Pacifism

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General Pacifism[edit | hide | hide all]

Jesus states principles regarding treatment of one's enemies that are unparalleled, setting a very high standard for not just forgiving one's enemies, but proactively praying to God for them. Nor is this a standard to be taken lightly, for it is the requirement Jesus sets to be "the children of your Father in Heaven." As Jesus points out, if we only care about those who care about us or are related to us, we are doing nothing special and therefore cannot expect any reward. As Jesus further points out, we cannot expect to be forgiven for our sins if we do not forgive others. Nor is this a new commandment, but one that God gave back in Leviticus 19. Jesus similarly states that this should extend to generally taking wrong.

This principle is further echoed by Paul in his epistles:

Why the Commandments?[edit | hide]

Eternal Reward[edit | hide]

This seems to be related to the principle of God wanting us to take wrong while doing good, that we may have more eternal reward:

Eternal Punishment[edit | hide]

The Apostle Paul, in urging Christians to do good to their enemies, further reveals that doing good to one's enemies will ensure that, if they do not repent, they will have even greater punishment from God, in effect "heap[ing] coals of hot fire on their heads." (Romans 12:20)

Christians who have died do so anticipating God's coming justice:

Satan's Planet[edit | hide]

Satan is the 'prince of this world' and 'god of this world' until he is finally deposed in the last days by God the Father. As such, avenging ourselves against the forces of darkness which rule this world, 'principalities and powers,' may be a losing battle.

It should be further observed that, since this is Satan's planet, those in power will be particularly biased towards those who do good. As such, every action must be thoroughly justifiable to all people, that Satan's ministers do not gain an excuse to persecute Christians.

Potential Exceptions[edit | hide]

That there are exceptions is evident. Paul urges Christians to, "if it is possible, as much as lies in you, live peacefully with all people." (Romans 12:18) This passage thus shows that there will be cases where it is impossible, both given the circumstances and one's own nature, to live peacefully with others, even when committed to generally taking wrong and forgiving one's enemies.

Even Jesus could not stand the sight of all evil, and intervened using physical force when He saw God's temple being misused for material gain through fraud and dishonesty.

Declaration of Independence[edit | hide]

This is, essentially, the same argument made in the Declaration of Independence for creation of the United States, that the colonies had repeatedly attempted to compromise and seek a peaceful resolution with England, but that evils had become finally insufferable.

Jesus' Return[edit | hide]

Contrary to the concept of Jesus as peaceful, He will return to destroy Satan's world empire and erect an eternal kingdom of righteousness, with Christian saints as His army.

Jesus warned His enemies of His return:

Which Exceptions?[edit | hide]

Defense of Others[edit | hide]

There may be cases where defending others might be justified, particularly when it is a life and death situation. While we are commanded not to avenge ourselves, it is commonly recognized that defense of others when they are in mortal danger is honorable.

Government[edit | hide]

As previously mentioned, the Apostle Paul stated that God uses government violence to encourage good works and discourage bad ones. As such, governmental violence can be used to further God's will by promoting good over evil.

Stopping Global Evil/Protecting the Church's Reputation[edit | hide]

Per the Declaration of Independence, there is a point where, as Edmund Burke once famously noted, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." When it is in the power of good people to stop global evil, they are justified in exercising their inalienable rights per the Declaration of Independence.

This principle can be, to a degree, observed in 1 Corinthians 6, where the Apostle Paul urges legal matters between Christians to be settled within the Christian Church. As Paul observes, Christians will ultimately judge angels, and as such are all the more suited to judge matters in this life. While Paul nonetheless urges them to just take wrong instead, he does state that when problems arise within the Church, they should be handled by the Church.

This follows after Paul, in the previous chapter, urged Christians to expel those who are engaged in clearly evil lifestyles that the Church might not be defamed.

One might reasonably conclude that, were such a person unwilling to leave Church property while engaged in a lifestyle that destroys God's reputation, they could be forced to leave through force in the same way that Jesus used force to make those misusing God's temple leave. (Luke 19:45)

References[edit | hide]