Exposing the foundational errors of postmodern / emergent Christianity in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

I came across The Bible & Homosexuality: Enough with the Bible Already via the blog of a recent commenter.  The author is heavily into postmodern / emergent church thought, which is basically just theological liberalism described with fifty cent terms.  The title pretty much says it all about their worldview.  The post is a logical fallacy-fest trying to have Jesus while teaching the opposite of what He does in his word.  As usual, they downplay or even mock the importance of sound doctrine.

It was largely a straw man argument implying that Bible-believing Christians are never friendly to gays.  I know a “few” conservative Christians and that isn’t the case at all.  These critics fall prey to the truism that the truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.  Of course we should be friendly to them.  But you don’t express your care for people by teaching them the opposite of God’s word.

The flawed theme was the claim that there are just a few verses addressing homosexual behavior, so we should just ignore that unpopular topic.  Yes, and there are just a few about child sacrifice (don’t), bestiality (don’t), loving your enemies (do) as well.  And that proves what, exactly?

They also ignore the flip side: How many verses describe God’s ideal for marriage and parenting?  Hint: More than a few.

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Here are sections of the post along with my comments:

But presenting a coherent biblical argument for why homosexuality is not a sin and why our gay brothers and sisters should be fully welcomed into all areas of the church and ministry is not my point here.

Well – if that’s the problem – then I say, “Enough with the Bible already!”

That’s a concession speech right there.  The provocative title says we need to ignore the Bible.  But notice how he doesn’t ignore the Bible when propping up the rest of his claims.

This issue has been on my mind a lot recently, for a variety of reasons, but most recently because Sarah and I gathered with some friends from our church and watched the documentary, “For the Bible Tells me So.” If you don’t know anything about the film, you should really watch the trailer . . .

Better yet, read about the trailer here.  It was full of all sorts of bad reasoning.

. . .  I became increasingly upset that there are people in this world (primarily Christians) who think our gay and lesbian friends should not be allowed to marry, adopt children, have the same rights as straight people or be ordained to follow calls to ministry. Rather, they should be “fixed” or changed. And for those who are Christian and believe these things, these beliefs come from a very selective reading of a very small amount of texts from the Bible.

Yes, we think that homosexuals should not be given the title of marriage (“the union of a man and a woman”) because it doesn’t apply to them and is un-biblical.  But I don’t know one single Christian trying to prevent their “loving” relationships.  We also don’t think they should adopt children, because we love children and want the best for them.  And of course they shouldn’t be ministers.

Note how he cheats by claiming that Christians use a “very selective reading of a very small amount of texts from the Bible” while he does nothing to address the texts.

If it is truly the Bible that is causing some to hold these discriminatory beliefs, then perhaps we need to set the Bible aside for awhile. Perhaps we need to not construct a belief system about LGBT folk built on the foundation of a couple verses in scripture. Perhaps that isn’t healthy, fair, just or Christian.

“Discriminatory beliefs” = question begging.  He assumes what he should be proving.  Some discrimination is quite rational.  He needs to prove that this is the bad kind.

How convenient to set the Bible aside for a while when it conflicts with your cherished views!  That is classic Dalmatian Theology, where they claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and they they are inspired to spot the spots.

Christians have a history of using the Bible as a weapon (this is a bit of a caricature – but probably not far from the truth). Whether being used to condone slavery, oppress women or support wars, it’s clear the Bible has been misused by many [insert here accusations that I as well am misusing the Bible with my hope for acceptance of LGBT folk]. When the Bible becomes used as a weapon, as a tool for discrimination, as a way in which people can justify beliefs of hatred and injustice – one has to think and wonder if we haven’t gone horribly wrong somewhere.

Yes, and the Bible has been used to free slaves and oppose wars.  His argument proves nothing, except that the burden of proof is on those claiming support of the Bible.  But wait, I forgot — he wants to throw the Bible out of this conversation!

For some, I believe the Bible has become an idol.

That’s possible, but unproven and irrelevant here.  We tend to view the Bible as God himself does: His inspired word, carefully given and preserved for us to know what He wants us to know about him.  Does he make the Bible an idol when he quotes it, or is it just when we refer to it that it is an idol?

Some place the Bible above Jesus’ compassion and love, Jesus’ radical inclusivity, and hold steadfast onto what they believe to be the correct interpretation of a small amount of verses that speak about same-sex relations.

Straw man.  If you really love people you’ll want to tell them the truth.  Jesus’ “radical inclusivity” means including everyone who repents and believes.

To those who repeatedly start quoting Leviticus and Romans verses as soon as anyone brings up the topic of homosexuality, I’d suggest perhaps you stick your Bible back up on the shelf for awhile. Perhaps it should collect a little bit of dust. And maybe, just maybe, you need to go out and grab coffee with someone who’s gay. Maybe you need to hear their story, learn about what they’ve been through, how they’ve experienced Christians and the church.

Why not do both?  I know plenty of gays and we get along well.  I don’t try to “fix” them before sharing the Gospel any more than I try to stop anyone from being lustful, greedy, selfish, etc. before I share the Good News.  But of course I don’t encourage them to pursue those sins, either.  That wouldn’t be loving.  Here’s one encounter where I shared the Gospel with someone who was gay.

It’s recently become more and more clear to me that there is an increasing amount of fear and ignorance connected to this topic. We may be living in the 21st century, but there is still so much fear connected to gay people in our world. Fear of the unknown is strong and rampant in so many people’s assumptions about gays. Fear comes from ignorance, from a lack of knowledge. I wonder how much fear could be laid to rest if those who feared gays the most actually got to know someone who was gay.

More straw.  How will shelving your Bible make you less ignorant?  There is nothing wrong with getting to know people better, but no matter how much I like someone who is cheating on his wife I shouldn’t encourage the behavior.

The fear argument is just your basic “homophobe” accusation.  The real homophobes are those who are so politically correct and fearful of rejection by the world that they defy their (alleged) Savior and common sense and teach the opposite of what Jesus did.

. . . So I’m not arguing that we should throw out the Bible; but at least for some people, it might be more productive – and better for society – if they put the Bible aside for awhile, stopped listening to the hateful rhetoric of James Dobson & Friends, and engaged in some thoughtful reflection and conversation with the LGBT community.

Ah, the “hateful rhetoric of James Dobson and friends.”  Here’s a wild guess: This guy doesn’t listen to Focus on the Family Podcasts.  They are anything but hateful.  Again, the truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.  And he assumes that we haven’t given thoughtful reflection to this issue or the people involved.

Christians need to get over their infatuation with a very select few verses, and get over their infatuation with a literalistic interpretation of these texts.

Even more straw.  Nobody light a match!  Notice how he says we interpret them wrong but won’t say why.  How convenient.  And notice how he ignores that 100% of the verses describing God’s ideals for marriage and parenting involved one man / one woman marriages?

Christians need to look more to Christ than to the Bible.

LOL.  And where do we learn about Christ?  If he claims personal revelation, then after I stop laughing I’ll point out that I’m going to trust the personal revelations given to the writers of scripture before someone who wants me to ignore the Bible.

Christians need to actually live out the radical love and compassion that Jesus exemplified in the scriptures. Christians need to realize that the world will not end when gays are given the right to marry – or when we finally fully welcome LGBT brothers and sisters into pastoral ministry.

He has yet to prove why we should ordain people who come into the church shaking their fists at God and defying his clear teachings.  His love and compassion are the fake, indulgent kind that point people to Hell.

If it is the Bible that is causing us to delay accepting and celebrating LGBT persons as being fully human and fully created in the image of God, just as they are, then perhaps we need to say, “Enough with the Bible already…”

That’s the final bit of straw.  We do realize that they are fully human and created in the image of God.  We have their long term best interests at heart.  That’s biblical (agape) love.  The writer is the one who loves himself more than the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people he claims to care about.

Also see Left Wing Pomos Comment on Bible v. Homosexuality for more false teachings, primarily where they assume that the need for “community” trumps the need to obey God.  Got any Bible verses for that?

Those posts are quite typical for the postmodern / emergent types.  Making a god in your own image is not exactly a new sin.  Run, don’t walk, from those mocking accurate references to the Bible.  Don’t love the world more than you love God.

Also see for some accurate teachings:

0 thoughts on “Exposing the foundational errors of postmodern / emergent Christianity in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .”

  1. I have never been unfriendly to gays. For anyone to suggest that Christians are unfriendly to gays proves their ignorance. For instance, I know several people that live with their SO, unmarried. They know I do not support their decision to live with their girlfriend or boyfriend. Yet I still work with these people, or meet these people for lunches and dinners, and treat them as friends.

    Jesus taught us that we are to be friendly to sinners, but not condone their sin. Real Christians follow that example.

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  2. The author of the post also used the “cultural context” argument in the comments section. This too is always a false argument because he is using his cultural context to determine if the cultural context of the Bible is relevant of not. Not sure I’m wording that correctly but you get the idea.

    It seems like every new fad that comes along, emergent, seeker sensitive, etc., is the same old whore of a heresy in a new dress and it’s always guys in their 30 somethings screaming how we need to change things throw off that which is old for something “new.”

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  3. Outstanding post, Neil. Good job exposing all the straw. Now if we could just get rid of the likes of Fred Phelps and his gang, the true Christian position on homosexuals just might find its way into the media………………..NAH, that’s hoping for too much.

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    1. Thanks, Glenn. Yep, Phelps is awful. They try to act like we are closer to him than the liberals are on the spectrum, but he is in his own category.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  4. I’ve known a few homos myself. Watched one die slowly of AIDS. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. As I knew him long before he “outed” himself (kinda had to once he was diagnosed), and his outing didn’t lessen my friendship with the guy, though I wish I knew about this aspect of him before he got sick. Who knows. Perhaps…

    I also know a lesbian couple, one of which is my wife’s cousin. Don’t much care to spend time with them, but to keep the peace I don’t whine about having to if there’s a family event to which they are invited. If I have any fear of such folk whatsoever, it is the fear that my opinion would ever be requested. I would give it to them (pardon the expression) straight.

    I’m friendly insofar as I do not go out of my way to show my disdain for their lifestyle choice. I’m friendly in that I will carry on a conversation with them (at the last gathering, which was in a resteraunt, I sat directly across from them). I’m friendly in the sense that if one of them was choking on their sushi, I would rush to their aid. I’m friendly by virtue of the fact that I wouldn’t let one of them just walk into the street in the path of an oncoming truck.

    But to say that I am “friendly” to homosexuals isn’t exactly an accurate depiction of my attitude when I know someone in my presence is of that choice. In fact, I resent the situation in which their presence places me. I am immediately made to make a choice of my own. Leave or tolerate their presence. By tolerate, I mean that their presence is a challenge. Their presence forces me to accept them by acting cordial (which I do, naturally), or leave the immediate vicinity.

    From their perspective, what they might be going through due to MY presence is something self-inflicted. Who doesn’t have desires or passions that they would rather not have and must live their lives in a manner pleasing to God (and really to all of society as well) in spite of it?

    As to the post, this guy sounds like so many that we’ve already debated on the subject. I was immediately reminded of ER when the idea of the Bible as an idol was mentioned. What’s most tiring is the “holier than thou” attitude of people advocating for less than holy behavior.

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    1. I’ve been half tempted to write about all the gays I’ve known and how to interact with them given the stereotypes put on Christians, but am afraid it would come off as one of those, “Really, some of my best friends are black” kind of bits (even though really, some of my best friends are black).

      I played volleyball with a couple guys that were gay. Both died of AIDS. Very sad. Various co-workers whom I worked well with were gay. My daughters are serious ballerinas so — hold onto your hats! — I’ve met quite a few there as well and performed with some. We get along well. We talk about all sorts of hot political topics such as family, hobbies and careers. Shocking, eh? Do they know I’m a Christian? Yep. Am I pretty sure they know where I stand on God’s design for sex? Yep. Do I wait until they stop their behavior before talking to them? Nope.

      The theological liberals are most comfortable living in Stereotype Land because that is the only place where their fake theology can make sense to them.

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    1. Thanks, Angel — good to hear from you!

      Hadn’t heard about Laura Bush — http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Happy-Hour-Vid-Laura-Bush-Supports-Gay-Marriage-Roe-v-Wade-3584 .

      Yes, how awful. Civil rights have nothing to do with love. And even if something is headed that way culturally doesn’t make it right. She thinks abortion should be legal for “medical and other reasons” but that is not a pro-life view at all. She is not a clear thinker.

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      1. She sounds clear headed to me. And if she supports capital punishment, war, etc. then I’d say she was quite consistent in her anti-life views.

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      1. …according to OT – eye for eye, tooth, for tooth…be my guest….

        Elaborated on it.

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      2. God is not opposed to violence.

        God is opposed to unjust violence.

        I trust you understand that there is a difference between just and unjust actions.

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    1. That’s a nice cliche, but not always true. Besides, if God provides/commands capital punishment, who are you to argue with God?
      The OT “eye for eye” etc was actually to limit retaliations.

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      1. Jesus turned the eye for an eye on its’ head when he said to love your enemies and turn the other cheek.

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      2. So Jesus wouldn’t want to have police departments or to have military protect your country? Or to have the gov’t reward those who do good and to punish evil doers?

        Jesus wouldn’t want you to protect the weak?

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      3. Jesus was talking in context of the reasons given in the OT, and mostly it was about accidental injuries. But he was also addressing personal insults. In other words, don’t be over-react in retribution. But the state is given the sword by God to punish wrong-doers. God instituted capital punishment and never revoked it. Don’t play buffet Christianity picking out only the passages you like.

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      1. I think too often there is unnecessary police brutality. There is 2 to 4 times more domestice violence in police families than in the population at large and violence against spouses of Iraq vets is increasing as well.

        Violence does indeed beget violence.

        Peace advocates would do well to form coalitions to work with police departments and veterans groups to help curb the violence.

        FOR Programs

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      2. I find that irrelevant to the question.

        Again, is it sinful to have police departments? Would you call the police if your neighbor was being attacked, or would that just beget more violence?

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      3. Sinful to have police departments? No. That is a ploy always used by people who don’t understand non-violent strategy . I find it a rather silly ploy.

        Would I call the police if someone was attacking my neighbor? Yes. But hopefully, I would try to help before the police came. I don’t own a gun so I couldn’t shoot the perpetrator. But I could make a lot of noise.

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      4. No, it is a perfectly logical response to the immoral and naive claims of pure pacifism. Violence does not always beget violence. It often prevents it, and you make vile implications about brave people.

        Sent from my iPhone

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      5. We will have to agree to disagree on pacifism. But I make no vile implications. I have only stated the facts.

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      6. I’m confused my friend.

        You seem to be claiming pacifism. Yet if someone were to attack your neighbor you would help them?

        Let us say that your neighbor were being kicked in the shin by an unjust attacker. What is your response? Do you, using just force, restrain the shin-kicker or otherwise prevent/stop the assault?

        Or when you say “Make a lot of noise” do you mean that you would just, literally, make a lot of noise while your neighbor is relentlessly kicked in the shin?

        I imagine your neighbor, being repeatedly kicked in the shin, is doing a fine job of making noise himself. What is needed is not additional noise. What is needed is action to stop the shin kicking.

        Please, tell me truly and clearly, where do you stand?

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      7. Aditionally, why is brining up the issue of police departments a ploy? Police departments use violence. The stopping of most crimes and detaining of nearly all suspects requires some degree of violence.

        The action of forcing a person into handcuffs is itself an act of violence.

        You claim on one hand that there should be no violence, yet on the other hand you express your support for an organization whose basic function and activity is the use of state-approved violence.

        This seems highly contradictory. If violence is itself the problem you should be utterly opposed to police departments since they are institutions that rely primarily on violence. Sure, occasionally police mediate a dispute between neighbors. But their primary activity is one of violence.

        Why do you support institutions of violence of you are a pacifist?

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      8. [The] primary activity [of the police] is one of violence.

        That is completely false. Most arrests for crimes involve a police officer directing a suspect to a car – sometimes in handcuffs for precaution, or simply requesting that the suspect report to a court house on a specific date and time. Violent arrests are quite rare. Perhaps our communities are very different. It would be the lead story on the nightly news in Vancouver if an officer had to draw his weapon.

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      9. The act itself of arresting a person, of placing them in chains, and forcing them to go where they don’t wish to go is a type of violence.

        But it is a just type of violence. Because there is a difference between just and unjust violence.

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      10. Agreed, but that is a rare occurrence, even for a police officer. Most arrests involve advising a person they are under arrest, and politely asking them to sit in a car, or appear in court on a specific day. That’s not violence. You said violence is their primary activity, and that’s BS.

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      11. The threat of violence is there and the treat is not immoral. If the criminals knew that no force could be used do you think arrests might play out differently?

        Sent from my iPhone

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      12. I never said it was immoral, or unnecessary. LCB said that the police use violence as their primary activity, and that is BS. Violence, by definition requires that damage be done. Exerting force to arrest someone is not necessarily damaging. Yes police use violence occasionally, but hardly ever.

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      13. In the states all arrests involve the use of handcuffs as a safety measure.

        The individual may willing accept having chains put on them, but it is still a form of violence. Further, greater, violence also serves to ensure the individual follows the officer’s instructions.

        The primary act, detaining persons and arresting persons, is one of violence. But it is just violence and not unjust violence.

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      14. Violence does not require damage at all. Violence merely requires the use of force against another.

        That’s the root meaning of the word going back to its latin origins.

        And so I reassert that the primary activity of police officers is violence, using force (or similarily threatening the use of force, which is a type of force itself, and thus also violent).

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      15. Yeah I didn’t think you’d admit you are wrong. There are tons of words with similar latin roots that no longer mean exactly the same thing. If you’re going to resort to etymology to show the police’s main activity is that of violence, you are indeed digging yourself a hole.

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      16. This is not that complicated. Marty made an overly broad statement (“violence begets violence”) that is sometimes but not always true, and was inconsistent in applying it to the police.

        Ryan is oversimplifying and ignoring the obvious, which is that without the threat of violence (see the wooden stick and the shiny gun in the holster?) that most criminals wouldn’t come along politely.

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      17. Quit with the “violence begets violence” cliche already. That is not a foregone conclusion. Violence is used everyday without begetting more violence. My father was very abusive but I am not – just an example of the flaw in using cliches.
        You also paint police families with a broad brush. Statistics can show anything you want to show – what was the sample size and how many areas were sampled, e.g. Iraq vet stuff is also just playing with stats. Everyone accepts stats as gospel without examining the basis for them.

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      18. It’s hardly a cliche. The concept is all through the Bible. One needs to look no further than the family of David. But there are plenty of other examples with which to draw. And then there’s the live by the sword die by the sword which has been poo pooed here as not really meaning what Jesus clearly said.

        I am glad that the violence in your family stopped with you, but you could be the exception rather than the rule.

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  5. I know it seems contradictory. But so does Scripture and it isn’t.

    I have had several experiences helping battered women and found the police to be less than helpful in each case.

    Once a man broke into my parents house. He tied them up, ransacked their home, and stole their car. The police were called …. then they brought a “suspect” back to my parents house for identification. I couldn’t believe it! Why did the police do that? My parents couldn’t make an indentification. Thank God. They later caught the criminal when he pawned my Dad’s watch. It was engraved. They stated he was a hardened criminal and had he found a gun in my parents home he would have killed them with it.

    None of that is neither here nor there. I just wanted to let you know that I do have some experience with violence.

    Anyway….perhaps I could try and clarify what active non-violence really is with these 5 videos by UMC minister Walter Wink…..or not.

    I hope they are helpful to understanding my view on the issue.

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    1. Your stories are nice, and I am sorry about your parents.

      But you have done nothing to attempt to resolve the obvious conflict put before you other than link me to 5 videos that I won’t watch.

      Surely your position can be explained in a much shorter form. I mean, even the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer recognized that, in certain times, even pacifists must engage in just violence.

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      1. I don’t think my position can be explained in any other form other than what I’ve already put out there. You’re either willing to try and understand or you’re not. No need to belabor the point.

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      2. Marty, all I’m asking is that you explain the seemingly obvious inconsistancy. Pointing me to a 5 part video isn’t really explaining an inconsistancy.

        If the very basic premises of your position can’t be summarized in a paragraph or too, perhaps it’s worth considering that your position just isn’t coherent?

        If all violence is unjust, then the action of police placing a criminal in handcuffs is unjust because it is an act of violence. Yet you seem to be supportive of police (and presumably them arresting people that do bad things). I just don’t understand this contradiction.

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      3. I agree with Ryan. Putting someone in handcuffs is hardly inflicting violence unless during the process the persons hands are ripped apart. In that case damage is done.

        Look… non-violent resistance is not being cowardly and acquiescing to evil or laying down and taking it. Rather it is confronting evil and refusing to mirror it.

        Turning the other cheek, giving the undergarment, going the second mile….these are all lessons in non-violent resistance.

        With regard to the Police Department. I may choose to live my own life through non-violence and believe it should be the way for all who follow Christ, but I will not force my way upon another. So, if I see my neighbor being attacked, I will call the police. It isn’t my place to decide… at that moment… for my neighbor… that she should non-violently resist.

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      4. If you consult what I wrote above, you’ll find that your disagreement is not with me, it is with the dictionary.

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      1. Again, Jesus is not opposed to violence itself. He is opposed to unjust violence. There is a difference between just and unjust violence.

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      2. I am always astounded at the hypocrisy of many pacifists who courageoulsy live in countries where they can live pacifist lifestyles because there are others willing to do violence on their behalf. Mennonites, for one, moved from country to country across Europe into Russia, and then finally North America, always running away from one type of persecution or other. In North America they found people who would not only tolerate them but to kill others that would take away the Mennonite people’s freedoms from them. Predictably, said Mennonite peoples condemn the violence done on their behalf.

        Hiding behind the guns of young men and women willing to die for them and then condemning those men and women for their actions is beyond belief. But then, trying to convince my wife’s grandparents that people who were conscientious objectors during WWII were wrong to do so requires greater debate skills than I posses.

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