Monday, June 01, 2020

Jesus and Non-Violent Resistance

In times of struggle, calmer heads prevail.

Proverbs 16:32 says,

Better a patient person than a warrior, 
one with self-control than one who takes a city.

I have taught for several years at the nation's oldest black theological seminary. What a gift this has been for me. How grateful I am for the many new friends I have made.

And how I have learned from my students, and the Payne faculty.

In my class I taught about the praying life of Martin Luther King. You can read about it in Lewis Baldwin's book Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King Jr. I also taught the great Howard Thurman's classic text Jesus and the Disinherited. This is a book Dr. King carried with him.

If you really want to understand King's non-violent resistance, read these two books. Pay attention to how a real peacemaker exhibited wisdom, self-control, and turning to God in prayer, both privately and corporately. 

Note how Thurman and King identify where the real power and influence lies. Both were looking higher than the way of reactionary violence, seeing that strategy as the perpetuation of systemic evil.

For both of them, the way of Jesus is the way of non-violence and love, accompanied by resistance (not compliance) to structural evil.