This begins a series of Questions and Answers on Gospel Nonviolence.
Questions in this series are ones that I have personally received, and I supply my answer to them. Father Emmanuel McCarthy (Fr.ECM) of the Centre for Christian Nonviolence, also, from time to time, gives his own response, often giving a deeper explanations (and answers the questions if I cannot!).
If you have a question about Gospel Nonviolence, please feel free to ask it in the Comment box at the bottom. I will endeavour to answer it (or have it answered).
“If you are correct about all this Non-Violence stuff, why is it that it has only really resurged in the last century? Why is the Gospel Non-Violence movement so small? Why is it often associated with extreme liberalism with all it’s errors (modernism, relativism etc)? Why is it not making a bigger impact?”
CatholicScout’s responses to the questions:
- Why is it that [Gospel Nonviolence] has only really resurged in the last century? Good question, perhaps because this last century has seen more people killed in war than all the previous centuries put together. Perhaps because the nature of modern communications makes it less easy to control information. Perhaps also because in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, people started to question things more.
- Why is it that the Gospel Nonviolence movement is so small?
Hitherto, the nonviolent love of Jesus of friends and enemies, has not been preached. What you don’t know, you can’t follow. Inform yourself by listening to the following retreat (or you can download Retreat on the Lamb of God here) on the Lamb of God:
The Lamb: The Mystery of Gods Suffering Servant The Lamb: To Be Adored and Imitated The Mind of the Lamb The Lamb Who Glorifies God The Church: A Fold of Lambs The Love That Is Lamb-Like The Lamb in a Jungle The Means of the Lamb The Lamb Who Is Rich in Mercy The Security of the Lamb The Trustworthy Lamb The Mystery of the Oneness in the Lamb: Baptism The Lambs Lamb: Mary The Lamb of Forgiving Love The Lamb of Serving Love The Resurrected Lamb
- Why is it often associated with extreme liberalism with all it’s errors (modernism, relativism etc)?
Fr.ECM‘s response: Gospel Nonviolence is not liberalism or conservatism, extreme or otherwise. I seldom just use the word “nonviolence.” I always try to make sure people know I am talking about Gospel Nonviolence or Jesus’ Nonviolent Way of Love, etc. The reason is, nonviolence as a word is open to indefinite meaning and interpretation. In Christianity, nonviolence is the adjective and love (agape) is the noun. Nonviolent Christlike love should be a redundancy but it is not because Christians have been kept in the dark by Church leaders that nonviolent love is the only form of Christlike love, as non-adulterous love is the only form of Christlike love, that is love model on the person of Jesus, the new commandment.CatholicScout’s response: I think that Gospel Nonviolence, is not associated with extreme liberalism (and all it’s errors). I think that Pacifism is associated with extreme liberalism, and also that bizarre revolutionary version of Pacifism which is very angry and loud about it. That Pacifism and Revolutionarism (as I will call it) is definitely associated with extreme liberalism (and all it’s errors), because it is an error. If anyone actually listens to what is involved with Gospel Nonviolence, they will quickly learn it’s not something “liberal”, or easy to follow and that only those who are truly convinced that this is the Truth follow it. Those people are neither liberal, nor conservative, as Fr.ECM puts it.
To those that point a finger towards notable proponents of Gospel Nonviolence, who do not have a spotless Theological track record (such as Martin Luther King Jr, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen etc), just remember that people who practice Jesus’ way of nonviolent Love, are not infallible, not indefectable (see my post on indefectibility) and not impeccable. They are human beings like you and I (and the Pope, I may add…). The objective is not to look at their track record, rather the track record of the Person they are attempting to follow. Follow Christ.
- Why is it not making a bigger impact? Good question, probably because the Devil has been hard at work, sowing cockle, eating up seeds, and people are not enduring sound doctrine.