Vision & Accountability Team Archives
Members: Cheryl Martin (Chair), Frank Kandel (Vice-Chair) CoraLyn Turentine (CR1), Mark Stocksdale (CR2), Carol Bixler (CR3)
Pastoral Representatives: Brian Bither, Craig Oury
(For more records, consult the file cabinet upstairs across from the copy machine.)
There is much that we have in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ from other traditions, but there is also one way that we are notably different from most of them: we are thoroughly committed to nonviolence. We believe that God calls us to turn the other cheek, to forgive endlessly, and to love even our enemies. This means that we may never inflict violence on other human beings, participate in war, or make use of coercive threats, whether for just causes, self-defense, or any other reason.
However, our commitment to nonviolence should not serve as an excuse to withdraw from the world or to turn a blind eye to injustice. Instead, the Bible calls us neither to "repay evil for evil" nor to "be overcome by evil" but to "overcome evil with good." As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, the peace that we seek is not the absence of conflict but is the presence of justice. The Bible's name for this kind of peace is "shalom." Thus, we seek peace, but not with "the weapons of the world." Instead, we arm ourselves with truth, humility, and suffering love. Most importantly, because we too are imperfect and violent creatures, we constantly pray for the grace of God to help us in this calling.