Thursday, October 1, 2020

I Am Not A Pacifist

No Christian should consider it his duty to roll over and die. “Love” is not another word for “nicety” or “passivity.” It is as fiercely aggressive as it is aggressively selfless — and sometimes, it means taking up arms.

As I observe the territory that used to be the Democratic Republic of America (amazingly, once known as the "united" states!) drift farther and farther into godless tyranny, likely rupture, and possible war, my personal inclination is to sit in "Red America" and watch it burn. I'd rather see a divorce between the states than a war. 

The phrase that keeps nagging in my brain is "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing".  A quote I choose to attribute to Burke, but one that many have claimed. I don't claim to be a "good man" -- as Christ said, in Mark 18, "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone." Naturally since he is God, there is some mystery there -- he is also fully man, so we will just leave it there for today. 

In this age of relativism however, "good men" is a lost concept, and "evil" is at best relative if recognized as existing at all, with the possible exception of "Whiteness".  

On top of this sad reality, the general very short attention spans of our population, and the total vacuity of our "elites", is the fact that Social Media is a shallow fetid pond that requires a shower after just dipping a toe in, let alone attempting to seed it with "pearls" -- I expect nobody to agree with my assessment of "pearls". Each of us now has the dubious "right" to consider our own views to be metaphysically "true".  

The topic of this post is my concern that too many Christians today believe that they are required to be pacifists. CS Lewis disagrees, as I believe does Christ. As he said in Luke 22 -- He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one".

Trump is the only evidence that "the Deplorables" are not going to just roll over and die quietly. One notices a distinct lack of violence as Christians gather (50K + in this case). My current studies are largely on the time before, during, and after the Civil War. Can a return to America happen without massive violence?  I'd argue that the America that resulted after the Civil War is a different country relative to foundational belief, it was really only "united" in territory. America was founded to be a collection of states where power was primarily with the people, then the community, then the states, and only then the Federal Government. The Civil War essentially reversed that order and it has been getting more explicit ever since. I'm not arguing the correctness of the Civil War. Certainly racially based chattel slavery was wrong, but there is a lot to argue on the METHOD of attempting to remove it, and the costs.  The discussion bears a lot of similarity to the use of the atom bomb. 

An excellent exploration of that topic is covered in "The Stakes" -- oh that millions of people could read that as a current version of "The Federalist Papers". Color me highly doubtful. While our founders deeply understood the stakes of their revolution (once "ours"), I'm certain that a culture that is unsure of how many genders there are is incapable of counting costs (or correct change for that matter). 

Lewis made this argument most forcefully in 1940, in front of a society of pacifists in a speech called “Why I Am Not a Pacifist.” He pointed out that pure nonviolence, if carried to its logical conclusion by all men of fighting age, would leave the pacifist nations defenseless and the world at the mercy of totalitarians and Nazis.

This post so far hasn't explicitly addressed the issue of defending your own body. The  commandments (in Hebrew) explicitly say thou shalt not MURDER as opposed to the common english false translation as "thou shalt not kill", causing much confusion. The real meaning in Hebrew  is clear -- thou shalt treat the issue of translation with fear and trembling! 

Historically, much of our Christian law is based on Natural Law ... in which self defence is clearly allowed. To some extent, Christ calls us to "rise above" nature, although clearly realizing that to be human is to be physically part of nature and it's laws. Yes, we have the  Holy Spirit, and we also know that we fail to follow his leadings on a regular basis. 

I think this article does a good job of covering the issue, I see the closing paragraph as a good summary. 

We recognize that this is a sensitive issue of conscience for many, and that grace and love must characterize this conversation. We also are convinced that any such self-defense must be considered as a last resort and in response to a reasonable threat. The same principle of valuing the image of God in others that drives us to protect the weak among us also compels us to a careful and measured response.

The bottom line is that when the issue comes to the fore, nobody really knows how they will react, just like a trained soldier doesn't actually know if he will kill until he does. Being armed (having a gun) is one level of decision, having a baseball bat, or being trained in self defence would be another. Depending  on your physical  characteristics,  when in extremis, your body may decide, and the result may surprise you.

We may get to the point where everyone claiming to be a Christian may have to display a cross on their home. As we saw in Germany, it may well be likely that as a first step to disarming the nation, the "authorities" will go house to house collecting weapons. Once they have them from the Christian minority (getting smaller and smaller),  it will be easier to take the rest. The knowledge that the population is heavily armed is itself a deterrent to tyranny. Even if you ARE a pacifist, having a few guns, even if they are in their original boxes with no ammo in the home, is a way to "vote for peace". 

My conclusion  is that if someone comes to my home with apparent violent intent, "official" or otherwise, it is my duty to forward  them to the eternal judge. I will also face that judge, and under Grace, even if I made the wrong choice, it will be covered by the sacrifice of Christ. Other Christians will face that same judge. If  not defending your neighbor was the wrong choice, Grace will be sufficient for that as well. 

My advice is to get a few weapons (shotgun, Armalite Rifle (NOT "assault"... that is propaganda), and a pistol that you can handle. Take a gun safety course, and learn how to use them. You may find that putting holes in paper or clay pigeons is actually quite fun. It is called "shooting, not killing  ... same for hunting/killing and fishing/catching. 

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