A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Because of my overall philosophy of childrearing...I am aiming to raise up violent sons. I am not seeking to raise sons who are violent in the amoral, pagan sense of contemporary teenagers playing `Grand Theft Auto' video games" he explained. "I want them to be more violent than that."

"I want them to understand that the Christian life is not a Hallmark Channel version of baptized sentimentality," he continued. "Instead, it is a cosmic battle between an evil dragon and the child of the woman, an ancient warfare that now includes all who belong to the Child of the Promise (Rev 12)."

This was a recent quote official from a Southern Baptist seminary. I get taken aback by such a piece as well as how common it is to find evangelical sites excuse or even endorse US uses of torture. I recently wrote a post about crossing various religious divisions, working together to live in one body.

But I admit I don't know how to interact with folks who actually want to raise people up to be more violent, who relish a manichean cosmic battle. I can work with a wide range of folks from creationists to pagans, but the Gospel is about reconciliation, and I can only really view the pro-violence position as anti-Gospel.

I suppose that is my dividing line. I'm not a pacifist but I think violence is an indication of our failure before God and others. It's not to be celebrated and sought after. If your faith can actively support torture, violence, and conquest then we follow opposed systems of thought, even if both claim the name Christian.

Correction: A friend recommended that I take a look at the quote from the original site. The baptist administrator didn't want his sons to commit physical violence, rather this will done by the "anointed Warrior-King", presumably Jesus. He used the word violence in the first quote to mean a kind of strenousness and hardness to the world.

I can't say that this is a good idea though I'm glad that he doesn't want his children to commit physical violence. But placing this on Jesus still raises problems, maybe because I'm apt to believe Ludwig Feuerbach that the stories we tell about God is going to be reflective of us and our values, ideals.


At 8:14 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

> I think violence is an indication of our failure before God and others

Absolutely spot on!

Anyone know of any NT quotes demonstrating why Christians should apparently be pro-violence in some cosmic battle rather than being sensible and getting on with life? (Notes: Revelation is just that, a revelation, and one that the author didn't wholly understand, at that; the list of weaponry in Ephesians 6: is secondary to the aim of *standing firm*, ... "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord" - on the grounds that it's NOT OURS to repay!)

At 10:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mention of violence and Christianity caught my attention - have you read any of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's books?? Saving Christianity from Empire, Jesus Against Christianity, and a bunch more. He is one of my favorite authors.


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