Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Eberhard Arnold on Violent Defence

No one who has heard the clear call of Jesus’ Spirit can resort to violence for protection. Jesus abandoned every privilege and every defense. (1 Pet. 2:21– 23) He took the lowliest path. And that is His challenge to us: to follow Him on the same way that He went, never departing from it either to the left or to the right. Do you really think you can go a different way from Jesus on such decisive points as property and violence and yet claim to be His disciple?

Eberhard Arnold, Oct. 1931, Quoted in God's Revolution


Robb said...

I don't think I've ever heard of Mr. Arnold, Richie, he seems really cool. Have you stumble across anything else of his? It seems like his stance on property is as radical and challenging as his stance on violence - and that may be even more relevant to an average citizen in today's society.

I would like to have a chance to get into more discussion on the nature of resistance and violence in the practice of Christian faith. There's obviously a great depth to this, but I'd love to explore it more with you and others - especially given say, some parallel discussion that's been going on other places about the role or use of earthly "sword-based" institutions in God's Kingdom. One of Arnold's contemporaries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is obviously a compelling figure and voice in these thoughts as well.

(Speaking of which, isn't it fascinating the lives and voices God raised up during that time in history in Germany and Europe in general - remember Barth and Lewis were influential in discussion at the time too - and yet Naziism still dominated beyond these Godly opposers. It does make one pause about the nature of "success" and "achievement" in God's Kingdom and how we really follow in Jesus' footsteps sometimes even though we want different results and that those are what are worthy of God.)