In North America, the idea of Christian nonviolence or Pacifism (meaning to “pacify” not inactive passivism) is largely unaccepted by evangelical Christianity. This is odd considering that the peace teachings of Jesus and the early church are basic to New Testament teaching and theology. I want to offer two resources to give a basic introduction into this subject. I realize that many of my readers will disagree, but if you are willing to wrestle with the following resources, I promise that you will at least come to appreciate this perspective (and who knows, maybe you will embrace it!).
This is a series that I wrote earlier this year that should give you a primer on the theology of the subject. I encourage you to take 15 – 20 mins to read this carefully and to contemplate if the Bible actually might call all Christians to peace.
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 6 – Nonviolence 101 – Other Key Passages that Deal With Violence [White Horses, New Testament Soldiers, & Swords]
Waging Peace in a World of War
This series gives a historical overview of the subject of nonviolence from the first century church to Constantine and then looks at the Anabaptist movement. Then, it moves into the text of the New Testament, investigates the Old Testament (in light of the New [guest speaker Greg Boyd]), and then takes an honest look at all of the “What abouts…” that get asked about nonviolence.
In the sixteenth century a renegade group of Christian leaders rebelled against their own religion. These dissenters called for the church to separate from the state and to reject all forms of violence. They waged their war with weapons of peace, and many died for their radical cause of calling Christians back to the way of Christ. Known as “Anabaptists”, they dared to think that Jesus should be taken seriously when he taught his followers to turn the other cheek, love their enemies, and do good to those who hate them. Join us as we learn practical lessons for how we live today – lessons from the teachings of Jesus, embodied in the lives of these Inglorious Pastors.
To view the following, you will need to “right click” and “save link as” to access the files. If you want to listen to these on your computer without downloading, you can follow this link and scroll down and find the tab that is called “Inglorious Pastors.” Also, you can find these talks on their iTunes based Podcast here.