War and Peacemaking

Throughout the course of this semester we learned a lot about war and peacemaking in this class. Knowing about wars and peace in the Orthodox Church is very important to any Orthodox Christian. Christ taught us to turn away from evil and evil works of the devil and demons. The church also forbids any clergy member to bare arms and who ever sheds blood even by accident to step down from the clergy position. The church also understands that there must be some form of government like the police and armed forces, which may need to bare arms to protect the people.

The words “An eye for and eye, and a tooth for a tooth” have been used to express retributive

justice, which is also known as the Latin law lex talionis, in English means “the law of retaliation”. The way the law got formed was to make the punishment of the crime be fit to the crime. We have all felt this way about criminals, when ever I hear about child molesters or pedophiles getting arrested I have always said if they had sex with a little boy or girl they should cut off their genitals. I know that this is not Christian like of me at all but the principle of lex talionis has always been around and has been put in to people’s head.

For men to live a more Christ like life today they must renounce all evil. Christ teaches us to do so when he gives this sermon to the apostles. Christ lived this way his entire life to show us how to act. If Christ were to become evil and hit one of the soldiers when he was getting whipped or when Christ was getting arrested and one of the men he was with pulled out his sword he said put away your sword, if you live by the sword you will die by the sword. When someone does something evil to another person like punching him or her in the face the person who got hit should not fight back. When they fight back they are becoming more evil. When people fight evil with evil they spread evil, when people use love and peace to fight evil good always wins. If a person responds to evil in anger or self-defense, he becomes attached to the evil and it can dominate him.

If everyone lives this way and fought evil with good then this world would be a lot better to live in. Through our prayers and hope this world one day will be peaceful and there will be no more fighting.