Violence is not evil

I have not presented a comprehensive demolition of all just war theories, in particular I have not considered the concept of loving the oppressed by fighting against the oppressor (although the evidence I have gathered goes a long way towards challenging this argument). Nor is this a complete theology of Christian pacifism. However, the observations that I have made can allow us to make some initial observations and chart some potential directions for further exploration.

Firstly, it is important to note that I am not saying that violence is inherently evil. Some forms of liberal pacifism take this route, and then have difficulty reconciling their theology with God’s use of violence, especially judgment and the Cross. Rather, the biblical understanding of violence is that it is the exclusive domain of God, and those to whom he delegates it. My argument is that Christians are not delegated the role of violence by God. Rather, he chooses to use the violent tendencies of others to enact his temporal justice.


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