Christians & Violence …or… (You Can Take It, But You Can’t Dish It Out)

I’m not saying this to be argumentative, just sharing my honest thoughts. Convince me that Jesus would ever use violence against anyone and I’ll be convinced that followers of Jesus may resort to it as well. Violence may be the best idea men can come up with but that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses it. Sure, killing our enemies seems like a good and effective way of stopping them but Jesus preferred dying at their hands rather than resorting to their ways. Short of having a new word from Jesus that says, never mind, don’t love your enemies, don’t turn the other cheek, don’t bless those who curse you…fight them instead…then violence is a hard sell for me. I realize there are many justifications for violence and that scripture can be used to support it, but if Jesus came to show us what God is like and how we’ve misunderstood Him (and scripture) then I have to go with the life, teachings, and witness of Christ above all else.Truthfully, I’d rather be like John Wayne ( who ironically may have been a draft dodger) and charge in with guns blazing, but Jesus’ way doesn’t let me take that route. The Jesus way will probably get us killed, but there is no greater love than a man lay down His life for another. Why should we expect anything else for ourselves as followers of Christ than to have the same violence done to us. On the other hand, there’s more to life than living and it takes more guts to lay your weapons down than it does to pick them up. The call of Jesus is a foolish call to courage, but if He is in fact, God in flesh, then we better heed the call. He will use the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to conquer the strong.
-Rick Lee James

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Rick Lee James

Rick Lee James worship leader, a singer and songwriter, preacher, author, and Podcast host with over 15 years of experience in ministry. As host of the Voices In My Head Podcast Rick has worked with Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves, Paul Baloche, All Sons and Daughters, Michael Card, Brian Zahnd, Tripp York, Brett Mccracken, Ian Morgan Cron, Michael Card, Walter Brueggemann and many more. In 2013 Rick released his first Live album of original songs called, Basement Psalms Live. In 2014 Rick released a book to accompany the album called, Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms. The book has since been used as a textbook by National Praise and Worship Institute’s Psalms survey course at Trevecca Nazarene University. Rick also was a contributing writer for the book, Renovating Holiness, edited by Jay Thomas Jay Oord and Joshua Broward. Rick has also been a contributing writer for Worship Leader Magazine and has had a number of songs published by Lifeway Worship. Rick’s new album, ‘Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations’ will release on March 17th, 2016 (St. Patrick’s Day). All songs on the record are being published through Lifeway Worship and are written, co-written, or arranged by Rick.