Quoting Fran:I have been wondering whether part of the problem is that we tend to focus on the here and now. We tend to think that human life is really really important. Sometimes people act as if this life is all there is and that it must be protected at all costs. Our faith in God and in something eternal should help us to realise that there is more to life than life itself. The way I see it is that we all die, whether from violence or 'natural causes'. It seems silly to hold on so strongly to something that we cannot keep.
I have to remind myself that in the end both the victim AND the killer die and face God. Even if we were to let a crazed killer kill every last human being on the earth, would that mean that evil had won? The killer would also die eventually and would have to answer to God. And God could just resurrect the rest of us later.
When I think about that, I am more inclined to take the pacifist approach to such moral dilemmas. Perhaps on the earth people will consider it foolish and indifferent. But what will really count will be what God thinks. Was I sincerely trying to follow him by being non-violent till the end? Would God punish me for having followed my understanding of what Jesus was trying to communicate through his teachings and lifestyle?
As I have said before, in such situations, we each need to follow our conscience. I feel that I cannot make an absolute judgement on someone for acting with violence, particularly when it is a situation on the 'better' side of the mental scale i gave above. I feel a responsibility to do all I can to live up to what I truly believe to be right, even if it seems foolish to others and even to my own 'human' reasoning.
Fran begun the above post with "This post is probably going to be quite controversial... "
. A comment which is ALL revealing about how he considers things are going in the JC's. I have to agree with you Fran. It is quite controversial
within the JC's for you to make such a post, especially after Dave has gone to great lengths to shoot me down everytime I challenge his "It's OK to kill out of love" reasoning while still considering himself as following a cheek turning saviour.
It is telling that you having such thoughts, i.e. taking Jesus seriously on turning the other cheek, has become a source of controversy within your group. Do you think it would be a source of controversy for you to make such pacifist statements on Quaker, Amish, Anabaptist, Gandhian, forums? Somehow I think not. Maybe the fact that you feel a need to acknowledge something as being controversial regarding pacifism within a group professing to be following Jesus could give you some insight as to why the Quakers have said that Jesus Christian teachings and practices are incompatable with a Quaker way of life.
From what I have seen and heard, and now see you struggling with, the Quakers have spoken that which is true. Food for thought Fran.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2008 04:40AM by apostate.