Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Christian Manifesto for Nonviolence

I received this a few days ago from a colleague who works for InnerCHANGE, a Christian order among the poor, in Venezuela. He has been working on this Christian nonviolence creed with several other people for a while now and gave me permission to share it here for your thoughts and comments.


We confess that Jesus is Lord, the full revelation of the God of the Old Testament and that before Him every knee will bow. We confess that Jesus is Christ, Israel’s Messiah, and Savior of the world who conquered the power of evil on the cross. We agree with Jesus’ call to undivided allegiance to God: "No one can serve two masters…” (Matt 6:24), and “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and your neighbor as yourself.” We also reaffirm that: “God so loved the world…” and has sent us with that love to society’s outcasts and our country’s enemies. Like Jesus, we must say ‘yes’ to the kingdom of God, and ‘no’ to all allegiances that compromise the furthering of that kingdom.

As followers of Jesus Christ who are citizens of the United States, we are troubled when God’s name is identified with our country’s wars and laws by Christians who remain silent or actively promote them as ordained by God. We believe that uniting God’s name with our government and its leaders is both idolatrous and a hindrance to the witness of the Church. Killing our enemies and enforcing dehumanizing laws in the name of God deny Jesus’ call to love our enemies and to join him as a “friend of sinners.” This is the time for genuine, widespread repentance and change.


As a follower of Jesus Christ, and in keeping with my baptismal vows:

I renounce allegiances to the world and nation that would lead me to justify the use of violence, war or any type of force that are incompatible with Jesus’ teachings and his witness on the cross. I affirm God’s mission for the Church to serve as ambassadors of the kingdom of God, announcing forgiveness, promoting healing, peace and reconciliation – by loving and blessing those considered our enemies.

I renounce the flesh as it manifests in a spirit of national pride, superiority and self-interest that pursues our nation’s dominance for our own economic and material benefit and security. I affirm that my primary earthly place of belonging, identity and loyalty is in Jesus Christ and his body -- the borderless, worldwide family of God, and embrace his way of humility, service and love of God and neighbor.

I renounce Satan, the accuser and deceiver, and turn from his lie that America is God’s elect ambassador of freedom and Christian values whose mission justifies and requires the sacrifice of human lives. I affirm God’s kingdom as manifested through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and through his Church empowered by the Holy Spirit.

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