In my mind violence (both defensive and offensive) must always come before peace and because of this, change is rarely harmonious. This is unfortunate and sad but true. The cross is not simply an act of violence nor is it simply an act of non-violence. I think we see broken and perverted shadows of the character of God in both of our human expressions of violence and peace even though I cant explain it one without the other seems too ideal and Utopian this side of the second coming. There is just as much enigmatic and inescapable truth in the “ground and pound” of a round five in an MMA championship as there is in the respectful embrace after the decision. In the cross is see God redeeming humanity’s definitions of both violence and peace into one central extravagant and indescribable act of justice.
What are your thoughts concerning violence or pacifism?
What about the MMA do you have a hard time watching it as a Christian? Why?
Violence only begets violence. It does not, it cannot, lead to peace.
It is eaiser to be violent than to make peace. In fact making peace is not something the world venerates, instead winners of wars gets the greatest accolclades..
Michael is the violence of professional sport between two consenting athletes the same as domestic violence or war?
What about the violence involved in the act of defense? Is this the same as being the offensive aggessor in war or crime?
so you had to ask the question about self-defense 🙂 Why not go ahead and ask, what about Hitler? Well actually that was the name of a book that i read a while ago. His answer was that if Christians were actually faithful, then there would not have been a Hitler in the first place.
I think a lot of people when talking about ethics want to reduce it to the hardest situation possible, to disprove or prove a certain ethic. What we miss, is considering the environment we live in. If we as Christians actually follow the way of Jesus, then in our environment those difficult scenarios where violence will seem necessary will not happen as often. But instead we partially follow the way of Christ and then ask questions about the hard situations. It is like how Jesus said when he stood out outside of Jerusalem looking in, “if you had only known what would bring you peace!”
The question for me would be: what is it in my spirit that would be entertained by the spectacle of blood sports?
When we lived in Tijuana — during the height of the drug cartel violence and headless corpses being hung from overpasses — it was always disturbing to see the Christians marching for peace in the streets with t-shirts that read “¡No Más Violencia!”, and then go home and cheer for their favourite MMA stars.
My point in the article is not an attempt to say violence is great. My point is to say that there is some redeemable truth in it. Not all violence is the same. Some of the most peaceful and loving people I have met are wrestlers and mma fighters. Many of them have a very clearly defined ethic around respect and honor for their opponent.
As a young boy growing up many times a fight between two of us neighborhood kids would bring us closer as friends.
I think we all desire peace and that’s why we fight. Hitler is a poor example because was a sociopath. Our historical orthodox doctrines of atonement lead us to see that God’s love is violent in that it there is wild power and passion in it. Gods wrath on his Son on our behalf is obvious example of the violence needed to bring about peace. I think we are to quick to lump all violence as bad. There is a mysterious truth in it. God seems to be more interested in reshaping and restoring it rather than discarding it.
Maybe they see violence as a power or force in Tijuana that can be used for good and bad.