I’ve been thinking about violence a lot lately. It isn’t too hard given all the news that pours out of my home country week after week. And it isn’t just the gun violence that seems to headline so many of the stories. It is the way in which we engage ‘the other.’ The person who isn’t like us.

In reading the New Testament, there is a complete lack of those in the church committing, or endorsing violence. Someone might say, “Well, Jesus told them to take up swords.” Sure…and when Peter used it against another, Jesus rebuked him and undid the damage.

What if the church was like that? Standing against violence in all forms against all people? (even those we think are wrong?) Shouldn’t it be healing those who have been victims?

Or should those in the church be the ones cheering the loudest when a demagogue endorses wiping our enemies of the planet?

Can we do either and still call ourselves Jesus followers?