Can anyone seriously imagine Jesus pulling out a sword and hacking and thrusting his way through the stone throwers? The notion that Christians can wage war as long as they kill with love for the enemy in their hearts is as foreign to the New Testament as it is to reason and experience.
In order to retain one’s own wellness, a peacebuilder must also exercise self-care. Situations of conflict can be immensely stressful, so peacebuilders need to know when to step back and take some time for self-care.
Jesus’ teachings about loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek have nothing to do with being passive in the face of injustice or acquiescing to evil. Rather, they have everything to do with standing up to evil and injustice, offering a “third way” to respond to conflict other than fighting back violently or running away.
Loving God, we beg your forgiveness for twenty years of US warmaking in Iraq–for destroying Iraq’s infrastructure by massive bombings, for using highly toxic weapons, including depleted uranium, that contaminated Iraq’s land and water, and which have caused cancer, severe birth defects and other illnesses for numerous Iraqis.