by William De Arteaga.
The gun control debate
Gun control is regularly debated in the United States, not the least when horrible mass shootings occur in schools, cinemas, and other places. What is lacking in the dispute is a consideration of the spiritual dimensions of gun control. The silence from the pulpit on this issue is especially notable. Perhaps it is because the clergy dislike weighing in on issues that are not specifically defined in scripture and because American Christians often have very different and passionate opinions on this issue.
In this blog let me offer some thoughts on one dimension of the debate that has received little clergy attention: the demonization (obsession or possession) of many of the mass shooters.
Right at the start let me say that talking about the demonic realm for the Christian is both necessary (if one is true to the Gospel) but difficult due to its multifaceted complications. As Christians, we are in a state of constant spiritual warfare against the demonic realm. But as in most wars, there is a “fog of battle” in which our intelligence of and knowledge of the enemy is limited. Some Christian writers claim more than we can know about the demonic, as in the exact order of hierarchy and functions of the “thrones, principalities, powers, etc.” Especially difficult is the demarcation between psychological issues, chemical imbalances, etc., and demonic activity in and through a person. Continue reading The Demonic Factor in Mass Shootings: Exorcism as Gun Control
Brian Pipkin’s and Jay Beaman’s new book documents some of the pacifist and social justice convictions of early Pentecostals, many of whom were called traitors, slackers, cranks, and weak-minded people for extending Jesus’ love beyond racial, ethnic, and national boundaries.
They wrestled with citizenship and Jesus’ prohibitions on killing.
They rejected nation-worship, war profiteering, wage slavery, patriotic indoctrination, militarism, and Wall Street politics–and many suffered for it.
They criticized governments and churches that, in wartime, endorsed the very thing forbidden in their sacred book and civil laws. Continue reading New Book: Early Pentecostals on Nonviolence and Social Justice
by Paul Alexander
This afternoon I made a sign that says, “Love is Enough.” Then I drove to a political rally, got out of the car, and sat under a tree across the street from the supporters of the politician. I didn’t say anything. I sat behind the sign so that only the sign showed.
Continue reading Love Is Enough
A Vatican conference rejects the Catholic church’s long-held teachings on just war theory, saying they have been used to justify violent conflicts and the global church must reconsider Jesus’ teachings on Gospel nonviolence.
by Ronald J. Sider
Too often, power is understood only in terms of lethal coercion. Mao Zedong said that power is what comes from the barrel of a gun. Certainly power includes the ability to control people’s actions by the threat or use of lethal violence; however, the people also possess nonviolent collective power because they can choose to withdraw their support from rulers.
Continue reading The Power of Nonviolent Action
It sounds like the perfect ingredients for a fictional novel, but this is actually the true story of how Craig and Médine Keener met each other and eventually got married. PCPJ got an exclusive interview with one of the authors of the forthcoming book Impossible Love.
Continue reading War, Love, and Powerful Miracles
by David Swartz
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft, a prominent advocate of the war in Iraq, wrote a song called “Let the Eagle Soar.” It was a deeply patriotic song, which included the following lyrics: “Like she’s never soared before, from rocky coast to golden shore, let the mighty eagle soar . . . Oh she’s far too young to die; You can see it in her eye; She’s not yet begun to fly.” In typical God-and-country fashion, Ashcroft sometimes sang the paean at morning prayer meetings at the Department of Justice.
Continue reading Pentecostal and Holiness Statements on War and Peace
by John Dear
Mahatma Gandhi considered Jesus the most active person of nonviolence in the history of the world. He was dismayed, however, that so few Christians understood or embraced Jesus’ nonviolence.
Continue reading The Nonviolent Revolutionary
by Martin Luther King, Jr.
1) Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
Continue reading Six Principles of Nonviolence
Did you know that Pentecostal denominations have not always been militaristic? For example, during WWI, Pentecostals widely professed pacifism, the active promotion of peace, and resisted participation in warfare.