of time. I could do four different things.

  1. I could challenge them and warn them that what they are doing is wrong. That works in some situations.
  2. I could offer myself as a victim in her place. This is probably the Christian thing to do, but I doubt that I have enough courage for that one.
  3. I could quickly invite the Holy Spirit to intervene. This is the most important thing to do.
  4. I would call some of neighbours to help. Once several of us had gathered, then force might be sufficient to prevent the attack.
If my neighbourhood was being attacked by thugs, I would join with other people from my community to force them out and prevent them from returning.

If the southern island of New Zealand was being invaded by an army from overseas, I might join others to try and stop the invasion, but I would only do this if I thought there was a reasonable possibility of success without too great a cost in human lives. (I might be among the cowards who get sent home).

If defence of the island was futile, I would not fight. I know that my freedom comes from God, so no invader can steal my freedom to serve him. They could steal my property, which would not be nice, but they cannot take away my salvation. They could take my life, but that would just speed me on my way to heaven, which is not the worst thing that could happen. I find it ironic that people who say their home is in heaven are often those who would advocate the death of other people to protect their own life on earth.

The invaders might attempt to suppress the gospel, but I am not sure how bad that would be. The gospel is not doing very well under our democratic, materialistic freedom, and there is considerable evidence that the gospel does better when it is opposed.

I would join together with several other groups with in a fourth-generation defence of our land. I would not join with a tanks and bombs defence that would do more harm than good.

I would not fight to defend New Zealand, because it is not an entity that God cares about. There are many good things about our system of government, but it is not the same as the Kingdom of God.

I will not fight to establish the Kingdom of God. It comes by different methods.

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