A few of my Facebook friends linked up a Huffington Post article by Jonathan D. Fitzgerald, called “The Christian Pacifist Response to the Newtown Tragedy.” Now, I guess pacifists can be Christians too. But as I read the article it became clear that Mr. Fitzgerald and the Huffington Post commenters thought that Jesus was a pacifist. That’s stupid. It’s like saying Jesus is a vegetarian. It’s wrong and easy to disprove. Just read the Bible.
Some people right now are like, “Jimmy! How can you say that?”
Just look at the Bible! Here’s Jesus eating fish. Here is God in the Old Testament mandating eating beef. Here is the Angel of the Lord eating a Whopper with Abraham. Oh, or do you not think Jesus is the same God as in the Old Testament?
Right now these people are like, “No. No! I mean yes. Look, we’re not talking about Jesus’s divinity or vegetarianism. We’re talking about war. Jesus is in the New Testament. It’s against war.”
No. Pacifism is a liberal notion that categorically denounces war and violence. Liberal ideals are disconnected from reality and misrepresent God’s nature. The reality is that peace comes from defeating the enemy. God, by his nature, wages war and destroys his sinful enemy.
Read the Gospels. Did Jesus denounce war? No. When the Roman centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus marveled at the faith of this Gentile soldier. He healed the servant in absentia and did not advise the Centurion to change careers. (Bible, Matthew 8:5-13)
However, when Jesus encountered Democrats, their guilt compelled them to drastically change their lifestyles. Sometimes paying back several times over to those they swindled.
Some people right now are like, “Jimmy, where are Democrats in the Bible?”
The were called tax collectors.
Prince of Peace
At Christmas, we celebrate the advent of Jesus by singing, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let Earth receive her King.” Handel’s Messiah gives a tune to Isaiah’s prophecy, “The government shall be on his shoulders… and he shall be called Prince of Peace.” Jesus is King of the Kingdom of God.
In this world, there is no crown without a sword. The existence of any governing authority depends on violent force to enact its will. This is why towns have armed police officers. It’s why Massachusetts has a State Police SWAT team. It’s why the United States Government would still be a British colony if it weren’t for its armed citizens.
The Kingdom of God is no different. That’s why King David, a warrior himself, prophesied that God said to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand until I make a footstool out of your enemies.” (Bible, Psalm 110) In other words, God will make Jesus victorious in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan.
How could the Prince of Peace be a warrior? Because peace follows victory. The war weary long for the day when the lion lays down with the lamb. Yet that day comes only after Jesus, “will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.” (Bible, Isaiah 11:4)
Who is the The Ultimate Pacifist?
At this point, some of you may share the incredulity of Jon, a Huffpo commenter, who asked me the following:
Really? The Jesus who laid his life down for the whole world? The Jesus who told his disciples who were defending him to put their swords away and healed the soldiers ear? That Jesus wasn’t a pacifist? I think by the above definition he was the ultimate pacifist.
The Ultimate Pacifist? WTF is that? Is that like the Ultimate Warrior but he runs away from the ring instead of to it? Sorry, bro. That’s not Jesus.
If war is the ultimate evil, then Jesus is the ultimate villain. Don’t believe me? I dare pacifists to read King David’s second Psalm without reacting violently. “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain. … You will break the nations with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (Bible, Psalm 2)
Jon points out that Jesus laid down his life. Okay, but why did Jesus lay down his life? To save us, right? From what?! His own wrath. His violent, painful, eternal judgement against sin. Hell is not the ultimate pacifist’s solution to the problem of sin. But Hell is God’s solution.
In fact, pacifists have no solution to sin or evil. In the Huffpo article Mr. Fitzgerald correctly states that teachers, such as Victoria Soto, who died shielding their students from a hail of bullets honored Jesus’s words that, “Greater Love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Bible, John 15:13)
This is true. And along those lines, we honor the Christian love shown by America’s fallen on Memorial Day. To equate Christianity with pacifism is to dishonor the service of our military and police.
You know what would be better than to die in a massacre? To kill the murderer before a single victim was shot. If you disagree, your mind is warped worse than the Pharisee who would not pull his donkey out of a ditch on the Sabbath.
This is the Christian’s response to the Newtown massacre: shoot first.
Live by the Sword. Die By the Sword.
But why then would Jesus command Peter to put his sword away and not defend him? Because the battle for the Kingdom of God is waged and won by Jesus alone. We cannot wield our swords and add to his glory. We who are members of his Army have one mission: to enlist recruits to march in the victory parade.
Army recruiters call you at supper time. They don’t point a gun at you.
Some people incorrectly think that the warfare Jesus wages is spiritual and somehow figurative. Therefore, Liberal pacifists falsely believe their efforts can bring the day when swords are beaten into plowshares. As Mr. Fitzgerald says,
“Obviously, sacrificing one’s life to save another is a worst case scenario. It is the action taken when all else fails, when the world that Christians hope to create — a peaceful Kingdom of God on earth — fails to materialize as it so often does. But that doesn’t mean that we stop working to create that world. Here we look to examples of what Jesus suggests the Kingdom will be like.”
Again, our mission is to enlist soldiers for the victory parade. Our efforts to bring about a peaceful Kingdom of God on earth will fail as horribly as Peter slashing his sword at those who arrested Jesus. Only Jesus can finally defeat evil. His victory cannot fail.
Don’t be fooled. A kingdom will emerge among the good will of man. It promises peace. It’s the Antichrist’s. He’s more like the Prince of Cease-Fire.
When Christ’s true kingdom comes in its fullness, the consequences for man will not be figurative or simply spiritual, as if the spirit is less real than the body. He promises to destroy the world with fire. Yes, the meek and mild Jesus will return with the sudden judgement of Seal Team 6.
As shocking as this sounds, it’s not without precedent. This same God once before destroyed the world with water. The only survivors of this aquatic A-Bomb were Noah and his family. The only survivors of the future Shock and Awe campaign will be Jesus’s adopted brothers.
We must administer our own meantime government and society until the fullness of Jesus Christ is revealed. So let’s live lives of love, keeping our feet planted firmly in reality. Recall Paul’s letter to the Romans,
“Rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” (Bible, Romans 13)
Let me paraphrase this here passage as a letter to Americans,
“Citizens do not have the right to keep and bear arms for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to exercise and defend the Second Amendment, not only to prevent tyrannical coups but as a matter of conscience.” (The Massage)
There is one reality.