Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 10

Gospel Nonviolence and Trust, the sine qua non of Holy Thursday, Good Friday—and Easter Sunday

Nothing, but nothing, requires us to trust Jesus as does a commitment to completely give up the protection and use of violence and enmity in order to follow the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. To daily chose to confront evil in every form in which it manifest itself through human beings—whether it be by deceitful words or by murderous deeds—with only Christlike Nonviolent Love towards every human agent of evil encountered, rationally necessitates believing that Jesus is absolutely trustworthy. “Jesus, I trust in you,” allows for no timeouts from trusting in Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life, as Lord, God and Savior.

When I chose not to follow Jesus and His Way—which are ineradicably one—I am choosing not to trust Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Word (logos) of God Incarnate. I am not simply choosing to distrust merely another smart or holy guy. When I distrust His Way, I distrust Him. When I distrust HIs teaching, I de facto say, “Jesus, I do not trust in you,” “God, I do not trust you.” As William James writes in his classic work on religious consciousness, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902):
“So long as any secular safeguard is retained,
so long as any residual prudential guarantee is clung to,
so long as the surrender is incomplete,
fear still stands sentinel
and mistrust in the Divine obtains.”

The Christian’s enfleshing of trust in Jesus in daily life, whether in common affairs or in crisis moments, is evidence of belief in Him as Lord, God and Savior, the Way, the Truth and the Life—as Him as risen from the dead. To not believe in Jesus as the Christ or as Lord may be a rational choice a person can make. To believe in Him, however, but not to believe Him is a self-evident absurdity. Partial trust of another human being can be reasonable. Partial trust of God can never be reasonable. After saying, “I believe in you, Jesus,” to then not believe the will of God as He reveals it by His words, deeds and person is logically and spiritually preposterous. It is the same as saying, “Lord! Lord!” but then not doing the will of the Father in Heaven (Mt 7:21-23). Chosen and enfleshed trust in Jesus, the Word of God Incarnate, e.g., by rejecting without reservation violence and enmity and choosing only to follow Jesus’ new commandment, “love one another as I have loved you,” is the bridge of trust over which the Father walks to bring the almighty power of God, which is love, to humanity in order to heal and to save each and all by events that before they occur are beyond all calculation, imagination or prediction.

If total trust in Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, is missing from a Christian’s life or from a Christian Church’s life, their daily prayer, said in heartfelt sincerity must be:
Jesus, I trust in you.
Help my untrust.

For a Christian or a Church to knowingly and willfully remain in a state of distrust of God and His Word, and to simultaneously refuse even to ask God’s help in overcoming this nonsensical way of living a Christian life is itself a significant moral problem with severe consequence far beyond all human calculation, imagination or prediction.

-ECM

Ten minute video, #10, for a Lenten Examination of Conscience

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Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 9

Gospel Nonviolence and the Right to Life

For the Christian, capital punishment, abortion and war are not only “right to life” issues, they are also “right to be loved” issues—”right to be loved as Jesus loves” issues. What Christian among us would dare to vest himself or herself with the illusionary authority to decide and to declare to a fellow human being, to another son or daughter of the Father, “You have lost the right to be loved by Jesus,” or “You have lost the right to be loved as Jesus loves you by Christians?”
—ECM

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 8

Putting on the Mind of Christ

The destruction of the mind, the psyche, the emotions, the heart of children, that is destruction by sexual means, sometimes called by the more generalized term, child abuse, is only one means to destroy the mind, psyche, emotions and heart of a child. Drenching children’s minds in glory-filled, noble, heroic, honorable, self righteous, “holy” violence—through the churches, the schools, the media, the electronic and physical toys and games given to them, the incessant beat of military propaganda to which they are permitted to be exposed—is another and equally insidiously destructive means of child abuse. It is a form of child abuse whose long term, savage consequences fill the graveyard, mental institution, prisons, hospitals and alleys in numbers that far exceed the numbers of victims of sexual child abuse. It is the radical opposite of “putting on the mind of Christ.” And, the behavior it brings forth is behavior that is radically opposed to the behavior that Jesus insist His followers exhibit.
–ECM

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 7

The Church and War

Christians, whether they be bishops or bumpkins, who speak 99% against war, capital punishment, abortion, violence and/or enmity are not proclaiming the truth that Jesus taught. They are treating Jesus’ teaching as if it were philosophy. It is not! It is the revealed will of God, or it is nothing The spiritual blind spot, that underlies proclaiming this “99% Gospel,” this “Gospel with Loopholes,” is that such Christians have not grasped the totality of the difference it makes if God has really spoken His definitive Word to humanity in Jesus. For a Christian to say that God has to be corrected by him or her by their making the logical opposite of what Jesus taught as truth the new truth of the Gospel is just silly—but catastrophically destructive.

 

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 6

Post Constantinian Christianity

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right

The history of war is the history of powerful individuals willing to sacrifice thousands, and even millions, of other people’s lives for personal gains. The struggle of human beings against those who lust to have power over them is the struggle of memory against forgetting. A long habit, systematically nurtured and sustained, of not remembering the violent, vile and vicious as wrong gives them a superficial appearance of right—which then morally permits, indeed fosters, ever more zealous violence, vileness and viciousness. To justify an evil is to perpetuate an evil. To justify an evil is to be a perpetuator of that evil.

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 5

Untaught Christian History: War and the Contagion of Erroneous Conscience

Just before a battle with the Gauls at Borbetomagus, Saint Martin of Tours (316-397), then a military officer, determined that his faith in Christ prohibited him from fighting, saying, “I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight.” He was charged with cowardice and jailed. In response to the charge, he volunteered to go unarmed to the front of the troops.

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 4

CHRISTIAN UNJUST/JUST WAR MORAL THEORY

The first weapon of war is the lie. The first casualty of war is the truth. These two universally known and historically validated facts are truths that Christian just war theory, Christian just warists and Christian just war Churches are adamantly and chronically culpably blind to. And this, despite the verifiable fact that this head-in-the-sand moral posture has resulted in and is resulting in Christians destroying ten of millions of human beings and inflicting intolerable human suffering on ten of millions of others by their Ostrich based just war.morality. Morally culpable self-deception is refusing to look because I know I won’t see what I want to see.

Christian Just/Unjust War Moral Theory