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Author Topic: Drawing A Line  (Read 606 times) Average Rating: 0
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LostInTheWorld
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« on: April 10, 2010, 05:27:31 PM »

I wrote this a few days ago on my personal blog:

Quote
Christianity preaches tolerance and love to your fellow brothers, even if you don't approve of their actions. Hate the sin, not the sinner. We are taught to embrace humanity and hate evil. Some have taken this to mean total pacification (Quakers) or have manipulated it to fit political agendas (leftist in criticizing, far-right loons using it to justify legislation). But, God is above politics. God is about personal and collective salvation from the terrors, horrors and evils of human society after the Fall. Compassion and love fit into that, but I personally believe (and I'm not sure if this fits into Orthodox doctrine) that there also must be a line in the sand. This far, no further.

http://anewconviction.blogspot.com/2010/04/give-none-take-none.html

I was wondering if there is anything in Orthodox doctrine about this. Is there anything that talks about standing up to aggressors?
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 11:58:29 PM »

Hey, this is a great question. I have wrestled with this and continue to wrestle with it. I absolutely believe that it a Christian moral duty to oppose evil wherever and whenever we encounter it. But the question is, HOW should we oppose it?

After wrestling with this issue for many years, I eventually became a pacifist. Please note that "pacifism" is not "passive-ism." This is a common misconception. And please understand that I am not talking about some idealistic, naive, hippyism philosophy. By pacifism, I mean the direct nonviolent confrontation with evil. We fight militantly, but we fight with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the flesh [Ephesians 6]. We venerate the image of God even in our enemies, and therefore we refuse to kill them. If they kill us, we are martyrs and the Church is strengthened by the blood we shed for Her. And perhaps our nonviolent sacrifice will change the hearts of our enemies. But if we kill, we destroy the image of God and we nulllify the hope of repentance on the part of those whom we slay.

I have been thoroughly castigated by many people for my pacifist views, but I remain firm in my conviction that nonviolence is the way of Our Lord. Admittedly, pacifism is an easy theory but a difficult practice. But I truly believe that Christ proved noviolence is far moe powerful than violence. And we must remember that anything gained by violence can also be lost through violence. Might does not make right.

If you are interested in learning more about Orthodox perspectives on peace and confronting evil, you may like this site:
http://www.incommunion.org/

OK. Great topic.


Selam
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 09:05:43 AM »

Hey, this is a great question. I have wrestled with this and continue to wrestle with it. I absolutely believe that it a Christian moral duty to oppose evil wherever and whenever we encounter it. But the question is, HOW should we oppose it?

After wrestling with this issue for many years, I eventually became a pacifist. Please note that "pacifism" is not "passive-ism." This is a common misconception. And please understand that I am not talking about some idealistic, naive, hippyism philosophy. By pacifism, I mean the direct nonviolent confrontation with evil. We fight militantly, but we fight with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the flesh [Ephesians 6]. We venerate the image of God even in our enemies, and therefore we refuse to kill them. If they kill us, we are martyrs and the Church is strengthened by the blood we shed for Her. And perhaps our nonviolent sacrifice will change the hearts of our enemies. But if we kill, we destroy the image of God and we nulllify the hope of repentance on the part of those whom we slay.

I have been thoroughly castigated by many people for my pacifist views, but I remain firm in my conviction that nonviolence is the way of Our Lord. Admittedly, pacifism is an easy theory but a difficult practice. But I truly believe that Christ proved noviolence is far moe powerful than violence. And we must remember that anything gained by violence can also be lost through violence. Might does not make right.

If you are interested in learning more about Orthodox perspectives on peace and confronting evil, you may like this site:
http://www.incommunion.org/

OK. Great topic.


Selam


Well stated.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 09:18:32 AM »

I am a pacifist, too, like my friend Gebre. And I, too, experienced some pretty painful blows when I expressed my pacifist, anti-militaristic views. I even lost friendship with some of my dear former friends who are Orthodox and who are in the US military.

Also, my social leanings have been shaping more and more to the "left." I happen to be a supporter of Obama, of the health care reform, of a stronger involvement of the US government into public education, etc. And that, too, puts me in an ideological opposition to some of my very dear Orthodox friends.

Like the OP, I do believe very strongly that God - Christ - is about love and compassion to people. He is absolutely beyond political and social and cultural issues. To Him, I am sure, it does not matter one bit whether you like Rush Limbaugh or Karl Marx.Smiley Rather, it matters to Him whether you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, accepted a stranger.
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