Words I have been pondering most of my free time since Wednesday…

“This consistent, right to-the-end, to-the-point-of-death nonviolence of Jesus has been that which Jesus’ followers have most attempted to modify. When it comes to violence in service of a good cause, we deeply wish Jesus had said otherwise. …

… Today, some critics charge religion with being the source of humanity’s worst violence. This is a ruse perpetuated by those who unthinkingly lump Jesus with “religion” and who are (probably unknowingly) attempting to exonerate the pretentious modern nation-state from its role as the source of the worst violence. This is a ruse perpetuated by those who unthinkingly lump Jesus with “religion” and who are (probably unknowingly) attempting to exonerate the pretentious modern nation-state from its role as the source of the worst violence the world has ever seen. The modern nation, democratic or otherwise, the modern functional equivalent of God, has proved to be the bloodiest concoction ever invented by a presumptuous humanity.

Though certain religious leaders, some of them even claiming to follow Jesus, have various rationales for commending violence, Jesus never once reacted violently to his critics and crucifers; in fact, he forgave them. There is not one single instance of Jesus-or of any of his followers in the entire New Testament-commending the use of force. How Jesus got dragged into this bloody mess is testimony to how little people  know about Jesus and how unfaithful the church has been in following him.” – Bishop Will Willimon, Why Jesus?

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