Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lent day 38 - the way of non-violence

The Lenten readings cover parallel material, and so Day 38 looks at ground we've covered before, in this case Luke 22. For this reading, I want to look at what happens at Jesus' arrest.

Now I consider myself more pragmatist than anything, though confess to be still somewhere in the middle. I cross the street to avoid suspicious people, yet have studied martial arts for years. Think that maybe there can be just wars, although most wars are not, and there is little to no guide for this in the bible (the Ban of Deuteronomy is of a very different nature).

So that all said, I suspect the vast (if not entire) of life of a Christian (issues of soldiers, police, etc aside) should be governed by non-violence. When Jesus was being arrested, one of his disciples cut someone's ear off. Jesus then heals him and his ear is restored. I find this the funniest miracle in the bible.

Jesus' question "Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit?" is a telling one. Jesus was no bandit (i.e. revolutionary) who dealt in swords and clubs, so why treat him as such. Whenever the church has resorted to these, it has failed. (It's another issue for me when the state has a job of protection to do, but far more often than not, the state has not been interested in protection.)

The Christian mission is not one of force, neither rhetorically nor physically. This does not mean it has no power, but that power is as a song by Scott Stapp says "he spoke he always drew a crowd, his message was his lifestyle".

Let our words draw hearers and our lifestyles be a message of God's love.

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