Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So at the recent General Assembly of the PC(USA) church, a motion was passed to form a 6 year commission to investigate whether nonviolence should be the official stance of the church.


Those of you who know me know that I'm a pacifist, and have been for a couple of years now. I fully support this move, but would like to point out a couple things about it:

1) It's non-binding. Thee PC(USA) does not presume, as some other churches might, to tell people what to thing, or how to act. This means that if a Presbyterian feels called to serve in the Military, they are certainly welcome to do so. It just means that the church wishes to move away from the "Just War" theory that has been our stance since the Reformation. If you feel called to Military Service, no one will at our church will think you less a Christian.

2) It simply exploratory at this point. The motion itself, if you read the link above, is to explore that possibility and come back with a report in a few years, which will then be approved, or not, and go out to the various Presbyteries for futher ratification. Representative Government is fun. If you disagree with it, let the committee know! If you're all for it, as I am, let them know that too!

I looked up all the biblical references made in the motion, and there are more than I had anticipated. Then again, I'm already convinced. There are, however, significant portions of scripture that are devoted to warfare, as it is a significant part of the human experience.

I am of the opinion that the majority of these scripture passages are not about our strength, or the strength of any nation, but about the strength of God. If we trust too much in our own strength, we will trust too little in God.

I am however, willing to have my mind changed if someone can do so. So please, disagree with me openly; discuss it so we can both come to a fuller understanding of God's will for our church.

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