Pacifist Christianity, evil spirits, and humility

posted on 2012-07-22

In Luke 11:24-25, Jesus says:

When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house swept, clean, and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.

When I read this tonight, I imagined a lot of progressive/radical/anarchist Christianity. We see things wrong with society and the church, so we try to remove those “evil spirits” from our lives. The problem is that we need to follow this up by inserting love into our lives to take this evil spirit’s place, but too often we don’t. The result is that more evil spirits move in. And this, according to Jesus, is the worst possible thing we could do.

The main way I see this lived out is in our opposition to militarism. Too often I see people recognize that militarism is destructive, but then they start hating the military and all soldiers. Well, I know a lot of soldiers who are trying their best to serve God, and I certainly don’t think we should hate them for it. Hating won’t end war.

I feel like I need to keep this in mind whenever I discuss polarizing issues. It’s not enough to cast the demon out of my heart, I must also put Christ into my heart. And that’s by far more important.