Introducing Christian Nonviolence – Two Resources for the Interested and Skeptical

Introducing Christian Nonviolence – Two Resources for the Interested and Skeptical December 30, 2011

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!).

1) Nonviolence 101 -Becoming a People of the “Third Way”

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 2 – Nonviolence 101 – Resistance is Futile… or the Meaning of ἀντιστῆναι

Part 3 – Nonviolence 101 – Activating the Nonviolent Imagination

Part 4 – Nonviolence 101 – Your Coat, A Longer Walk, & Love Your Enemies

Part 5 – Nonviolence 101 – Submit to the Sword, but Do Not Carry One! [Romans 12-13]

Part 6 – Nonviolence 101 – Other Key Passages that Deal With Violence [White Horses, New Testament Soldiers, & Swords]

Part 7 – Nonviolence 101 – Jesus is Irrational! [2 Myths – Christian Nation & Redemptive Violence]

Part 8 – Nonviolence 101 – 2 “What ifs” [Another Hitler or Someone Attacks Your Spouse/Child]

Part 9 – Nonviolence 101 – Concluding Thoughts and Exhortations

2. Inglorious Pastors (Sermon Series by Bruxy Cavey)

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.

Here is the trailer to the series…

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.

1 The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Bruxy Cavey

2 The Radical Reformation, by Bruxy Cavey

3 What Did Jesus Teach?, by Bruxy Cavey

4 Just War: Understanding the Majority View, by Bruxy Cavey

5 But What About…, by Bruxy Cavey

6 Jesus vs. Jehovah, by Gregory Boyd

7 Now What?, by Bruxy Cavey

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  • Ian

    I watched the Bruxy Cavey videos first and he mentions briefly that there is a difference between a holy war and a just war, but he doesn’t say anything about it. Is there anywhere you can point me to where he expands on that idea?

    • @e51a6cdddfa1c6de563a37d433eee1e9:disqus … check out the resources called “drive home”.  These are expanded commentary on the teachings and he may go deeper on that issue.  Shortly – Holy war is the sort of war that God verbally calls the Jews to in the Old Testament.  Just war is a theory that attempst to take “holy war” and create a liscence to kill without the verbal command of God.

    • KingsofZion

      Hi Ian,
      Many people throughout the era of the Christian Church have thought they were being told by God to sock it to someone.  I don’t think so.

      In Revelation, Christ decides the crazymaking has gone on long enough and He not us initiates the ultimate coup. Not as a baby, but as a King.  That is an example of the only war we are to take part in and I’m not so sure how much of it we actually do take part in.  It doesn’t look to be a pretty picture and I’m sure He can handle it and accomplish the intended goal of oh yes, WWF World Domination. I know that’s right.

  • Mike Ward

    In part 1 only the first link goes anywhere.

    • @671e3eae3e90ae08c3a2f1bd39e8dc7d:disqus … try again.. i just clicked them and they all work in part 1

      • Mike Ward

        Strangely, yes they are working for me now. I say strangely because I had tried them from different computers on different days and they never worked for me until just now. go figure.