Most who know me know that for a long time I have leaned hard-core nonresistant. I was raised on stories of martyrdom and nonviolence and identified strongly with Anabaptism and "The Remnant." In many ways, I still identify there, but it's becoming clear to me that the issues and questions are more complicated than I had originally thought.
One of those issues is family defense. I deeply regret addressing this question before I had any idea of what is at stake and what it feels like to have a wife and children that you are responsible for. It's just arrogant. In one conversation that I remember distinctly, after I had been
There was no argument, just a calm statement with the ring of wisdom and experience, standing quietly on its own two feet. Here was something that required reflection, not refutation. I was off balance, and I didn't know what to do.
From that moment, I suspected that all might not be as it seemed. It would be much longer before I really began to soften my heart and question the motivation and purity of my over-simplified idealism, but the seed had been sown.
Another issue where I've talked beyond my experience is military service. I've realized it's a very easy thing to criticize and a very hard thing to do, and while I won't be enlisting anytime soon, I won't be condemning those who choose otherwise. Every pacifist needs to read C. S. Lewis' pointed essay Why I Am Not A Pacifist to get the straight explanation on why their beliefs sometimes look a little pallid next to soldiers giving up everything and going to war.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, in honour of a man who worked hard for peaceful change. I have a lot of respect for men like that. They may not have been exactly right, but they did something.
On all sides, I want to learn to ask more questions and throw fewer rocks. Toward this end I'll be hoping to accomplish some reading on this subject over the next several months, eventually expanding the study beyond personal matters into Church & State issues. If there are books you've found helpful, please let me know in the comments.
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