Violence as seen in the Old Testament, was a part of God’s plan for the nation of Israel, but violence is abdicated through the person of Christ, his Cross, his message, and his body. Non-violence is the path of the Christian, and we must return good for evil and kindness for violence.1

Death is but a byproduct of a sinful world. If then the Christ-follower is martyred, he rejoices for he is now with his Savior, and his life was given for the sake of him who sent him.

True humility, true obedience, true love, true selflessness…does not consider oneself, but the mission and the greater task; for we are citizens of Christ’s kingdom.

They killed Christ, and he loved unconditionally, represented all that is good, brought restoration to those he touched; yet they killed him.

The world might never understand the Christian; but I am also afraid that most “Christians” fail to understand what it means to follow Christ.
How could we hope for anything other than that? Stand for Christ, and his message, and forget yourself along the way. That is simply following Jesus.2

Christianity is suffering and rejection for the sake of Christ. There is no earthly glory in the Christ-follower’s path, for we are asked to die to ourselves, that our left hand will not know what our right does, that we love our neighbors, show kindness to enemies, pray for those who persecute us, that our yes be yes and no be no, that we illustrate in action what we speak. There is nothing but the sheer reality of life devoted completely to the Lord.3

I am afraid that Christianity has become a philosophical treatise, touching human emotion, but not influencing and leading the human heart. We fail because we do not know what Christ has asked of us. It has become an empty ideal, a bless-me club for the calm and collected. No one who really struggles, or is under oppression, or those who are suffering, have a place in the Christianity we present.4

I would qualify this statement by the words of Jesus throughout the gospels. It is also seen in the example of the believers in the first 300 years of Christianity, where they were persecuted, ridiculed, and martyred. Through all of this the body of Christ kept the kingdom ethic. However, once Christianity was married to the state structure, with it’s power, influence, and money, it lost its way. ↩

There is much to learn as we look at the example of Christ. Some Christians would say that because Christ suffered, we do not have to. I would beg to differ. Look at the lives of the apostles throughout the NT, as well as their letters where they talk specifically about expecting, walking through, and looking back on suffering as their lot in life as disciples of Jesus. ↩

When our realities are found in the person of Christ, when he is more real than any person, thing, idea, and even self… ↩

I sometimes wonder why this kingdom ethic, as preached by Christ, as taught by the apostles, as lived out by that Early Church, has been so ignored by our Western Christianity. At times I think it has more to do with the fact that we do not preach/teach it enough in our churches. ↩

Ashish Joy