For my first ‘art of dissent’ entry, I submit an anti-war piece. America’s love-fest with preparing for and waging war continues to force me into protest-artist mode. (My very first protest art piece can be seen at andyvisuals.com)
I am unapologetic in my mix of anti-war, pacifist, nonresistant and non-violent sentiments. Maybe it’s my aversion to blood, but here is another big reason…
I believe as followers of Jesus we should attempt and aspire to live as if we are living in the fullness of the kingdom of God right now, here on earth. With the power of the Holy Spirit and our surrender to His way, we are called to make, promote and desire tangible expressions of God’s kingdom in the here and now.
How then can I, a citizen of the present kingdom of God, in any way advocate for or participate in the way kingdoms of this world settle their self-centered disputes? Will the future fullness of God’s kingdom feature warfare and violence? No. Since I believe I am living God’s kingdom now, I must live as if I really am in the fullness of that future
That is one of many reason’s why I will never join a war cause, whether its defensive or offensive. It is why I can’t side with a cause that wants to dominate or destroy anybody through war and violence. That’s why I won’t honor or think highly of those who have ‘served’ in such a way. And that’s why I won’t imply support for a war cause by silently wishing for another way or nihilistically shrugging it off as “that’s just the way the world turns…” It’s why I am compelled to call all humanity to consider another way, the surrendering, selfless, humble, nonviolent Kingdom of God way.
If claiming followers of Jesus say and live otherwise, then they proclaim to the world that Jesus Christ’s perfect will for the earth and humanity is a cruel hoax. If they take up the sword in participation with the death and destruction of fallen man, they lend support to the most ardent atheist nihilist in his belief that this world and its survival-of-the-fittest, dog-eat-dog and depraved rat-race is as good as it’s ever going to get. They have nothing better to offer than the pain, suffering, revenge and hatred that spring from man’s and Satan’s rebellion.
But Jesus Christ as God incarnate does have a better reality in mind for human existence. It’s up to His disciples to suggest a world-without-war, plead for it, point to it and live it.
(Photo attribution: The soldiers/helicopter scene comes from the “soldiersmediacenter” US Army collection at Flickr. Everything else is my creation – hence the watermark.)