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 Patheos.com and I'd welcome your thoughts on this challenging issue.

    2 comments:

    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: http://peace.mennolink.org/. 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...

    Sarah,
    Thanks much for sharing those resources.