(I wrote the following post a few days before the tragedy in Paris, which is timely in light of what I said about the safety of our middle-class homes. The thought-experiments that pacifists normally avoid (see below) are no longer simply thought experiments, but realities we are having to deal with close to home. When commenting about this post on Facebook after the Paris tragedy, I observed “I am never going to be a fighter. I want my boys to learn self-defense, but I have little interest in personally learning to fight. Moreover, I am scared of guns and chain saws. But I am not a pacifist because I admire and support the warriors who are fighting against ISIS to keep the rest of us safe. And I pray for their victory.”)
In this post I wish to explain my thoughts on why Christians shouldn’t be pacifists. I might be wrong, and welcome feedback, but this post represents my thinking at the moment.
On the outset I need to make clear that the rejection of pacifism does not equate to a rejection of principled non-violence in certain situations. Christians should be willing to practice non-violence in some situations, such as when facing martyrdom, while also being willing to engage in acts of homicide in other situations, such as when defending innocent life.