Jesus is the Eternal Word of God, “who is love,” “made flesh.” As the Word of God Incarnate, as the self-communication of God to human beings, He is Nonviolent and teaches to His disciples, by His choice of words and deeds, a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. But, “the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joint and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). Such being the case, the Word of God Incarnate teaching and living Nonviolent Love of enemies even unto death must pierce the very being of a Just Warist Christian to his or her innermost depths, revealing, if in fact, he or she believes in and is committed to Jesus as his or her Lord, God and Savior, as her or his Way, Truth and Life—or not.
Receiving the Nonviolent Word of God is a personal communication from God, that is, it is a personal encounter with the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and necessarily calls forth a decision of the will for or against the Nonviolent Person encountered. Aware that the Word of God knows all about human hardness of heart and any strategies of deceit going on in a human heart or mind in order to preserve what now must be cast off if one is to accept the Word of God, this moment of communication can be a stark moment. Indeed, it can be an either/or crisis moment. The Greek word κρίση (krisis) means judgment. It can be a moment of judgment affecting the course of one’s life and destiny. But it is not necessarily, or even usually, only a solitary moment of encounter.
The rejection of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, regardless of the status of the Christian engaged in the rejection, is not the rejection of what one thinks is a lousy idea. It is the rejection of the infallible Word of God personally communicated to a unique person. It is the rejection by the creature of the known will of the Creator. Indifference or dismissal of Jesus’ teachings of Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstances is rejection of the Word of God “made flesh,” and not the rejection of a good tip from a good guy on a possible good way to live! The Eternal Word of God, and hence the Eternal Nonviolent Word of God Incarnate, is not just a piece of advise or a mere counsel, it is the Life of God gratuitously communicated to humanity and offered to human beings for the salvation of all people, for living in the Life of God forever.
The Nonviolent Jesus, who is one with His teaching of Nonviolent Love of enemies, is that two-edged sword that reveals the true thoughts and intentions, beliefs and deceits of the human heart. The vigor, indeed the great vigor, with which the mainline Christian Churches have gone about for centuries, and continue go about today, dismissing, demeaning, denouncing, bracketing-out, ignoring, rationalizing away and trying to operationally stamp out of Christian consciousness the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of enemies is a sure sign of the Nonviolent Word of God piercing to the “division of soul and spirit, joint and marrow” of the mainline institutional Churches, revealing to them their “bad faith,” their willful and stiff-necked self-deception and their lax conscience. Revealing also the crisis they are in and the judgment they have made for themselves and will continue to make for themselves because they have become the “big lie” of violence and enmity as a way of following Jesus, which they perpetually propagate to others by every avenue of communication available to them.
“If today you hear the Word of God, harden not you hearts.”
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy