I hold to a Christian pacifist position, that is that followers of Jesus are to be people who follow in the steps of Jesus who taught us to love our enemies, and when hit on one cheek to turn the other.
Jim Elliot is often touted by Christians as a great example, but it is little known that he embraced a Christian pacifist stance, and was going to file as a "conscientious objector," if a draft was put in place.
I have been well reminded lately that the power we have as Christians is neither in the ballot box nor by the sword, but by the word of God. Not to say we don't vote, or that many Christians don't take up "the sword" as police officers, or in the military, though I don't accept the latter option. But to say that we are to be people who live out and speak the word of God, the revelation of God that is in Jesus.
This is a word that speaks against the ways of this world, the way of violence, and instead is about taking the way of the cross. As Christians, regardless of where we stand in what ways Christians can participate in society, and specifically in the state, we ought to be known as people who are followers of the Way, in the sense of being known as working for peace in terms of righteousness, which can only be realized through the message of Jesus- the gospel: Jesus' redemptive work for us, in his life, death and resurrection which we will soon remember and celebrate.
How this is lived out can be misunderstood. Some think it means we have to let ourselves be rugs for others to walk on. But that is a misreading of Scripture, and misunderstanding of what Jesus brought and continues to bring through the Spirit in the church. We must be bold, but with a boldness that is of God's Spirit, not of the flesh; not of this world, but of the kingdom of God come in Jesus.
Just a few thoughts on this. A subject I've blogged about before, but has been in my mind some lately. What would you like to add to this? What objections might you raise to what I'm saying here?