Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor

Jesus, the Prince of Peace (not of Just War)

John F. Burka, ASA Member
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 4P3CANADA

From: PSCF 48 (March 1998): 68. 

I read with interest the article by Mark T. Clark on "The Paradox of War and Pacifism." I had expected that the premise of the article would be to weigh the two views that Christians have had on "Just War" and "Pacifism." Unfortunately, I found that there was really very little on the latter. I understand that Dr. Clark comes form a military background, but this does not justify the one-sided view. There were no references anywhere in the text to some of the classical Christian theologians of the pacifist side: John Howard Yoder (The Politics of Jesus), Ronald Sider (Christ and Violence), Maynard Shelly (New Call for Peacemakers), etc. or to some of our pacifist forefathers, such as Menno Simons or Conrad Grebel.

Despite having lost family in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, I still have problems with the "just war" hypothesis. As Christians we are called to live life "differently," to be more like Christ. As Donald Kraybill wrote, the Kingdom of God is an "Upside-down Kingdom" where we do not conform to the ways of this world. If we learn to work against poverty, bigotry, and hatred and teach and live the ways of love, we will learn to be true pacifists, or rather, "active peacemakers"! This is the true alternative to "just war" and I am convinced that is the Christian way.