Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Gift of Nonviolence

Creative nonviolence is not a dehumanizing tactic to humiliate and ridicule our enemies (although this might be the result of our efforts) rather, creative nonviolence is our gift of love to our enemies--we offer to them ourselves as a gift of reconciliation that they might repent and find redemption for themselves. Nonviolence is the gift of opportunity, we offer the oppressor a way out of complicity with oppression. Therefore the fault is ours if we allow oppressors to remain oppressive, we apparently are not loving our enemies if we do not offer redemption to them through repentance.

Walter Wink says, "never adopt a strategy that you would not want your opponents to use against you" (Jesus and Nonviolence, page 46). If those whom I oppress simply kill me, that's it, no more reconciliation for me. They've stooped to my level and have committed the crime of pushing the problem out of sight and out of mind rather than aggressively perusing peace... the oppressed become the oppressor. But if those whom I oppress offer to me the gift of nonviolence I pray that I will have the humility to repent and to turn from my oppressive ways. We must learn creative nonviolence if only to truly "do unto others as we'd have done unto us."

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