Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Was Jesus a Pacifist?

    Was Jesus a pacifist?  And if so, what are the implications for how we form young Christians to walk the way of Christ? 

    These questions take on a greater relevance in the wake of the recent peaceful revolution in Egypt

    I wonder how many youth were paying real attention to the protests that unfolded in Egypt that so quickly brought down the often violent leader who held that country in a suspended "state of emergency" for the past thirty years. I wonder how many of our teens watched as young people flooded into the streets and stood together peacefully, demanding transformation and justice for their country. I wonder if our youth reacted with some sense of awe as in seventeen days this group of ordinary, banner-waving, chanting Egyptian citizens somehow managed to topple a powerful leader without use of violent overthrow, assassination, or military coup. I wonder what the events in Egypt might tell us about the power of non-violence to transform the human tendency to use coercive power. What I really wonder: might this example of the truth of non-violence be dangerous for our youth?

    Could urging youth to follow a radical path of non-violence be dangerous for them?  Read the rest of my column on this topic here at the religion website and I'd welcome your thoughts on this challenging issue.


    Sarah said...

    Our Mennonite tradition was birthed in part because of pacifist convictions and maintains a peace church identity around the world. There are some good resources here: Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Publishing House, and Mennonite Media have all put out youth-related peace curriculum, which we have used often in our congregation. ~Sarah Klaassen, Seattle Mennonite Church

    Brian Kirk said...

    Thanks much for sharing those resources.