At CWR, we've received some excellent feedback re: our response to violence. We really do appreciate this kind of input and our readers' thoughtful questions, especially as we see our readers as partners in our ministry and its mission.
The following are some direct responses to the concerns from one of our readers, as well as a formal response we're posting in the Winter CWRm to another reader.
The fall issue of CWRm left me with some negative feelings about our response with violence based on Jesus' teaching, and your claim that Christendom is on the violent, wrong, side of the Cross.
Not very surprising, especially since it's very difficult for believers to come to a consensus about violence and our response to it. This is especially true because when we ask, "what shall we do," we are already dealing with the problem of "who is WE?" Is WE the UN, NATO, the US and its political allies?
Or is we the Church (which church? the universal body of Christ? a particular denomination? or individual believers?). And if Christendom itself were a unified voice, how shall we relate to our politicians and their foreign policies? As chaplains affirming whatever the state decides? Or as a prophet challenging the powers that be? A corporate conscience with niggling questions? Or the voice of God (presuming a lot here)?
You can see how agreement on this is extremely tough to find. What is the way forward? You continue:
I agree that Christians should always seek non-violent solutions ...
Indeed, Christ commands it ... and Paul clarifies: "Our weapons are not of this world," "Our enemy is not flesh and blood," and "Overcome evil with good." Here, Paul is speaking to believers across regions, rather than to political powers ... so then it's a question of our first allegiance among competing claims: the call of the Prince of Peace vs. the agendas of the state.
But it's not so simple as we live with a foot in each kingdom. To the degree that we are also citizens of our nations (and our authors come from quite a few nations on at least three continents), we do participate in the world and it's problems.