This is a tough one.
I went to a Mennonite high school in southern Manitoba. In our grade 12 Mennonite studies class we talked about non-violence and pacifism. At the time, I really didn’t care about anything related to school none-the-less faith, but I still remember this class. In the midst of an over my head conversation, a student asked a pointed but hypothetical question to the teacher about using violence to protect his (the teachers) family.
“No. I would not use violence.”
Here I am a 12+ years later wondering the same question myself.
I find that it is one of those questions that is hard to take seriously because it just seems too surreal that something so terrifying could happen. I like to think that I am fully on board the Anabaptist, shalom, non-violent resistance train… but this kind of question seems like it changes the ball game. Therefore, it is important.
Below is a video of Greg Boyd. He navigates the complexity of the question well, while offering important and practical substance. Particularly the last 30 seconds or so. Check out his video. It’s 4 minutes, and totally worth it.
Do you think Greg Boyd dances around the question? Ask yourself the hypothetical question; If necessary, would you use violence to protect a loved one?