March 1, 2006

Violence as the Way to Peace

We live in a violent society. I think most people desire peace, but in our world, peace comes at a price. As people read the Old Testament, they are disconcerted by the violence of a God that condones war. And yet, if there were no military stuff like this would be more commonplace than it already is: International News Article | Reuters.com

Jesus said, "Turn the other cheeck," but I don't think He was talking to governments. I think He was speaking of a personal ethics situations. When a person is attacked for their belief in Him. I think He is also warning about the dangers of allowing violence into our lives.

But if we want real peace (more than just lack of conflict, peace is the presence of justice) we have to defend the weak, the innocent, and the helpless. Where grace comes into play, is that we defend the weak without malice toward the oppressor. We defend the weak with respect and love for the one responsible for the violence.

In the article, these men terrorize the people and perform their ethnic cleansing. If left alone, the violence continues, but if fought, there is at least a chance to change things.

But in other circumstances peacful protest is more effective. Take the Civil Rights sit-ins. These acts of peaceful defiance turned the course of a nation. These brave young men and women risked their lives to bring a greater level of equality. Though we are still a long way from where we need to be. If you haven't read The Children by David Halberstam, it is a good read.

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