Quote Without Comment

March 29, 2007

“Thousands of people think that necessary changes come only from outside, from revolutions and change in external conditions. It is for us Christians to prove that in reality everything comes from inside – from faith and life according to faith. The Church, when she entered the Greco-Roman world, did not denounce slavery, did not call for a revolution. It was her faith, her new vision of man and life that progressively made slavery impossible.”

– Alexander Schmemann, “Great Lent”, P.104



  1. Interesting post, I will have to think on it. Part of me says it was a revolution, people were burned you know, and the other says slow down and think about what has been said.

    Let me think.

  2. You mean that they didn’t send troops into Iran/Iraq/Afganistan to secure the rights of those who were being wronged? They didn’t muster armies to drive out the Roman oppressors in the name of God and country?

    What kind of Christians were these people? Sounds like they were putting the spirit’s purpose in place of the fleshly ones. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from that.

    I am a pacifist…

  3. I don’t mean to come between Jim and his pacifism, but it seems to me that Christianity and governments are two different things. God set up the government to help us to lead quiet and peaceable lives. They are meant to protect us and to punish the evildoer – see Romans 12 and 1 Timothy 2. Governments are not meant to go out and evangelize the world. That is not their purpose. It is the church, better yet, the Christian who is to take the message. Unfortunately, Christians are not always diligent about spreading that message and there are times when wars cause men to come together in conflict, but also to end up listening to each other and during the latter time they learn about the good news Jesus brought and is.

    We work in Ghana, West Africa. For years we tried to win over the Muslims with benevolence and teaching. Most would not listen. In 1994 there was a tribal war and more than 10,000 were killed, the majority of those were Muslim. When the government stepped in and stopped the bloodshed, we Christians went in and gave both sides food, clothing and medicines. Islam took them nothing. As a result of the war and the benevolence more than 45 congregations have been established among the Muslim villages and more and more of them are listening and giving themselves to Jesus.

    The Bible tells us that God often uses that which is unpleasant to bring about salvation. Some unpleasant things included war, famine, pestilence and even death.

    I cannot read the bible and determine that God was ever a pacifist. God is militant. Nothing will stand in the way of His accomplishing His purpose of spreading the gospel and saving all who will come to Him. If it takes a war to win people to Christ God will bring the war. If we don’t want the wars, then we have to be MILITANT about taking the message to the lost, and that would include Islam. If we are not militant about it and we are not taking the message, then God will stir things up and force us to go out and seek the lost.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight, but I know this – the lost are lost and I’m not doing enough to save them.

    Dear God in heaven help us to win the lost for Christ. In Jesus name I pray it! Amen and amen.


  4. Hey Josiah…

    My only point is simply this. As a Christian I hope to do as Jesus did, live as Jesus lived, and react to things as Jesus reacted.

    Jesus never raised an army to confront the Roman oppressors.

    Jesus never raised a hand to defend Himself or others against violence.

    I cannot figure out how to pray for my enemy while at the same time drawing a bead on him with my assault rifle, seeking to blow him away. It just isn’t a scenario that seems very Christlike. War is a thing that the new covenant doesn’t seem to make provisions for, it doesn’t seem to fit. Vengence is mine says the Lord.

    So many people want to backtrack into the Old Testament to show that war is OK. Show it to me in the New Testament. Show me Christians who are going to war. If we can seek the OT as our guidance about war, then perhaps we should then seek it’s allowance of dance and music (see King David) in our worship service to God. Maybe we could seek it’s allowance of slavery, multiplicity of wives, and such as our basis of behavior.

    These seem to be silly examples perhaps, but if we say that we are following Christ then we need to seek His example, and that of the NT when we decide how to act and react.

    Jesus Christ sought to teach us that the flesh must be defeated and the Spirit must advance. This is the war that we are to be about. The full armor of God is fit for the spiritual battle, not the physical one.

    I feel certain that I will not get too many people to agree with me in my feelings about what place war has among Christians, but just realize that I have struggled with this, even against my own father, and I stand on what I believe to be true of the teaching of the NT.

    I also now expect a barrage of rebuttals…

  5. Jimbo, I doubt that you will get many rebuttals simply because in Christ there is room and acceptance for both approaches to this subject. My brother in law and I have discussed this issue for the past 40+ years. He would agree completely with you as I would with Josiah. Our nations constitution even allows for both positions,(doubt you will find that among Islam, as I am sure you already know. I happen to believe that God is honored and accepts both as well, because each of us has our conviction unto Him and because we love Him. (Rom.14:5-8)

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