Monday, January 10, 2011

Examples of Twisting Jesus' Words to Support War

This is in answer to a comment on my blog, which I guess is a fair question by Greybeard.

"Turned Jesus into a warmonger?
Can you cite an example?"
I will go ahead with examples, even though I am not exactly sure where you are coming from. Do you believe Jesus is definitely Pro-war, and you are asking for an example of why anyone would need to "twist" his word, or are you a pacifist who does not believe it is possible that anyone has twisted "turn the other cheek" to mean "bomb Iran back to the stone age?"


Examples of Jesus words of peace (turn the other cheek, and others) have been reinterpreted to eliminate the implied pacifism. Also passages from the Bible promoting war have been given extra significance.

Reverend Jerry Falwell writes an article "God is Pro-War"

Pat Robertson, also a TV evangelist, supported the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela. Later retracted the call for assassination and "apologized" but actually in his apology said the USA should declare war on Venezuela, then killing Chavez would be legal. Robertson only apologized because he realized assassinations are illegal too late after he called for it. Here is the apology, looks to me like it's on Pat Robertson's own web page.

A web page explaining away the words of Jesus (turn the other cheek, love your enemy etc.)

It is very common to say that "turn the other cheek" applies only to individuals, not the the state. You may call this an example of twisting Jesus' words, or you may truly believe that this is what Jesus meant.

These following examples are actually from the Bible, you can Google them on the internet to quickly find many web sites using them to support a non-pacifist Christianity.

Matt. 10:34 reads:

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword (New International Version, NIV)

And Luke 22:36 reads:

[Jesus] said to [the disciples], "But now the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag; and the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one." (New Revised Standard Version, NRSV)

Jesus made a whip and went into the temple and overturned the tables of the money changers. By this example, it is often argued that God wants us to act aggressively against enemies in this world.

Whatever your surprise may be that Christians twist the words of Jesus to support war and violence, there's plenty of examples of Christians actually going to war for the past 1600 years, and calling on God to support them while they do it. To me it is actually more surprising to find that there are still true Christian pacifists like the Quakers.

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