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Nonviolence starts inwardly

From Brian McLaren

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good.

3 weeks ago

Nonviolence in some ways it starts inwardly then we have to say where do we want the circumference to end?

Some discussion starter questions
  • Where do you want to end the circumference of your nonviolence?
  • ...

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Video transcript

I think nonviolence in some ways it starts inwardly. I have to admit there have been major periods in my life where if anyone could have heard myself talk, what is going on, it was pretty violent. "You're so stupid. You're so this, you are so..." I was attacking myself. I would never attack another person that way, at least not, I'd be ashamed if I did. But I was treating myself this way. So there's kind of internal compassion. I think it is what Jesus meant when he said: "Love your neighbor as yourself." There has to be internal compassion.
And then I think the nonviolence extends to the people closest to us, our spouses, our parents, our children. And then it extends to our closest companions and work associates. And I think if we understand that nonviolence, it always starts near and then we have to say where do we want the circumference to end. And to me, to be a follower of Christ, for me means that there is no limit to my nonviolence. I want to be nonviolent as far as I possibly can.
Now look, this raises for people questions about you know war and so on. And let's just say, if your starting point is: nonviolence is my preference, it's my commitment, it's my passion, that if you ever have to resort to violence or force, it's going to be very different than if your starting point is: if anybody hits me, I hit him back twice as hard, right. It's a very different starting point.

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