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Christian Nonviolence Is The Strong Position

Christian nonviolence is not the “weak” position. It is, in fact, along with Just-War Theory, a historically “Christian” practice.

It is not weak because in the face of terror and violence, there is the image of God, maintained by the resolve of the peacemaker, and therefore bearing witness towards the one who decides to pervert that image.

It is assumed that violence is the twisting of the image of God. Jesus Himself didn’t see Himself as twisting that image in the mangling of His flesh. So what does that mean?

The Christian who is resolved to not retaliate not only preserves the image of God in himself, he also helps to preserve that image in the offender, where the possibility of mercy is given new life – even at the cost of the Christian’s life.

Jesus demonstrates this practice in the very act of death on the cross. He does not retaliate or call his disciples to pick up arms. Instead, he asks His Father to forgive them, for they know not what they do. In the act of the greatest offense known to mankind, God in the flesh chooses to bless His enemies with the word of peace. It is this cross that all Christians are called to follow.

No, Christian nonviolence is a strong position. It is fortified ground that cannot be taken because it is ground established in the heart. The Kingdom of God is built as a relation of hearts. And it is a choice. Will we choose?

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