Archive for March 2009

A Different Kind of Kingdom

March 19, 2009

Fallen humans tend to identify their own group as righteous and any group that opposes them as evil. If they were not evil, we tend to believe, no conflict would exist. Hence, the only way to end the conflict is to “rid the world of this evil,” as President George W. Bush said after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The “good” (our tribe) must extinguish the “evil” (their tribe), using all means necessary, including violence. This is the age-old “myth of redemptive violence.”

Gregory A. Boyd
The Myth of a Christian Nation (2005), p. 26

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War Against Terrorism

March 19, 2009

Christians who support or remain silent about Bush’s “war against terrorism” are terribly inconsistent. If the state were to say, “Here Christian, put on this uniform, take this gun, go to your hometown, and kill your father,” Christians would recoil in horror and refuse to obey the state. But if the state were to say, “Here Christian, put on this uniform, take this gun, go to Iraq, and kill someone else’s father,” I am afraid that many Christians would reply, “When does my plane leave?”

Why is it that the same Christian, who would not do the former, has no qualms about doing the latter?

Laurence M. Vance
Christianity and War, and Other Essays Against the Warfare State (2005), p. 27

War and the Early Christians

March 19, 2009

The early Christians were wholly opposed to warfare and violence. They were certainly not cowards: while they refused to serve in the Roman army, they apparently did not flinch from lions in the arena, or being beheaded, rather than kill a fellow human being.

Bill Petri
War and Grace (2006)

Christians in the Military

March 19, 2009

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (Ephesians 4:31-5:2).

There is an alternative to this ceaseless, bloody merry-go-round: it is the kingdom of God … It is to live the life of Jesus Christ … to opt out of the kingdom-of-the-world war machine and manifest a radically different, beautiful, loving way of life. To refuse to kill for patriotic reasons is to show “we actually take our identity in Christ more seriously than our identity with the empire, the nation-state, or the ethnic terror cell whence we come,” as Lee Camp says [Mere Discipleship, page 148.]

So, while I respect the sincerity and courage of Christians who may disagree and feel it their duty to defend their country with violence, I honestly see no way to condone a Christian’s decision to kill on behalf of any country – or for any other reason.

Gregory A. Boyd
The Myth of a Christian Nation (2005), p. 173

Christian Killers

March 19, 2009

There is no doubt that many of the soldiers responsible for the recent death and destruction in Fallujah are Christians. And there is no doubt that many Americans who call for more death and destruction in Iraq and elsewhere are Christians as well.

Christian Killers.

The phrase should be a contradiction in terms. If someone referred to Christian adulterers … most Christians would get an extremely perplexed look on their face. But when Christians in the military continue killing for the state, and Christians not in the military call for more killing in the name of the state, many Christians don’t even raise an eyebrow.

Laurence M. Vance
Christianity and War, and Other Essays Against the Warfare State (2005), p. 24

War Perpetuates Hatred

March 19, 2009

The recent war on terror that the United States finds itself engaged in has not decreased terrorist activity, but rather has seen it escalate to the highest levels ever known. Bloodshed creates more bloodshed, which creates more hatred, which ensures more violence, and hatred. This is what waging a physical war produces. Its end is never good, and it never brings peace that can last. The United States is not eliminating terrorists, but with every act of violence they create more terrorists, who hate Americans more than the ones who preceded them. The whole world system is fortified against Christ; and the peoples of the earth have been engaged in little else than in raising and strengthening such strongholds for the space of 6,000 years. The doctrine of grace goes forth against all the combined and concentrated powers of resistance of the whole world; and the warfare is to be waged against every strongly fortified place of error and of sin in the spiritual realm. These strong fortifications of error and of sin are to be battered down and laid in ruins by our spiritual weapons of knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, love and the Holy Ghost as we have already seen.

Bill Petri
War and Grace (2006)

The WARfare State

March 19, 2009

Christians who condone the warfare state and its nebulous crusades against “evil” have been duped. There is nothing “Christian” about the state’s aggressive militarism, its senseless wars, its interventions into the affairs of other countries, and its expanding empire.

Laurence M. Vance
Christianity and War, and Other Essays Against the Warfare State (2005), p. ix


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