Pacifism? Can I handle it...

A friend of mine who blogs by the name "bottlebreaker" sent me a copy of a documentary called Prince of Peace God of War that begs:

How did "Love Your Enemies" get so complicated?

Comments by Tony Campolo and newcomer (to me) Bruxy Cavey were highlights of the discussion. Cavey, pastor and author of The End of Religion is likable, unpretentious and articulate. Campolo, in his increasingly manic and excited style, is gripping and poinant. I have watched his final commentary in this film three times now and been instantly brought to tears at each viewing.

In the interview prior to his, a just war advocate has just convinced most viewers (including me) that in some cases like the holocaust, there must be action. And the ideal of pacifism is all but shattered.

Then Campolo appear and relays a story of an Orthodox Priest during World War II who saved a group of Jewish prisoners from being taken to extermination camps. He stepped between Nazi machine guns into the midst of the Jewish prisoners and quoted scripture from Ruth: "wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Townspeople overheard the commotion and flocked to see what was happening. Soon a huge multitude of Christians stood around the Nazis and their prisoners. The Christians were ready to die staying with their Jewish brothers and sisters. The Nazis left without their captives.

God is bigger than our artillary and bombshell pragmatism.

The documentary ended there, a perfect closing soliloquy.

The production quality of this video was less-than-stellar, and I would cut several of the interviewees for not saying anything very interesting, but you've got to give creator John Campea credit for doing something meaninful with an apparently small budget.

Brian McLaren gives a few brief and somewhat unsatisfying soundbytes, but his name on the poster will draw an audience, which is beneficial.

Hope you'll check it out of you have a chance. I'm still not 100% sold on pacifism (because I have an inkling of what I'm capable of if someone tried to hurt my loved ones) but something tells me God is bigger than my vengeance and exists in a goodness and justice far beyond my comprehension. The first, second and third century Christians were likely on to something.

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HCJoel said...

My e-mail address may be 'bottlebreaker' but I actually blog, listen to music and shower by the name 'Bart Wang'. Aren't you a member of my fan club yet? Don't sleep. There will be buttons one day and you'll want one to be the envy of your friends. I'm glad you've enjoyed the DVD so much. I suspect you'll revel in Bruxy's book. God's given Bruxy some good insight...

Cameron said...

Pacifism is a hard thought. I am being confronted with it, and the lack thereof, every day. I spent quite a bit of time with some militant pacifists last week. I know that statement is a paradox, but these students seemed so passionate about pacifism, that I thought they were going to fight about it. Fortunately, they maintained their integrity, and no fighting erupted :)

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