In “Religiously Battling for Pacifism” in The American Spectator, Frontpage contributor Mark Tooley writes about “a rising tide of absolutist pacifism at least among U.S. Protestant and Evangelical elites,” which is pressing Christians to refuse to serve in the military and even in law enforcement. Tooley quotes evangelical Bible scholar Ben Witherington: “In short, for the Christian, there are plenty of things worth dying for and giving your life for, but nothing worth killing for, for life is of sacred worth, and we are called to save it, even from itself.”
So much for “Onward Christian Soldiers,” a martial hymn that I hear anecdotally has all but vanished from church services. When it comes to confronting aggressors, rather than “marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before,” the Christian community seems to be embracing the same turn-the-other-cheek martyrdom that once led to them being shredded by lions in the Roman arena.
Actually, it’s still resulting in Christians being decimated. In a different article, “Thriving Christianity,” Mark Tooley cites alarming figures in a recent report by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research: “270 new Christian martyrs every day in the world over the last 10 years, reaching 1 million during 2000-2010, and compared to 34,000 Christian martyrs in 1900. Presumably, radical Islam can be faulted for most current-day Christian victims.” Presumably, not to mention the non-Christian and even Muslim victims.