Christianity

Missionary myths refuted: Jesus was a pacifist (3)

It has become fairly common to hear Christian apologists tout Jesus as some sort of peaceful pacifist, a man that was against using the sword, and a man who simply preached by using words. Jesus was then ultimately put to death for his preaching by the authorities, a death to which Jesus did not resist, thus proving how peaceful he was.

Before we proceed to show otherwise, that Jesus was not a pacifist as per the Bible, let us deal with some of the above issues. It is true, Jesus never lifted the sword, nor did he lead an insurrection against the authorities (Romans) or the religious authorities he was rallying against (Pharisees). It is also true that when Jesus was captured and put to his death, that he did not fight back or resist. To however turns around and now say that all of this proves that Jesus was a pacifist who was against violence is a stretch indeed.

To begin with, and this is what Christian apologists always seem to like to conveniently ignore, is that Jesus was in no position to lead an insurrection or to physically resist. Jesus led a small group of followers, 12 disciples according to the Bible, Jesus was never really a leader over a large group. So yes Jesus didn’t lift the sword, but a large part of that was down to the fact that he was in no position to. He was not in the same position as Moses, or David, who did lift the sword when the opportunity was there for them to do so.

In fact what will Jesus do when he is in a position of authority? Will Jesus be the same pacifist? According to the Bible, the answer is a clear no, when Jesus does return in authority, all his enemies and those who reject him will be slain and put to the sword:

But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me. (Luke 19:27)

The standard typical response is that Jesus was giving a parable here, which is true, he was giving a parable, but just because someone gives a parable doesn’t mean the parable is false, a parable is often used to try and explain something, a parable does not mean that what’s being said is some fairy tale, Christian apologists do really need enlighten themselves on the issue of parables.

The parable starts from verse 11, and the entire parable is related to Jesus’ second coming, and in this parable the person who is Jesus goes away, and eventually returns, and when this person does return i.e. Jesus, he is going to slay all his enemies who didn’t want him, i.e. all those who rejected Jesus will be slain or will be commanded to be slain by the returning king who is Jesus.

We also then have the book of Revelations which also describes the second coming of Jesus, and in this description Jesus comes back as a warrior who will wage war, fighting, and killing:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

king of kings and lord of lords.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Revelations 19:11-21)

This also goes to prove our point, that Jesus’ non-violence during his preaching days was more down to the fact that he was in no position to do otherwise, and that when he is in a position to fight, he will do so as shown in Luke 19 and Revelations 19.

Either way the reasons for why Jesus did not fight during his 3-year ministry notwithstanding, we clearly see that according to the Bible there will come a time when Jesus will indeed fight and resort to violence, hence the argument that Jesus was a ‘pacifist’ is a complete myth and something untrue according to the Bible. The Bible certainly doesn’t recognize this pacifist Jesus that Christian apologists have invented to try and win over converts to the faith.

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8 replies »

  1. Hi
    You keep making the comment that Christians say this or say that, but you produce any sources for what you are referring to.

    Yes this is from a parable and I think the whole thing about Israel being trampled and occupied by the Romans came to past in AD70 when Titus rolled in, and obviously people were killed.

    And who exactly was Jesus supposed to get violent with? The Pharisees the common people?

    Muslims have had 1000 years since they started all this stuff about the bible not being the word of God to prove their point and they are nearer than when they first started.

    Please tell me scholars that teach that Jesus was a Pacifist and then quite me all of the scriptures where he teaches warfare.

  2. yes when Jesus returns he will be violent but it doesn’t mean it will be literally bloody and violent and some have said book of revelation was based on events at that time not the second coming but until he comes Christians are taught to be peaceful and non violent

    • If one looks at ed babinski’s article here
      http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/golden-rule-and-christian-apologetics.html

      One sees that pagans preached love and turning the other cheek before jesus was born . Cultures far away from jesus ‘ preached pagan love and peace. Does this mean pagans had the truth with them? Before jesus was born a pagan wrote:

      Taoist holy teaching: “Return love for hatred. Otherwise, when a great hatred is reconciled, some of it will surely remain. How can this end in goodness? Therefore the sage holds to the left hand of an agreement but does not expect what the other holder ought to do. Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. Whoever is self-centered cannot have the love of others.” (written centuries before Jesus was born)

  3. Some denominations (such as Church of the Brethren, the Mennonites and the Quakers) and many in some movements (Orthodox Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi – Roman Catholic, the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, the Methodist Peace Fellowship etc) as well as many individual fundamentalists within mainstream Christianity do believe that Jesus is a pacifist.

    The article under discussion concisely exposes the myth that Jesus is a pacifist.

    Steven Danios also exposes the myth here: http://www.loonwatch.com/2013/09/no-jesus-wasnt-a-pacifist-the-problem-with-the-muhammad-vs-jesus-comparisons/

    Many mainstream Christian scholars wrote about the fact that Jesus is not a pacifist (e.g http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0567025004/ref=mp_s_a_1_23?qid=1418066272&sr=8-23&pi=SL75 )

  4. Pacifism is a political ideology which you don’t define here. Are you talking about total pacifism or just pacifism on an individual level? Did Jesus believe that the state should be pacifist? Does anyone believe that, including Christians?

    Jesus didn’t frame his mission in political terms. He did believe in the right to self-defence. He told people to buy a sword did he not?

    If the Islamic Jesus existed shouldn’t he have behaved very differently? We have no record of his actions.

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