A. Biblical Claims:
1. Didn't Christ use violence in the temple when overthrowing the moneychangers?
2. Didn't Jesus tell his disciples to buy swords?
3. Didn't Christ say he came to bring a sword and not peace?
4. John the Baptist doesn't censure the centurion for being a soldier even though the soldier asks him what he must do for true repentance.
5. When Jesus talked about turning the other cheek, he was being metaphorical.
6. God tells Noah that "whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."
7. What about all the killing in the OT?
8. St. Cyril tells us that it is possible to do two goods - to pray for our enemies and defend our friends. Don't pacifists create a false dichotomy between loving enemies and loving friends?
9. Romans 13 says that the God gives the government the right to bear the sword, so Christians can bear the sword as long as we are working in a governmental role. Our government decrees that we can protect ourselves, therefore we are an arm of the government if we act justly in self-defense?
10. Most biblical examples are of a submission to authority. It's one thing to submit to a government who proceeds through the justice system and laws - even if unjust - than to withhold violence from another citizen who seeks to do us harm (e.g. a robber, rapist, murderer, etc).
11. Jesus, the one you claim teaches pacifism, doesn't seem so pacifistic in Revelation when we see him slaughtering those who are evil.
12. Christ's example of non-violence is not prescriptive. It was a messianic role he took on for the sole purpose of dying as a sacrifice for sins. We are not called to do the same.
13. Living in a fallen world sometimes necessitates that God use means he otherwise wouldn't want to. God used divorce (Mt. 19) because of the hardness of Israel's hearts. Maybe God uses violence because of the hardness of our hearts.
B. Historical Claims:
1. Most churches, including the mainstream ones that pride themselves on historicity, aren't pacifists.
2. We find historical records of Christians who are accepted by the church being soldiers from the mid-late 100's on.
3. The early church was against joining the military because of the often required bachanal feasts and god worship.
4. The current theology of the trinity wasn't solidified until the 4th century, yet we accept that. Why can't we accept a doctrine of self-defense and just war with late origins?
5. Men, like Bonhoeffer, who renounce pacifism in the face of extreme evil, show that pacifism isn't correct or viable.
C. National Claims:
1. Doesn't pacifism minimize patriotism and a respect for those who sacrificed their lives in war?
2. If pacifists think that governments and laws are necessary, but a Christian shouldn't serve at levels of the government which would require them to legislate or enact harm, does that mean pacifists are just passing the necessary governmental responsibility on for others to do?
3. How can a nation survive if everyone is a pacifist?
D. Moral Claims:
1. Pacifists embrace injustice because they're willing to let other innocent people die for their convictions.
2. Pacifism claims to value human life but actually seems to disdain it by refusing to protect innocent life from harm.
3. If we were all pacifists, we would all be taken advantage of. Our nation would collapse and evil would prevail.
4. So if there was another Holocaust, you'd let the genocide occur without resistance?
5. Sometimes violence is the only way to prevent worse violence. Bombing an ISIS convoy on their way to slaughter a village seems like an obvious use of justified violence.
E. Philosophical Claims:
1. Pacifists are just idealists. Pacifism can't work in the real world (See Hauerwas's argument at the bottom of section #7).
2. Our intuition tells us that pacifism doesn't work (See Hauerwas's argument at the bottom of section #7).
3. Rebuttal to C.S. Lewis's "Why I Am Not A Pacifist."
-We can't know that pacifism produces better results than a just war.
- Pacifism means doing nothing. Inactivity: Pacifist isn't inaction due to hatred of evil but embracing love. Christian vs secular pacifist.
- War has been universally accepted by governments throughout the ages. Have all governments been wrong? Even if they are wrong, we owe the government our service.
- Almost all of the great minds throughout the ages have declared war necessary and pacifism bad.
- Pacifism rests on ambiguous statements of Jesus.
- Pacifism is inconsistent in that it doesn't take all the words of Christ literally. Should we really give to everyone who asks?
- Pacifism is just self-interest. It gets you out of sacrifice.
4. If God wants to protect an aggressor against my use of force, he can do it.