Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beyond Just War and Pacifism: Jesus' Nonviolent Way

The new reality Jesus proclaimed was nonviolent.  That much is clear, not just from the Sermon on the Mount, but his entire life and teaching and, above all, the way he faced his death.  His was not merely a tactical or pragmatic nonviolence seized upon because nothing else would have worked against the Roman empire's near monopoly on violence.  Rather, he saw nonviolence as a direct corollary of the nature of God and of the new reality emerging in the world from God.  In a verse quoted more than any other from the New Testament during the church's first four centuries, Jesus taught that God loves everyone, and values all, even those who make themselves God's enemies.  We are therefore to do likewise (Matt. 5:45; cf. Luke 6:35).  The Reign of God, the peaceable Kingdom, is (despite the monarchical terms) an order in which the inequity, violence, and male supremacy characteristic of dominator societies are superseded.  Thus nonviolence is not just a means to the Kingdom of God; it is a quality of the Kingdom itself.  Those who live nonviolently are already manifesting the transformed reality of the divine order now, even under the conditions of what I call the Domination System. 
full article here 

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