Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, May 5, 2018


“There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
 “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi,
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
-- Jesus

It was an interesting argument
But a one group was sure

So very sure

Jesus wants us to be armed and dangerous
Jesus wants us to have and use guns

After all, he told his disciples to buy a sword
And he overturned tables in the temple

Jesus has no problem with violence as a way of resolution

I get it!
I really do
Non violence is really hard
So hard that I am not sure I could embrace it
If a threat came my way

It seems so illogical
So weak

But there have been voices,
Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and yes, Jesus
Who have suggested that violence is not the way

And honestly, history should teach us
Although it is likely true
That the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history

It is true.  For centuries the followers of Yahweh had a vengeful God
A God who took sides, and got angry, and punished
That is the God they thought they knew
They had it all figured out

They had the system down
They had the rules, and the rules about the rules
And the rules about the rules about the rules
And the tried to walk the narrow line
And escape

The wrath of that angry God

They had no problem believing that if you were the “chose”
God was one your side.
And God would back you, as you used force against your enemies
Read the Psalms
Its all over the place, this lust for the destruction of the enemy

And I get it…

But then along came Jesus, and messed it all up

He said God is love (and showed it)
He said God works through the medium of grace not law (and showed it)
He suggested that everyone was welcome within God’s circle of love (and lived it)
He made it clear

That all our strategies
All those old strategies related to power
Were junk
Spiritual junk

That all our beliefs about what is good
And what works
Were ass backwards (think the Beatitudes)

Its hard stuff
And so the way is narrow

But the hardest part of all
Is Jesus insistence on non-violence as the ultimate solution

Oh yes, he did chase out those money changers
But they were the moneyed religious elite
The people who were messing up true worship, true faith

But when the ultimate test arrived
With the final answer had to be given
He died for the sheep

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth”

And thus the path to the Kingdom was opened
Thus the history of the world was bent toward peace, and love

It is a hard thing
Could I be non-violence in a time of great peril?
I don’t know
If my family or friends were threatened?
Most likely not.

Any yet, and yet
This is the way we change the world
This is how we beat hate and violence
This is how

God help us all be non-violent
In our thoughts
In our words
In our attitudes
In our actions

Non-violence is the weapon of the strong
Help us be strong

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