There was one quote, which unfortunately I cannot place, by a late Byzantine saint who explained the Orthodox view of just violence to a Muslim. In a nutshell, Christians shouldn't use violence to defend themselves, but they should to defend each other. That might help resolve some of the paradoxes.
And for the most part, the Church has condemned violent overthrow of government, even non-Christian government. Sometimes, however, when the government has appeared to be completely anti-Christian in nature, saints have taught their followers not to obey the civil authorities at all (since any obedience could count as indirectly participating in the persecution). One example, I believe, involved St Basil praying that Emperor Julian the Apostate be defeated by the Persians in battle.
Thanks for this explanation, Jonathan!
"Christians shouldn't use violence to defend themselves, but they should to defend each other."
Well, the question I have with this reasoning is that, wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense if you shouldn't defend yourself, but defend everyone else?
Even if a Muslim is being attacked by a Christian, you should help the Muslim and defend him.
I don't know... I think defensive actions, no matter on who is what is the best.
Well, the question is what one would do if the Byzantines advanced into new territory and didn't only defend their own cities....