Abductive Columns

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Musings on Pacifism

Will Sampson has some interesting insights from a lecture by Chuck Gutenson on Pacifism.
1. No matter how much we spend on American national defense, the best we can hope for is “illusion of security.”

2. We cannot kill enough of “them” to ever reasonably defend “us”, and it is antithetical to the gospel to even think in such (i.e. us vs. them) categories.

3. The Iraq War was a bad investment and showed poor stewardship.

4. The Iraq War evidenced a lack of “due diligence in critiquing the case for war.”

5. We are all sinners; therefore, pacifists do not underestimate the enemy, rather, they properly estimate the sinfulness of human actors when suggesting that we are incapable of wielding faithfully the power to take a life.

6. Nationalism is a new form of idolatry and an “alternate soteriology.” (Yoder) We should, therefore, be highly suspicious of nationalist claims that cause us to act in ways not rooted in the model of Christ.
Read the complete post here


At 2:51 AM, Blogger Giancarlo said...


At 8:39 PM, Blogger Brian Nicklaus said...

Is it okay to be a pacifist who is not anti-war? WHAT?

I cannot participate. I do not like war. But that is what governments do. My personal opinion is that Christians should not be involved. Our purpose and calling is peace, love, grace, forgiveness. But that isn't the MO of goverment. God has ordained goverments to keep the peace and punish the wrongdoer. Maybe that will sometimes include war.

I have a hard time commenting for or against war. God has always used one nation to punish another (our time is coming sooner or later)so I feel conflicted.

Being a "Christian Nation" creates quite a conundrum when we try to combine responsibilities for two different institutions with two different purposes--church and government.

Does this make sense at all? Anyone esle feel this way?

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Ben said...

I sure do...I've got two young'ens at the house barely able to write their name and I, for one, am glad our government at least cares about justice and defense. No way are we a "Christian Nation". We have more Christians than any other I would suggest, but that doesnt make us our nation Christian - we dont act like Christian as a whole. What really troubles me is the idea that nationalism and Christianity somehow have something in common. I dont think being patriotic is bad, but, goodness, can we not get our priorities straight?


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