Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Challenging Violence

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The challenge before us today is take these words to heart, from MLK, Jr. It seems here in the US we believe that violence is a positive force.  

Read this!

Torture, the Bible, and America's Faith in Violence by Derek Flood (12-16-2014)

He says (excerpt):
Violence in the world is a reality that we need to face. All too often we are presented with only two options: defend ourselves with violence, or we do nothing. Some Christians therefore advocate for the use of violence as a necessary means for bringing about the good. This is echoed by our politicians, and in our television shows and movies where we continually see violence portrayed as the means of fighting evil.

As a society we trust in violence. We think it keeps us safe — we think it makes us strong. It is therefore not enough to simply note the harm that comes from violence, or our moral repulsion to it. What is needed is for us to articulate how the way of Jesus and enemy-love could be realistically applied to real conflicts today, so as to work towards peace, safety, and restoration. We will need to demonstrate that there are viable nonviolent means of dealing with societal problems — ways that are not only effective, but in fact more effective than violence at resolving conflict and keeping us safe as a society.

From CIA torture to the deaths on the streets to what plays on our TVs/movies, we are awash in violence.  We need to begin to articulate a way of nonviolence and love that can truly deal with our problems.

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