Merry Christmas from our boys

Hayden and Ian on Christmas Eve
Hayden and Ian on Christmas Eve | Photo by Laurie Blundell

My boys have been getting in the Christmas spirit this month by helping decorate the Christmas tree…

The boys helping put up the Christmas tree | Photo by Jonathan Blundell

Chillin under the glow of the Christmas tree…

A hipstamatic Christmas
A hipstamatic Christmas | Photo by Jonathan Blundell

Continue reading Merry Christmas from our boys

I want to be a pacifist until…


At the gym yesterday I finally finished watching Prince of Peace/God of War on my Zune.

The documentary shares the views of folks who subscribe to Christian pacifism and those who subscribe to the Christian Just War Theory. I think it became clear which side the producer/director came to side with, but I think both sides were presented fairly.

Towards the end of the movie there’s a great contrast. Is violence justified at any time? (starts at 52:10) Is there a need for violence over Love Your Enemy?

At 55:42 in the movie Dr. Victor Shepherd, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, ON, says he wants to be a pacifist with all his heart until he hears of the horrors of the holocaust and the horrors of those being oppressed around the world. And I was agreeing that yeah, that makes sense. I think we should be on the side of the oppressed and the hurting. We should be willing to stand up for them.

But then at 56:41 Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor at Eastern University at St. Davids, PA, shares a story that almost brought me to tears on my exercise bike.

Despite Bulgaria’s alliance with Germany in World War II, the leader of the Orthodox church in Bulgaria comes walking up to a train station in the middle of the night, where countless numbers of Jews were waiting to be taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The leader of the church is followed by 300 members of his church.

He walks to the fenced in area where the Jews are being kept and the guards tell him, “Father you’re not allowed in there.” He laughs and brushes their machine guns aside as he walks into the gated area. The Jews gathered around him, waiting to see what the Christian leader in Bulgaria would say in their moment of despair.

As they cried and begged for help the leader of the Bulgarian church quoted a simple verse from Ruth.

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)

The Jews cheered. The Christians outside the fenced in area cheered. The noise became so loud that it woke up everyone in the community and they came to the train station and heard the news. Quickly the hundreds grew to thousands.

The Nazi soldiers suddenly realized there was no way they could overcome everyone there. There was no way they’d be able to get away with carting off the Jews to the concentration camps. The train left a short time later with none of the Jews on board and never returned again. And after that point, no Jews from Bulgaria were taken to a concentration camp of any sort.

“Because the Church of Jesus Christ boldly stood up and said we’re not going to kill the enemy, we’re going to identify with the suffering and suffer with them. This is Jesus’ way.”

Take an hour and watch download the movie to your desktop for free.

What about you? Are you a pacifist? Are you a pacifist until…? Why or why not?

UPDATE: The site where this movie was originally hosted may not be working now. But the entire documentary is available on YouTube:

FREE download “Prince of Peace – God of War”

Shawn Groves tipped me off to a new movie (and the free download) :: “Prince of Peace – God of War.”

The movie’s premise sounds “simple” enough ::

How did the command to “Love Your Enemies” get so complicated? This was the question I had for years both when I was a minister in the church and ever since I left it. It seemed to me the religious right, more a political force than anything else, who embraced policies of violence, killing and destruction, all in the name of a God they claimed to follow seemed to be at odds with the teachings of the founder of their faith.

I’m downloading it now and haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. But Groves said he’s disappointed in it – just like he was with Fireproof. And I understand where he’s coming from (however in full disclosure I haven’t seen either film yet).

Oh, my brain ate up all the information, history, scripture. Something deeper in me was even inspired several times to be more like Christ. But most of the time I just sat there wishing: I wish this movie wasn’t head after head talking about theology and history. I wish just one of these bright guys talking right now would let this camera man follow him home. I wish one of these guys would show me what it looks like in their neighborhood/office/church/Palestine to live justly or non-violently. I wish this movie wasn’t all telling and no showing. Yep, I wished that again.

A friend made a similar comment after we watched The Ordinary Radicals on Saturday night. He wanted less “telling” and more “showing.” And while I really loved The Ordinary Radicals I could see where he was coming from. He wanted to see how the homeless advocates were actually living out their missions — not just a 2 min. sound bite. He wanted to know how it was working and see it lived out.

For me however, The Ordinary Radicals sparked ideas (and many at that). After all, perhaps even if I had seen how a homeless advocate lived out her mission in San Fransisco, it’s going to look a lot different in Red Oak, Texas. To me the movie showed that Another World Is Possible.

But perhaps that’s what’s missing in our faith overall. We’re telling people how to live and giving them the rules to follow — but we’re not living it ourselves. Lots of telling — but not much showing.

All that to say — there’s a movie out that you might be interested in – for free. Check it out.