He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
I have not written much about nonviolence on this blog. It is a position I have acquired after much theological, moral, ethical questioning a few years back. However, Recently I have been thinking about it again, and taking about it with others. So this is an overflow of some of those thoughts and conversations.
A nonviolent response that allows for possibility for self-sacrifice robs violent offenders of their power. The kingdom of this world’s greatest threat and manipulation of power is the illusion that they can take your life or make it miserable. However, in truth God is the giver and taker of life. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). Furthermore, as believers we have a greater hope, a hope of resurrection. As Paul understood he said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”(Philippians 1:21). Believers do not have to fight to save this life, nor should they. To us, this life becomes in a sense worthless as a bargaining chip. We should enter into nonviolent action ready to sacrifice our life if needed to, and in doing so we remove from the enemy their greatest power over us. In nonviolent humble self-sacrificing love believers conquer and stand victorious over the enemy. When we do not respond with violence to violence we rise above our enemies, and when we do not allow their threats to move us from this position we walk in the likeness of our lord Jesus Christ.