Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 1

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Scripture disallows seeking peace at any price. Some apologists argue that even believers must draw the line somewhere to stand up to the forces of evil. Wherever one stands, Christians need to be pro-active. As Friesen, Langan, and Stassen observe in their introduction to Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War, “terrorism requires more than an ethic that says terrorism is unjust, it requires an ethic that points to practices that prevent it.”[1] Some events create a time for war rather than a time for peace — when it would be un-Christian to not act unspeakably toward someone, perhaps a terrorist or terrorist organization.… Continue reading

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Don’t Pray for Persecution

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One of the strangest concepts I have heard Christians repeat over the last few years has been that Christians should pray for persecution.

Here’s the logic:

  • The American churches are weak and full of unregenerate members. Persecution tends to scare off those unregenerate members.
  • The church has thrived historically under persecution.
  • Therefore, the church should wish for persecution.

I understand the thinking, and I definitely understand the motivation. I, too, desire to see the church purified and thoroughly filled with those who are actually born again.

But there are several arguments against this point of view, and not just the pragmatic argument of survivorship bias (we only note the persecuted churches that have thrived because, well, they actually existed – as opposed to those that could have started and thrived if there were no persecution).… Continue reading

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