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What's Wrong with American Christians?Eileen Fleming Salem-News.com
Why it is that "Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent."-Gandhi
(CLERMONT, Fla.) - It takes a deep faith in Jesus to speak the truth about Jesus, and only one with the deepest of faith will dare to speak the truth that Jesus spoke.
For over forty years, Reverend Emmanuel Charles McCarthy has been working, writing, speaking and trying to educate the flock that to follow Jesus requires one to accept His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies.
In his book A Cry to the Churches and Their Leaders to Stop Running from the Nonviolent Jesus and His Nonviolent Way Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, begins by asking:
What is Gospel Nonviolence All About?
“Fear Not!” The God of Jesus, the God who is Jesus is not going to hurt you—no way, nowhere, no how. The God who is Jesus is love (Greek: agapé), unconditional, everlasting, irrevocable love.
If Jesus knows what He is talking about, then God is a God of Nonviolent Love. God is Nonviolent Love because Jesus—who teaches that He is one with the Father (jn 10:30) and that to see Him is to see the Father (jn 14:9)—is Nonviolent Love made flesh.
No longer is there a need to fight and kill to try to do the impossible—to preserve the intrinsically impermanent in order to have security and peace. Peace and security, eternal survival and everlasting love are given to us because we, all of us without a single exception, are the immortal and infinitely cherished sons and daughters of a Parent who is immortal Life and Love Itself.
As St. Edith Stein expresses it a few years before her death at Auschwitz:
I know myself held, and in this I have peace and security—not the self-assured security of a man who stands in his own strength on firm ground, but the sweet and blissful security of the child which is carried by a strong arm. 
Edith Stein was born into an observant Jewish family on the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, October 12, 1892. At the age of thirteen, she underwent a crisis of faith and no longer believed in God and decided to devote her life to the pursuit of the truth. When she was 31, she converted to Christianity and for the next ten years spent her days teaching, lecturing, writing and translating. In 1933 she became a cloistered Carmelite nun.
Edith was a celebrated philosopher, a leading supporter of the early twentieth century's phenomenological school of thought, which explored human awareness and perception. She was arrested by the Nazi’s on August 2, 1942, transported to Auschwitz where she perished in a gas chamber on August 9, 1942. She was canonized a saint on October 11, 1998 because of the miracle cure of Teresia Benedicta McCarthy, the daughter of Rev. McCarthy.
Teresia had swallowed a large amount of an over-the-counter analgesic that causes hepatic necrosis in small children. Rev. McCarthy called on their relatives to pray for Edith Stein's intercession and shortly thereafter, while in Massachusetts General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit she sat up and was completely healthy. Dr. Ronald Kleinman, the pediatric specialist who treated Teresia Benedicta, testified about her recovery to Church tribunals, stating, "I was willing to say that it was miraculous."
For many, reality is only what they see, but Rev McCarthy comprehends:
Visible reality is but a speck of reality. Most of what is most important in life takes place on the invisible side of existence. Each life is an icon, a visible image of invisible realities.
The only way in this world that any person can be known—and that includes Jesus—is by his or her words and deeds. Separate a person from her or his words and deeds and there is nothing of the person to experience, to know or to have faith in.
The only Jesus Christ that exists is the Jesus Christ of the words and deeds found in the Gospel. Separate Jesus from His words and deeds, and all that is left is a non-existent, humanly created, imaginary character named Jesus.
For example, the Jesus of the Gospels is Jewish, regardless of how many Irishmen think, say or wish He were Irish! Any presentation of Jesus as an Irishman from Dublin rather than as a Jew from Nazareth is a presentation of a Jesus who is no more a person of historical existence than is Spider-Man. [Ibid]
This American Irish dissident with Russian and Jewish DNA came to know Jesus as a social justice NONVIOLENT Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who agitated Temple and State during my first of seven trips to Israel Palestine in 2005, and ever since I have irritated many Christians who are more interested in socializing than in the social gospel.
Rev. McCarthy helps explain why:
It has long been known in Christianity that adoration of Jesus (Praise the Lord!) is much less costly than imitation of Jesus.
Most Christians are members of Churches that praise Jesus while simultaneously dismissing His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies.
This spiritual schizophrenia of worshiping the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospel while morally endorsing the way of homicidal violence and enmity is so pervasive in the Churches of Christianity and in the Evangelical movement that it is experienced as spiritual sanity and theological acuity.
Most nationalistic or ethnic Christians proudly and matter- of-factly say of their Christian ancestors: “Our forefathers, they lied, they killed, they plundered but...they kept the faith!”
There is possibly no more mammoth spiritual incongruity, no more anti- Gospel spiritual ejaculation, no more distorted presentation of Jesus and His Gospel than the title of the popular Christian Hymn, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!” [Ibid]
In an email response to my theological struggles, Rev. McCarthy wrote me:
Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was about.
One of the greatest Christian spiritual leaders of all time, Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk that listened to Bob Dylan LP's in his hermitage in Kentucky during the '60's and who was the first religious voice to rise up and speak out against the Vietnam War stated:
"The duty of the Christian at this time is to do the one task God has imposed upon us in this world today. The task is to work for the total abolition of war. There can be no question that unless war is abolished; the world will remain constantly in a state of madness…The church [meaning all Christians] must lead the way on the road to the abolition of war…Peace is to be preached and nonviolence is to be explained and practiced."
We the people of the USA pay to warehouse twenty-five thousand nukes and we inhabit a world darkened by bureaucratic systematic institutionalized structures of violence that kill human beings through war and poverty and all the consequences of destruction and despair that flow from corporate greed, violence and fundamentalist religiosity.
Nonviolence is at the core of every religion and Jesus promised it is the peacemakers who are the daughters and sons of God-NOT those that bomb, torture or occupy any!
Jesus denounced injustice, turned over the tables of the bankers in the Temple, was arrested, jailed, tortured and brutally executed, but he remained nonviolent, compassionate and forgiving to all.
Jesus called us to love our neighbors- meaning everyone on the planet, to be compassionate to all, to seek justice for the disenfranchised, to forgive our enemies, to put down the sword!
His death on the cross was in vain if those who claim to follow him do not have eyes to see and ears to hear that his ministry was all about breaking the bonds of political, economic and tribal religiosity.
His death on the cross is in vain, if we who claim to follow him do not end the cycle of violence for God created, loves and is in all beings and within all of creation.
It is a lack of imagination that accepts a future of endless war.
It is fear of the other that fuels fundamentalism.
It is heretical Christianity that supports empire in this world and does not support what Jesus stood and died for: NONVIOLENCE, forgiveness, compassion and love for all people.
It is heretical Christianity that defies that "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment." 1 John 4:16, 18
The heretical Christianity of empire thrives on fear of the other but Jesus said: "FEAR NOT! You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." The militarization of Christianity leaves behind all the non-negotiables Jesus taught for those who claim to be a Christian: which is you must not judge the nonbeliever and you must forgive, pray for, bless and love your enemies!
The problem is not with Christianity but that too few have done it the way Jesus taught and modeled: to always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness, as Jesus did when nailed to a cross and he prayed: "Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing."
Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment and to test all things according to the Spirit and teachings of Jesus.
A true follower of Jesus- or anyone with a good conscience- would choose equality, fraternity, community and nonviolent creative resistance to the evil that is violence.
It is willful ignorance, apathy and arrogance that are holding back the transformation of hearts and minds to understand that war is the ultimate form of terrorism and supreme expression of the spirit of the anti-Christ; meaning against what Christ taught and modeled with his life.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ laid down the principles by which to guide lives and he warned that, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine, and put them into practice, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hears these sayings, and does not put them into practice, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27)
St. Paul warned all followers of Christ to "not judge the non-believer; it is none of your business. But, when it comes to the believer, provoke one another to good works."
Rev. McCarthy has chosen to provoke with:
An invitation to participate in the
ANNUAL FORTY-DAY FAST
For the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence
July 1-August 9
“This is the kind (of unclean spirit) that can be driven out only by prayer and fasting.”-Mark 9:29
PRAYER OF PETITION FOR THE FORTY DAY FAST
FOR THE TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE
Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the only true God who is Agapé, Unconditional Love, Unending Forgiveness and Everlasting Mercy toward all without exceptions. The person who accurately sees Jesus sees God, for Jesus and God are One. It is the Spirit of this God which is life-giving. It is this God in whose image and likeness we are formed. There is no other God. All that is not of the only true God is idolatry and death.
The God of the New Testament, the God who dwells fully in Jesus Christ, the only true God is not a warrior God who will lead people in historical victories over enemies. The Way of Jesus is not the way of violence, retaliation and enmity. The Way of the Jesus of the Gospel is the way of nonviolent love. What Jesus taught by word and deed for times of common affairs, as well as times of crises, is nonviolence, non-retaliation, love of enemy, forgiveness seventy times seven, return of good for evil—mercy. Since God is love and Christ is God, to live in the life of God is to obey Jesus’ new commandment “to love one another as I have loved you.” This means that the Christian—the one who says he or she desires to follow Jesus—commits herself or himself wholeheartedly to following Jesus, who did not use violence and who did not threaten the use of violence, but chose instead—even under the threat of lethal violence—to overcome evil with good. Jesus Christ is the truth of God and nonviolent love of friends and enemies is the truth of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it must be said clearly, and again and again, that violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus, that violence is not the Way of God. It must be said clearly, and again and again, that this does not mean that only nuclear war and induced abortion are contrary to the way of Jesus—but all violence and retaliation, even culturally condoned, indeed honored, violence and retaliation, are contrary to the way of Jesus. Therefore an activity that cannot be conducted without violence or an end that cannot be achieved without violence, is an activity or an end that cannot be conducted or achieved by the followers of Jesus Christ.
The Churches’ and humanity’s mutiny against mercy must cease. Jesus’ teaching is clear. Christ authorized no one to substitute violence for merciful love toward friends or enemies. As the renowned biblical scholar, Rev. John L. McKenzie, concludes, “If Jesus did not reject any type of violence for any purpose, then we know nothing of Him.”
The god who endorses, supports or commands war is not the God of Christlike mercy. All the ways of God are mercy. In the Incarnation of Mercy in the Nonviolent Jesus, God’s Being, which is from eternity to eternity outside of time and beyond the world, unfolds itself in time and before the world. Mercy is what God is. Mercy is why we are. Mercy is what we need. Mercy is what God wants. Mercy is the supreme attribute of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Way of Christlike Mercy, not the way of violence, is the path of our pilgrimage to the Absolute.
Yet, since the third century most Christians have not proclaimed that violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Catholic Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus. In fact, during the last 1700 years, at one time or another, Christians have justified as consistent with the Way of Jesus participation in such activities as war, capital punishment, torture, the burning of heretics, witches and homosexuals, colonialism, violent enmity-creating nationalism, violent revolution, abortion, genocide, wife-beating, child-beating, etc. The spiritually symbolic low point of this false proclamation of the Gospel—this incarnational heresy— occurs on August 9 in the year of Our Lord during World War II.
On that day of Our Lord in 1942 Christians in Auschwitz, Poland—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following the Way of Jesus when they destroyed Edith Stein, Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, in a gas chamber. On that day of Our Lord in 1943 Christians in Berlin, Germany—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they beheaded Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, a Christian who refused to join Hitler’s military. On that day of Our Lord in 1945 Christians from the United States—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they evaporated the people of Nagasaki, the oldest and the largest Christian community in Japan.
Today, as for most of the last 1700 years, most Christians continue to be nurtured by their Churches and their Churches’ leadership to justify as consistent with the Spirit of Christ those energies, understandings, emotions and spirits which lead inevitably to August 9. Today most Christian Churches still do not unequivocally teach what Jesus unequivocally taught on the subject of violence and enmity. Today most Christian leaders and most Christians obstinately continue to proclaim that violence is the Christian Way, that violence is the Apostolic Way, that violence is the Way of Jesus. They are eternally dead wrong! They are destructively spreading untruth as the salvific truth taught by Jesus. They are, to date, an unstoppable spiritual and moral catastrophe in the Church and for all humanity.
It is because of this tragic and sorrowful fact that this Forty Day Fast is undertaken again this year. This Fast is a call to the Christian Churches, to Christian Church leaders and to individual Christians to repent and turn to the Christ and learn what God’s will is and how to live it. It is a call to learn from Him who unambiguously teaches by word and deed the Way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies as the Way of God and the Way of authentic discipleship.
This Fast is a prayer that the Universal Church will gather in Ecumenical Council on some August 9 in the not too distant future and declare once and for all that violence is not the Christian way, that violence is not the Apostolic way, that violence is not the Holy way, that violence is not the way of Jesus, and thereby disassociate Herself forever from the tribal gods, philosophies and politics of homicide and be for all humanity the extension in time and space not of Cain but of the nonviolent Jesus Christ, who teaches as the Way of God a Way of nonviolent love of all—friends and enemies—with no time-outs and no exceptions.
Please pray and fast as you are able. The smallest effort done in Christic love in order to bring Jesus’ salvific truth, life and love to humanity will be honored by God and will be fruitful beyond all measure.
Submitted for your personal and merciful meditation in Christ-God, amidst the anguish and absurdity of a world being mercilessly crucified daily by humanly created and religiously endorsed violence and enmity.-Reverend Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Eileen Fleming is the Producer of "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org, Eileen is a Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com, Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory" and the soon to be released "BEYOND NUCLEAR: Some of my Experiences of Mordechai Vanunu and the Holy Land: 2005-2010" youtube.com/user/eileenfleming. Eileen is a unique leader in her state and she intends to run for a Florida Congressional seat in the future, to help speed the process of change that is so demanded today. Like many who walk in similar steps, Eileen, like other writers at Salem-News.com, is an outspoken advocate for humanity and she has no tolerance for the oppressive forces of the world.
You can send Eileen Fleming an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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