ANNUAL FORTY DAY FAST
TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE
Noam Chomsky is neither a Christian nor a pacifist. He does, however, know a thing or two about words, grammar, rhetoric, logic, phrases, clauses, sentences, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. He is Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over fifty years. Chomsky is considered the “father of modern linguistics.” He knows how to read and interpret texts. He says,
“The Gospels are radical pacifist documents never very popular among the powerful, including Rome…The contents of the Gospels are mostly suppressed (in the U.S.); they are a radical pacifist collection of documents. It [Christianity] was turned into the religion of the rich by the Emperor Constantine, who eviscerated its content. If anyone dares to go back to the Gospels, they become the enemy.”
I would only add: Also never very popular in Constantinople, Canterbury, Moscow, and Geneva (World Council of Churches headquarters); and not only suppressed by the Churches in the U.S. but also in Russia, England, every country in the European Union, Latin America, South America, Africa and Australia.
Let’s now listen to a Christian on the same subject—Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School, who was the first American in forty years invited to give the prestigious Gifford Lectures in theology and who was named by Time Magazine “America’s best theologian:”
“Nonviolence is not one among other behavioral implications that can be drawn from the Gospel but is integral to the shape of Christian convictions. Indeed, nonviolence is not just one implication among others that can be drawn from our Christian beliefs; it is at the very heart of our understanding of God. If we do not think it possible to love our enemies then we should plainly say Jesus is not the Messiah.”
So the issue behind the issue of Jesus’ teaching a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is the most serious of faith issues, not a lack of clarity on Jesus’ part or by the authors of the Gospels. What Jesus teaches is clear; the issue is, “By what authority does He teach it?” Depending on the answer to that question, a person chooses obedience to what Jesus taught or evaluation of what Jesus taught and whether it is applicable or not to his or her life. If a Christian, however, says “Amen” after being offered the Body of Christ at Holy Communion, then he or she is publicly saying that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, and by that fact that what He teaches is the will of the Father and possible.
“Become what you receive, receive what you are.”
-St. Augustine on the proper disposition for the reception of Communion
If a Christian, when receiving Holy Communion, is committed to being or becoming a lean, mean, killing machine in some military organization, what is the correct name or word for what he or she is doing when they say, “Amen,” to receiving the Body of Christ at Holy Communion?