Was Jesus A Pacifist?

   by Jeannette Haley

      Most of us have probably heard the question, “What would Jesus do?” The idea behind this “little movement” was to get people to stop and ask themselves what Jesus would do when confronted with different situations. Of course, a person’s response will depend on his or her perspective of Jesus. This perspective may be based on any number of things, including biblical knowledge and experience, or what type of teaching and influences he or she has been exposed to.

       Given the overwhelming influx of humanistic teachings that have engulfed and greatly weakened the modern church, it should come as no surprise that the main thrust of “WWJD” is pacifist in nature. Webster’s defines pacifist as “strongly and actively opposed to conflict, and especially war.” That sounds all well and good until “sons of Belial” fly loaded passenger jets into skyscrapers with the intent of killing as many Americans as possible, or kidnap your children to be used in the sex trade, or break into your home with the intent of raping the women and killing both them and other family members.

       Recently “Communist Colmes” stated on FOX TV, “I don’t believe in war.” At this point, I just have to stop and ask—have you ever yearned to reach right through your TV screen and slap someone? Well, I have, and this was one of those occasions. Given the nature that I am, the one thing I have very little, if any, tolerance for is self-righteous stupidity! By making that one little statement, this brain-washed pacifist was trying to get across a number of points to the listening audience. First, he was exalting his “superiority”. After all, if he doesn’t “believe in war,” then those of us who do believe in self-defense, national defense, and protection of others are low-life, warmongering ignoramuses. Secondly, he is implying that socialism (as he perceives it) is the solution to war. (Never mind that godless, soul-less and bloody socialism, communism, Marxism, etc. never has been, nor ever will be, an idyllic utopia for humanity.) Thirdly, and most importantly, he is 100 percent clueless concerning reality. The average person in this world just wants to be able to live life in as normal a situation as possible, free from the threat of violence. Only a demented mind would actually desire to experience the horrors of war. Yet, politically correct pacifists use war as a means to gain control of whole nations, justifying it under the banner of “the means justifies the end.”

       This denial of reality on the part of liberal, politically correct pacifists is not only shocking, but it is also downright terrifying when you consider where such an ideology is leading us as not only a nation, but also the entire world. Consider this: You cannot have reality without truth, and you cannot have truth without God. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:10 and 11, if you do not receive “the love of the truth” then you will not be saved and furthermore, God will send a “strong delusion” so that you will believe a lie. Verse 12 says, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Therefore, if a person’s perception does not consist of truth and reality, but is a “strong delusion” sent by God Himself, is that person truly sane? After all, can there be truth and reality in insanity?

       Pacifism is not reality, nor is it truth, because it denies what is. For instance, war exists. So does hate, murder, torture, crime, evil, wickedness, lawlessness and so forth. If pacifism is the answer to the world’s problems, where is one example in the world’s history that it actually works to permanently solve such problems, and resolve conflicts? Perhaps pacifists can boast that they “don’t believe in war,” but who really wants to experience the horrors of war? Only an insane sadist, or demon-possessed lunatic, such as Hitler, would relish the horrors and atrocities that result from war. Also, consider that pacifists do not stand for anything because if you stand for something, then you must necessarily stand against things. Pacifists have no sense of right and wrong; therefore, they do not believe in justice. It is impossible to win in an argument with a pacifist, because he or she will run you around with their circular thinking, based on relativism that defies common sense.

       Back to the question, was Jesus a pacifist? After all, He went about healing people, raising the dead, and doing good deeds.  He even went as a lamb to the slaughter. In addition, He forgave his executioners from the cross. Shouldn’t Christians, therefore, take a pacifist stand concerning any type of defense?

       To answer this question, we need to understand the nature and origin of pacifism. Keep in mind, pacifism denies truth and reality, thus it is a delusional falsehood. Therefore, in order to understand where pacifism entered the scene, we must go back to the Garden of Eden.  Who was the original pacifist? Was it God, or some other creature? If you turn to Genesis 3:1-5, you will see that Satan subtly and passively tempted Eve to transgress God’s commandment. By telling her “Ye shall not surely die,” he painted a picture of God that was not true. He was implying that God is non-confrontational, and passive, or “conflict hating” concerning His commandments; therefore, He does not really mean what He says, so there is nothing to fear in disobeying Him.

       The other person, Adam, was part of this scene, and he was likewise passive in his rebellion against God. In verse 6 we read that he was “with her” and he did eat. Adam avoided conflict with both the serpent and Eve by making no move to protest the serpent’s presence or Eve’s seduction. God had given Adam the sole responsibility of “keeping” the garden (Genesis 2:15) which meant that he had the responsibility of guarding and protecting it from harmful intrusion. While Adam may have avoided conflict with the serpent, when he ate of the forbidden fruit, he declared war with God. History records the woeful results.

       Was the Lord God’s response passive towards Adam, Eve and the serpent? Not hardly! You can read what happened in Genesis 3. Genesis also records the events surrounding God’s judgment upon the entire world, save for Noah and his family, which event was so catastrophic that none of us can fully grasp the magnitude of it. We read in Genesis 11 that after the great Flood, the people decided to establish a one-world government and one-world religion which involved worship of the stars (some believe from the top of the tower), instead of replenishing the earth as God had commanded. Again God stepped in and caused division among the people by confounding their language. Therefore, throughout the entire Old Testament we read of conflict and war between God’s people and the heathen nations who knew not God.

       Does this mean that God, since He is not a pacifist, “believes in war?” It is not a matter of “believing in war,” but a matter of acknowledging the reality of war because we live in a fallen world that is the battleground between those who choose to follow God, and those who belong to Satan either by their own choice, or by passively ignoring reality altogether. There is no neutral ground. The good news is that this terrible state is not going to last forever. The prophet Isaiah prophesied, “And he [Christ] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” Isaiah 2:4.

       In Joshua there is recorded what is known as a Christology. A Christology is whenever Christ appears to man in the Old Testament which is, of course, before His incarnation. Concerning this appearance to Joshua, we read, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” If God and His chosen leaders had all been pacifists, and claimed that they “didn’t believe in war,” then where would the nation of Israel be today? If we did not have their example of righteousness, hatred for tyranny, and love for God, truth and freedom, would America ever have existed? If we all cave in to the bullying of Satan’s pacifists, can we hope to survive?

       As one reads the Gospels, searching for examples of pacifists, some interesting facts emerge. Mary, the mother of Jesus, did not exhibit pacifistic or politically correct attitudes when she extolled God’s greatness, “He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree” Luke 2:51, 52. Neither was the greatest prophet who ever lived, John the Baptist, a pacifist when he thundered to the Pharisees and Sadduces, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance . . . And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” Matthew 3:7b, 10.

       Concerning Jesus, first we need to understand that He was fully God and fully man, and that He came in the flesh to dwell among man for about 33 ½ years for one purpose, and that was to offer Himself as the Lamb of God, to take away the sins of the world. He did not come to establish at that time His kingdom on earth, nor did He come to bring peace. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” Matthew 10: 34-36. What we read in John 2:13b-16,dispels the myth that Jesus was always “sweet” and “mild”: “Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”  Jesus’ scathing rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees in Chapter 23 of Matthew is hardly a portrayal of Jesus as a “politically correct pacifist!”

       Although Jesus may be depicted in our day and age by “pen” and “picture” (writings and illustrations) as a wispy, harmless, weak wimp, nothing could be farther from the truth. The Apostle John’s description of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-16 should cause great sobriety for all. He wrote, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” John’s response? “I fell at his feet as dead” Revelation 17:a.

       To dispel any doubt concerning Jesus’ disposition as a pacifist, meditate on these verses: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called “The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” Revelation 19:11-16.

       God’s people, if they are to be “faithful to the end” must know their God. We cannot know Him as He is, the great I AM, if we insist on bringing Him down to our level (to be “like us”), or by trying to fashion Him into what we either want Him to be, or imagine Him to be. We must resist the temptation to feast on heretical substitutions for the Word of God. Rick Warren’s books are unscriptural and New Age, portraying God in a humanist, pacifistic false light. The Shack is bottom line blasphemous. “Christian psychology” is not Christian, but is a deceptive dead end. Fantasy “Christian” fiction is foolish folly, which corrupts and distorts reality that can easily translate into idolatry. Humanistic books may inspire tears of empathy, but humanism does not lead to the cross of Calvary.

        There is only one God and one Way. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” Romans 15:13. Amen.