Thank you to those who have talked with me and prayed for me through these several months of searching into what the Bible says about violence. I must say, I had read the passages many times, but chose to ignore them. Four months ago, I was of the opinion that if anyone wanted to hurt me or my family, they would have to pay dearly. I have a 9mm pistol beside my bed that is exhibit one in the case to prove that I was prepared to defend my homestead ‘unto death.’
Today, I am a changing man. I have accepted that when Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” He meant it. And the Bible doesn’t say it just once. The Bible repeats itself in Romans 12 and Hebrews 12.
I know that there are those who would say that there are many examples of warriors approved of God (David is the prime example). But it is important to note that these Old Testament warriors were warring on behalf of God’s chosen people; they were warring on behalf of Yahweh, who told them to go up and fight these people. But Jesus says in the New Testament, when talking to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” I will fight on behalf of Jesus’ kingdom, but His kingdom is not of this world.
There are others who distinguish personal commands from the authority given to governments. This is a much harder distinction to work through. For today, I will simply repeat that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. The prince of this world is Satan. And all the kingdoms of this world fall under his authority. And I will not be an officer of a kingdom of Satan.
So, I am firmly convicted that Jesus wants me to live a life of non-violence. Which conflicts with my status as a member of the United States Air Force as well as my employment as an administrator with a state prison. So I knew that I would have to leave both positions. But I was making excuses for extending my time with both agencies. Until I read James 4:4, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” If I am in an adulterous relationship outside of my relationship with God, I am sure He wants me to end it immediately, rather than make excuses for continuing my infidelity. So I ended my relationship with the Air Force and with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. May 29 was my last day with the Air Force. And June 12 is my last day with the prison.
And no, I don’t have anything lined up. But I will talk more about that next time.