In Acts 10 Peter converts the centurion Cornelius. But would he have been allowed to keep his job? What did the early church think of warfare?
The final installment in a series of four videos to accompany the book Kingdom of Fools. See more at the Kingdom of Fools Vimeo Channel.
This is possibly the most contentious video of the series – it explores the attitude of the early church to violence and warfare. The members of the early church were adamant that it was impossible for a Christian to take revenge or to inflict violence on another person. In the words of Tertullian, they believed that ‘Christ, in disarming Peter, unbelted every soldier.’ Their emphasis on love, peace and forgiveness was one of their most distinctive characteristics.
According to Walter Wink, the New Testament passage quoted more than any other during the church’s first four centuries was
‘But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’ (Matt 5.44–46)
So this video looks at whether we’ve forgotten this a bit. At whether we are so accustomed to the idea of power, so habituated to being in charge that we no longer as Christians question the use of violence as the way to solve problems.
This is something I’ll be blogging more on in the coming weeks if I get time. In the meantime, enjoy the video.