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8.15.2005    |    Who would Jesus bomb?
Isn't this a cute little picture? Notice the happy, child-like Jesus, with a peace sign. The sign is part of a self-righteous vignette, spun by so-called Christian pacifists who encountered our Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a trip from Canada back to the United States.

The spinner is associated with the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thomas Merton was a serious if flawed Christian pacifist. These folks, if this is typical of their thought, are simply self-righteous prigs who simply can't comprehend how a Christian (or anyone else, for that matter) could possibly think that Jesus was also about doing justice in this world.

Jesus was not a pacifist. He was a non-resister when it came to fulfilling His Father's will that Jesus die on the cross for our sins. He also told us to love our enemies, which is not the same thing as giving evil men free reign to kill the innocent. When He needed to, Jesus was all about anger and, yes, violence - for instance when it came to cleansing His Father's house.

Now, just because some at the Merton Center are self-righteous and self-centered children does not mean that we should assume that the Lord backs our wars. The question that must be answered is, "are we doing justice when we go to war?" Never a simple question.

As in most things in this life, answers to that question that fit on bumper stickers are not really answers. And, make no mistake, "who would Jesus bomb?" isn't really a question -- it's a rhetorical device whose answer is "Jesus would bomb no one, and you're not much of a Christian if you don't believe this."

The Merton Center's so-called pacifists appear to be of the opinion that Jesus would never endorse any war, regardless of the justice of the cause. This is tantamount to saying that our Lord, who has also promised a heinous death and hellfire to those who do not accept His cross, is some sort of namby-pamby metrosexual, sensitive-guy savior.

This may be a pacifist's understanding, but it smacks of some rather selective reading of Scripture -- as in tossing out almost the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures, most of Paul's writings, and, most certainly of all, Revelation. Christians don't have that luxury. We might prefer a pacifistic, vegetarian, metrosexual Jesus. But that's not the man who died on the cross for us.

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Blogger John said...

Greta post JL, and a great subject, I really enjoyed this!


11:52 PM, August 15, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.