Due to the branching that occurred in the other thread on Pacifism, which was intended on being focused on Rom. xiii, I have decided to take a branch off and place it over here. Don't worry; I will still be a part of the other thread, but would like it to get back to it's author's original points. I (taking the pacifist position, who personally used to hold to a just war ideal) would like to understand how killing your enemies can be justified when Christ himself told us to love our enemies. This killing can take place either in police activity, the state killing a convict, through military action, or even self defense. When has Christ sanctioned the use of the sword towards others (remember that not even Calvin believed Luke xxii.36 had anything to do with bearing arms or self defense or sanctioning violence; and Calvin was more of a Just War kind of guy)? I am a student of martyrdom. That's been my focus for quite a number of years. Particularly Christian martyrdom in the pre-Constantian Church and comparing that to the martyrdom during the Reformation era. Fascinating stuff, really. Anyway...how are we supposed to view the early martyrs? As fools? Consider what happened. Christ said "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt v.44). Take for example the Anabaptist Dirk Willems in 1569. He was being pursued by a persecutor. The persecutor fell through the ice and was drowning. Dirk returned to him and lifted him out of the icy water. The persecutor then arrested him and he was subsequently killed. Would it have been justified for Dirk to continue to run away and leave the persecutor to drown, or even to give the drowning man a little push on the head to ensure he drowns and doesn't continue after the Anabaptist? Or, in light of Christ's clear teaching on how we, his disciples, are to act with our enemies, did he make the right choice? Christian pacifism is not an appeal to emotions. It's an appeal to follow Christ and his clear teaching and instruction. We must follow Christ. It's about loving your enemies as Christ taught us.