The Fourth Way

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Summary

Ghandi said, "There's hope for a violent man to become nonviolent, but not for a coward." Politics has a way of showing us the cowardice behind many of us who cling to violence and coercion. We are scared that if we don't put our leader in office, we will suffer persecution or fail to get our way in the nation. Fear, as we saw in 2016, makes people run to the ballot box. People are scared that integrity may lead to sacrifice, so we compromise with a lesser of two evils, consequentialist moral ethic. There is no hope of peace because we are steeped in fear.

The second part in our Romans 13 episode takes a look at the implications of a nonviolent view of Romans 13 in the real world. If violence isn't on the table for Christians, and if the government bears the sword, what does that mean for our political involvement? I try to paint a picture of two ways of living to help you see how we often misplace our hopes and resources, and how we often undervalue the true power of the Kingdom life. While living nonviolently may mean a loss of power in one sense, it may mean grasping the only true source of power as Jesus reveals.

*I didn't do a good job of explaining this in the episode, but there are a very broad range of views pacifists take as to what participation in government looks like. I am still not sure where I stand. The view I present in this episode is more of a pendulum swing all the way to one side - showing what the extreme may look like. From there you can figure out where you lie on the spectrum.

Show Notes

*I didn't do a good job of explaining this in the episode, but there are a very broad range of views pacifists take as to what participation in government looks like. I am still not sure where I stand. The view I present in this episode is more of a pendulum swing all the way to one side - showing what the extreme may look like. From there you can figure out where you lie on the spectrum, between the far end of pacifism, and the other end of fully embracing just war theory.

If we took the precept of nonresistance as an ethical blueprint for general application, we should indeed be indulging in idealistic dreams: we should be dreaming of a utopia with laws which the world would never obey. To make nonresistance a principle for secular life is to deny God by undermining his gracious ordinance for the preservation of the world. But Jesus is no draftsman of political blueprints; he is the one who vanquished evil through suffering. It looked as though evil had triumphed on the cross, but the real victory belonged to Jesus. And the cross is the only justification for the precept of nonviolence, for it alone can kindle a faith in the victory over evil which will enable people to obey that precept. Only such obedience is blessed with the promise that we shall be partakers of Christ’s victory as well as of his sufferings. . . .

The cross is the only power in the world which proves that suffering love can avenge and vanquish evil.


Psalm 2: https://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/2.html

1 Why do the nations conspireand the peoples plot in vain? 

2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, 

3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” 

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 

5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 

6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” 

7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. 

8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 

9 You will break them with a rod of iron ; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” 

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 

11 Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. 

12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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What is The Fourth Way?

A podcast focusing on issues related to nonviolence