Shuck and Jive

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Meaning of Life, Part 22

And therefore we consider it the duty of every man who thinks war inconsistent with Christianity, meekly but firmly to refuse to serve in the army. And let those whose lot it is to act thus, remember that the fulfillment of a great duty rests with them. The destiny of humanity in the world depends, so far as it depends on men at all, on their fidelity to their religion. Let them confess their conviction, and stand up for it, and not in words alone, but in sufferings too, if need be. If you believe that Christ forbade murder, pay no heed to the arguments nor to the commands of those who call on you to bear a hand in it. By such a steadfast refusal to make use of force, you call down on yourselves the blessing promised to those "who hear these sayings and do them," and the time will come when the world will recognize you as having aided in the reformation of mankind.

--Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, p. 18


  1. Good morning John. Interesting post, interesting to see what reaction you get. I'm not a pacifist but believe we all should be more cogniscent of our actions and their effects on others as we walk a path to Justice (note the capital J).

    By the by, I hope to hang out here more often in the next little bit. I'm losing my job at the end of the month and using that as an opportunity to get serious about seminary studies (at age 50). This site is part of my support network going forward. Obviously, I really enjoy and am inspired (both inSpired and otherwise) by it. Thank you.

  2. Gord,

    Big changes. I am honored to be a part of your support network! Please keep us informed on your progress!

    I wanted to include this Tolstoy quote. It is perhaps the biggest "heresy" one can mention when one lives and dies by Empire.

    Only a few individuals have been able to adopt it and a few groups. Tolstoy was inspiration for Ghandi.

    I do think from a standpoint of pure spirituality (the way of Christ) that Tolstoy proclaims the truth, the path, and the promise when the word will be '"written on our hearts" and we will "turn swords into plowshares" and learn the ways of war no more.