ad hoc pacifism

I’ve been following the pacifism series over at Inhabitatio Dei, and I have to say that of all the entries thus far, I most resonate with DW Congdon’s entry on ad hoc pacifism. To set the record straight, I am interested in pacifism from the vantage point of theological ethics. I find most official political pacifist organizations disheartening for their approach. What I appreciate most from the pacifists I’m hearing from now is their commitment to discipleship. The only way to be a faithful pacifist is to be faithful to Jesus Christ.  What I like least about many pacifist conversations is that they seem to take place in the very vacuum of “What ifs” that are created by aggressionists. Last night I was reading in the Introduction to A Better Hope, where Stanley Hauerwas makes the comment that we Christians are to be known for our Love for enemies, and that means identifying with what we are for, not what we are against. That’s what I’m talking about.

Now, as for my personal history, I guess I’ve always been a practical pacifist, though I debate theories ’til I’m blue in the face.  I can’t think of any recent wars that couldn’t have been avoided and that completely justified themselves with the good they accomplished. It is hard to describe my journey, except to say that as a teen I was a snobby pacifist and then I got more sense when I was beat around in college by my best friend. Pacifism is not about “being right” its about being faithful, and that’s a lot easier to talk about than it is to do. So I’ll keep trying to put up— while I shut up. :)


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