Qualified Pacifism

Do you suppose they would call it “qualified pacifism”?

I’m not sure giving it a name would make any difference, but it does make it easier to pull out a large concept if it has a handle. The problem we run into is that most common labels already come with a lot of baggage that we don’t want to drag around. Of course, the real name for it is shalom.

But when folks ask certain kinds of questions, looking to match what they already know with something we are trying to promote, we have to adjust the angle on our terminology so that we can draw them along to a better understanding. So, depending on the nature of the query, you could say that Radix Fidem promotes a qualified pacifism.

That is, in order to ensure we obey Biblical Law and promote shalom to the glory of our Lord, we would tend to avoid violence. It’s not that violence is inherently sinful for us, but we need a reason to use it. Violence is a last resort kind of thing, and it is well restricted by Biblical Law. But that doesn’t mean you have to try everything else first. It means you’ll use other means of persuasion when it fits the context.

The only justification for violence is to protect the mission, the calling, the necessity of exercising divine dominion. You can’t reason your way to a neat set of rules; too much of it rests on the moving the Holy Spirit and your moral maturity. Only God knows for sure what will bring Him glory, so any use of violence starts with having embraced your sense of divine calling. You have to know who you are in terms of your role in His Kingdom, and what is required of you in any given context.

But in general we do not enjoy seeing people hurt. There’s already too much pain and suffering in this world. The human race is uniformly fallen and we have no mission to increase the penalty. We are looking for ways to bring comfort and consolation — but not at the cost of the Father’s glory.

It’s not a question of what people say they need; it’s what we have to offer. It’s a matter of what God has called us to do and what He has given us. Sacrifice shouldn’t trouble us, but nobody can demand I sacrifice my loyalty to Christ. And nobody but Christ is authorized to define what that loyalty looks like. So I cannot tell you what you should do, but in a given situation I can tell you what I believe I would do for His glory. You have to extrapolate with your own heart what that requires of you.

At any rate, pacifism is not our god. Nobody on this earth stands in a position to define for us what shalom demands of us. The only barriers anyone can justly raise are on the boundaries of fellowship and service in their company. Their decisions have no effect on whether you are in Christ’s company.

Christ said that walking in His footsteps tends to make us quick to sacrifice and show compassion. This the Christ who cracked a whip on those who rejected their mission from God, and hindered revelation. It’s the same Christ who laid down His life for us.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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