Faith and Violence
Our age has been caught in the great doubt. We are saying, “Trust God and pile up weapons of destruction.” We trust love and hate at the same time. We are compromisers. We can’t trust love and we do not trust God alone as Jesus did.
David trusted God and killed his enemies.
Jesus trusted God and refused to lift a finger to harm anybody. He suffered but he never made others suffer.
To be like Jesus we, too, will have to refuse to compromise with the idea of killing our enemies.
Mere refusal to fight will never save the world. I have been a pacifist all my life, but a very uneasy one. To allow people to go and get killed to protect me seems like a very cowardly thing. I must earn my right to be a pacifist by fighting as hard as I can all the greed and misery and hate that breed wars. I must work for my country with the weapons of love as hard as others do by military means.
C. F. Andrews is a great illustration of this kind of love.
He went to any place in the world where people were suffering and suffered with them. Then, he went to the powerful men who were oppressing them and pleaded with them to stop their oppression.
Andrews was in South Africa defending the Indians from oppression from his own people, the English, when he met Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was there as an attorney to protect the Indians. Gandhi’s imagination was captured by this incredible kind of person who criticized nobody and loved everybody, this Englishman who came to the defense of the helpless and suffered with them.
Gandhi learned that Andrews got this spirit from Jesus Christ. Gandhi began reading the New Testament with Andrews and continued reading it the rest of his life. This is where he got the idea of nonviolent and loving resistance. This is where he got his idea of compassion for the masses that led him to emancipate the Harijans and to break down castes.
Gandhi once said, “If everybody in the world were like C. F. Andrews, I would be a Christian. But the Christian world is just the opposite of Christ.”
Gandhi rejected the word “Christian” because it had failed to be like Christ.