Susan on her faith

What does it mean to be a Christian?

It means that we try to live by Gospel values. In this age, violence is normal--personal relationships are often violent, as is our foreign policy. Yet Jesus teaches us to be nonviolent. This is part of what it means to be Christian--to respond nonviolently. To love other people as your brothers and sisters; to love your enemies. To respect life, and the earth.

The early christians would not serve in the Roman army. They understood their faith to teach "no killing." And they didn't think there were exceptions to this command. But over the years, the state and the institutional churches have made agreements with those in power and the concept of nonviolence has been clouded over.

In our day the church blesses the troops and the machines of war. But if we go back to the scripture and look, we aren't supposed to be killing other people. We are supposed to help others, take care of the orphan and the widow--which is to say, take care of the poor, and we are supposed to resist evil.

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