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On Taking the Name of Jesus in Vain

by John K. Stoner (March 25, 2015)

In this blog I'm following up Berry's blog of March 21, "The Faith of Jesus."

What I'm calling "taking the name of Jesus in vain" is the practice of Christianity in America, which presumes to make faith in Jesus compatible with the war policies of the nation.

This business of making Jesus compatible with violence is as American as apple pie, and as wrong as slavery.

I am appalled by all efforts to make war morally justifiable, but I am incensed beyond words by efforts to make Jesus a supporter of the diabolical human institution of war. I call this, without hesitation or reservation, taking the name of Jesus in vain.

But the reality of "Christianity" in American history, and a vast segment of its current character, is that faith in Jesus has been deemed compatible with participation in slavery…oops, pardon the slip, I meant to say, war.

But maybe it was a useful slip, since war and slavery are twin sisters, and you can just as well develop a just slavery theory as a just war theory. People have done it.

All of this is a total denial of the faith of Jesus, who believed that God is saving the world by nonviolent love. That was the faith of Jesus.

So you can believe in redemption by war, or redemption by Jesus. But not both at once or both together.

That's what we're saying in our book. We'd like to hear what you think, but ideally, after, not before, you've read it!