No, Christian pacifists are not cowards

May 18, 2017 by

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, which naturally means I am a Christian pacifist. I refuse to use violence against my enemies or intentionally harm them in any way, even if they harm me. I will love my...

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The many what-ifs of loving your neighbor

Jun 20, 2016 by

“Who is my neighbor?” I understand the lawyer’s need for a clear answer from Jesus. Jesus answers the question with the story of a Samaritan showing mercy to a wounded traveler. It seems easy. The person...

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Can war be just?

May 23, 2016 by

The just-war theory is both bad and good. This is not a contradiction. For nonresistant Christians, it is bad. Pacifism is a way of life, not a case-by-case call. For nonpacifists, the principles for judging...

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Just-war thinking

Mar 28, 2016 by

Regarding “Whom to Thank for Hope?” (Feb. 29): Earnest just-war thinkers would agree with Levi Miller’s assertion that “not all conflict and violence can be solved by nonviolence and negotiation,...

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Hesston casts out fear

Mar 7, 2016 by

Christian writer and activist Shane Claiborne came to Hesston, Kan., Feb. 19-21 to say that love casts out fear and that followers of Jesus should live in proximity to people’s pain. Four days later, when a...

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In support of children’s violent play

Feb 25, 2016 by

“This is a bad girl, and this fairy is killing her with a sword,” my daughter explains about the picture she has drawn. “Oh,” I remark. “That’s interesting.” “I’m going to pick up a stick and...

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You can’t kill Hitler

Oct 28, 2015 by

Last week, while wandering through Exodus 15 debating whether or not the death of Pharaoh’s soldiers was justified, the teenagers (I would call them “my teenagers,” but they are uncomfortable with...

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A police officer questions pacifism

Oct 5, 2015 by

Police Officer: My theology totally lines up with your theology, except in one area: namely, your pacifism. I am a police officer, and it frankly seems obvious to me that there are times when it is proper, if...

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Is pacifism enough?

Aug 31, 2015 by

There is a small village called Gangjeong on South Korea’s Jeju Island, the largest island of Korea. The island is in the middle of China and Japan. Every year more than 10 million tourists visit this...

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Being a troubled nonviolent resister

Aug 21, 2015 by

I want to be a nonviolent resister because as a Red Letter Christian I am committed to taking seriously what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. There’s no way to read through chapters 5-7 in Matthew...

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Police brutality and Christian pacifist silence

Jul 29, 2015 by

When it comes right down to it, Anabaptist Christians can never justify siding with the police over a civilian. We are pacifist. It is a fundamental tenet of our faith that there is always an alternative to...

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The fight of truth

Jun 23, 2015 by

When truth is being spoken it is hard to only hear what you want to hear. Truth has a way of speaking directly to the soul even when the mind has tried to dull the hearing. There are many conversations seeking...

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Remembering another army of heroes

May 25, 2015 by

I felt an incredible sadness as I counted the names, 259 in all, on the front page of yesterday’s local paper. They represent all of the young men from our area who were sacrificed in the prime of their...

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It’s the culture war

Feb 2, 2015 by

D.R. Yoder’s parable, “If Faced With This Choice, What Would You Do?” (Letters, Jan. 5), seems to be based on the assumption that those who tolerate churches that welcome LGBT people would not extend the...

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Your scapegoat “pacifism”

Dec 19, 2014 by

Dec. 12, a deputy editor of First Things, Matthew Schmitz, posted a rather unusual piece: “Our Partial Pacifism.” It starts out with the bold statement, “I am inclined to blame pacifism for...

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Jury duty

Dec 8, 2014 by

As the judge began her address to the panel of jurors, she said that to serve on a jury is one of the highest civic duties, second only to being in the armed services “defending our country.” That was when...

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Why the Church needs her martyrs

Oct 16, 2014 by

Human life is the most sacred thing. Blood trumps everything. To be sure, many would rush to say that God is the most sacred thing. That God trumps everything. But in point of fact, that’s not true....

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Why privileged people love quoting MLK

Oct 8, 2014 by

If you’re outspoken on the issue of race, chances are, at one point or another, you’ve had a conversation with a self-proclaimed pacifist who has cited Martin Luther King Jr. King was nonviolent, they...

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Patriotism that knows no borders

Mar 17, 2014 by

Genuine patriotism seeks the glory of God and the good of fellowmen in every clime and nation. There are no national boundaries for the truly enlightened child of God. — Daniel Kauffman, 1914 A hundred...

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Reflections on Ron Sider’s newest book, ‘The Early Church on Killing’

Feb 10, 2014 by

Ron Sider’s newest publication, The Early Church on Killing, is, as the subtitle suggests, a fairly comprehensive source book for anyone who is investigating what early Christians had to say about war,...

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