Pick up any newspaper, watch any news program and you will see stories of people making war on their neighbors.  Human history is full of stories of war.

I was a very angry, and confrontational young man.  As a teen I got into a lot of fights in school.  I willingly took part in war, Viet Nam.  That conflict taught me the tragic waste of life that is war.  I have not had a physical confrontation since.  Verbal?  If you traveled had with me on my commute to New Jersey you might have learned a few words not found in Websters dictionary. 🙂

Neither I, the society I live in, or the world I share with my fellow men and women, can claim to be truly civilized.  Not as long as we make war on each other.

I can think of only two groups that don’t make war, the Amish and the Jains of India. 

You can read about the Jains here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

In researching the Amish, and their source of guidance that leads them to “non-resistance”, all of the Internet sites I found, with information about the Amish, is written by people who are not Amish.  I did find the following site maintained by The National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom.  This organizations defends Amish communities in courts of law.

http://www.holycrosslivonia.org/amish/intro.htm

From their FAQ page:

http://www.holycrosslivonia.org/amish/amishfaq.htm#pacif

“Some of the Biblical references for peace and non-resistance are: Matthew 5:38-48; John 18:36; Romans 12:18-21; and I Corinthians 6:18.”

Further – “Both Amish and Mennonites are committed to a lifestyle of peace and non- violence. Yes, this pervades every aspect of life. However, no one can predict with certainty how anyone would really react to an absolutely unprecedented crisis such as described above. Emotions as well as thoughts are involved and the situation is personalized. Having said this, we would hope that as people who have practiced a lifestyle of peace, we would not resort to force and violence in a crisis situation such as the one described.
We must briefly make several points:

  1. There is no assurance that use of force would save my life or the life of my family if confronted by an attacker.
  2. We could recall many accounts of unhoped for deliverances, whether by mediation, nature, or divine Providence, when Christians refused to use force when confronted by an attacker.
  3. If the result is death at the hands of the attacker, so be it; death is not threatening to us as Christians. Hopefully the attacker will have at least had a glimpse of the love of Christ in our nonviolent response.
  4. The Christian does not choose a nonviolent approach to conflict because of assurance it will always work; rather the Christian chooses this approach because of his / her commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord.

The analogy to war in the situation described above tends to break down when we think of the vast preparations for war — accumulation of weapons, training of the military, etc. War is planned and seldom is aggression so clearly defined with the defense staying on its home turf.”

Finally to the Bible study part. 🙂

Mathew 5:38-48 (King James Version)

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

What is your interpration of Mathew 5:38-48?

Do you believe the Bible does sanction the use of violance to defend yourself, your family, your faith? 

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