Monday, January 16, 2012
Our first Pacifist Fight Club is complete. Many of those I spoke to on Saturday told me that they were in the minority in their family, or their church when it came to following Jesus into non-violence, or compassion for the poor, or embracing the immigrant. This alone made our time together valuable.
The very act of coming together as followers of Christ to affirm the words of Jesus and His impact on our lives was a statement in itself.
It wasn't a book, or a political idea that brought us together - it was Jesus. He is the One who compels us to follow Him into this path of radical compassion and love for enemies. Jesus is the reason we endure the ridicule of our own brothers and sisters in Christ for standing our ground on issues of peace. Jesus is the One who calls out to us to keep our feet on this path of non-violence no matter who opposes us, or what the cost.
Make no mistake, this is not an easy path to walk. We struggle not only against those who mock us from the outside, but from our own internal voice of reason. It would be so much easier to stop and rest. It would be much more comfortable for us if we were to give up on these ideas of peace and mercy and justice. But we also know that to do so - to let go of these ideals - is also to release our grip on Jesus, and none of us is willing to pay that kind of price for comfort.
By the grace of God, we will continue to fight for justice without resorting to violence. We will continue to wrestle with these difficult notions of radical love and Kingdom values like mercy, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and loving our enemies - both personal and political.
Our struggle is not only against the popular culture, or even the current Christian subculture, but against our own apathy and indifference. Only Jesus can rescue us from ourselves. So, we cling tighter to Him and we pray that He would mold us into His image. We ask that Jesus would give us a heart like His own. We pray that Jesus would work the miracle in us that would transform us into His image, so that we can be His ambassadors of the Kingdom and proclaim His message of peace, hope, love, mercy, and redemption.
What happens now? We keep fighting. We keep praying. We keep following.
Pacifist Fight Club never stops. It just changes locations.