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Is Pacifism wrong?

My name is Kevin and I am currently involved with XXX mission agency. I have been directed to your site as a means for deeper spiritual and scriptural understanding.


As it stands, I can see your website to promote pacifism to the extreme, especially in regards to participation of Christians in war, violence, etc.

I feel that any Christian ideas should not only be weighed by Wise Counsel, but should be founded in Scripture. Having read the Bible (almost all the way through) I can see the direct (or seemingly direct) objections to violence in any form - even defense. However, besides loving your enemy and praying for those who persecute you, I see John the Baptist in Luke 3:14 telling soldiers to be fair, just and content with their wages; and as Jesus said in Matthew 11, John the Baptist was/is to be listened to. I also see Jesus, in Matthew 8, accept the Centurion's plea for healing - followed by Jesus rebuking Israel for its unbelief and the acceptance of Gentiles into the Kingdom (specifically using the Centurion as the example).

Do you have alternate explanations, because I believe Scripture, interpreted by the Spirit, to be the all-determining judge of right and wrong. If the scriptures speak as I have read, then Pacifism would be wrong to an extant. Could you please explain your standpoint better in light of all of Scripture?

Answer: I’ve written a bit more about this in my book “A Generous Orthodoxy.” If you’d like to read a strong case for pacifism, I’d recommend you explore “The Politics of Jesus” by John Howard Yoder. In Christian history, the majority of Christians have not been pacifists. In theory at least, they have held to what is called “just war theory.” Whether you ultimately choose Christian pacifism (I actually prefer the term Christian peace-making) or just war theory, I think you’ll agree that Christians should never rush to war, never be happy about it, never take it lightly, never see it as something to be engaged in lightly.