Why non-violence works

ABRAHAM Lincoln was once talking with a woman during the American Civil War about all men being brothers.
She disagreed with him, and said that she felt that Lincoln should destroy his enemies.
Lincoln replied: “What, madam? Do I not destroy them when I make them my friends?’’
Lincoln was not just morally right. He was exhibiting good science and good sense.
He perhaps knew instinctively that non violence is more effective in bringing about lasting social change .
A study found that non-violent resistance is actually about twice as effective as violence.
Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth analyzed 323 resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006 and found that major nonviolent campaigns had achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns.
The study sheds light on why terrorism has been largely unsuccessful.


10 thoughts on “Why non-violence works

  1. You can get a high rate with success with violence and control of mainstream media. Nothing like a false flag to help create bogey men.


  2. Jesus was a master of non-violent resistance. He didn’t avoid or run away from oppression. He stood in its way and was eventually killed for it.
    When threatened, rather than fighting back he told his followers to put down their swords.
    A key non-negotiable component of Jesus’ gospel is to reach out to the excluded, the poor and the victims of injustice. And to protest injustice.


      • Strewth, if a rapist were to break into your house and threaten one of your children and you have the capacity to stop him but it would mean that you could possibly kill him. Would you do it?


      • Having said that, I agree with your post. I just think it is not easy. I’m talking in terms of protection and self defence, not war or revenge..


      • I don’t know how I would react, Kathleen. I can’t imagine it. I know how I’d like to react, having been in a very threatening circumstance once. On that occasion I felt guided. I felt a calm around me that I was able to project to this stranger. I was able to gently remove his hands from my throat, say ‘goodnight ‘ , and walk away. I guess he was too stunned to react. 🙂


      • Well, there you go. You answered my question, and maybe my question to God.


    • “If we give you a pistol, will you fight for the Lord?”
      “You can’t kill the devil with a gun or a sword.”

      The testimony below was presented in 1660 to King Charles. Times are different now, but some things don’t change.

      “Our principle is, and our Practice have always been, to seek peace and ensue it and to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God, seeking the good and welfare and doing that which tends to the peace of all. We know that wars and fightings proceed from the lusts of men (as Jas. iv. 1-3), out of which lusts the Lord hath redeemed us, and so out of the occasion of war. The occasion of which war, and war itself (wherein envious men, who are lovers of themselves more than lovers of God, lust, kill, and desire to have men’s lives or estates) ariseth from the lust. All bloody principles and practices, we, as to our own particulars, do utterly deny, with all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.

      And whereas it is objected:

      ‘But although you now say that you cannot fight nor take up arms at all, yet if the spirit do move you, then you will change your principle, and then you will sell your coat and buy a sword and fight for the kingdom of Christ.’


      As for this we say to you that Christ said to Peter, ‘Put up thy sword in his place’; though he had said before that he that had no sword might sell his coat and buy one (to the fulfilling of the scripture), yet after, when he had bid him put it up, he said, ‘He that taketh the sword shall perish with the sword.’ And further, Christ said to Peter, ‘Thinkest thou, that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?’ And this might satisfy Peter, after he had put up his sword, when he said to him that he took it, should perish by it, which satisfieth us. (Luke xxii,36; Matt. xxvi.51- 53). And in the Revelation it’s said, ‘He that kills with the sword shall perish with the sword: and here is the faith and the patience of the saints.’ (Rev. xiii.10). And so Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, therefore do not his servants fight, as he told Pilate, the magistrate who crucified him. And did they not look upon Christ as a raiser of sedition? And did not he say, ‘Forgive them’? But thus it is that we are numbered amongst fighters, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

      That the spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world.


      Because the kingdom of Christ God will exalt, according to the promise, and cause it to grow and flourish in righteousness. ‘Not by might, nor by power [of outward sword], but by my spirit, said the Lord.’ (Zech.iv.6) SO those that use any weapon to fight for Christ, or for the establishing of his kingdom or government, both the spirit, principle and practice in that we deny.


      And as for the kingdoms of this world, we cannot covet them, much less can we fight for them, but we do earnestly desire and wait, that by the Word of God’s power and its effectual operation in the hearts of men, the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ, that he may rule and reign in men by his spirit and truth, that thereby all people, out of all different judgements and professions may be brought into love and unity with God, and one with another, and that they may all come to witness the prophet’s words who said, ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Isa.ii.4; Mic.iv.3)

      So, we whom the Lord hath called into the obedience of his Truth have denied wars and fightings and cannot again any more learn it. This is a certain testimony unto all the world of the truth of our hearts in this particular, that as God persuadeth every man’s heart to believe, so they may receive it. For we have not, as some others, gone about cunningly with devised fables, nor have we ever denied in practice what we have professed in principle, but in sincerity and truth and by the word of God have we laboured to be made manifest unto all men, that both we and our ways might be witnessed in the hearts of all people.

      And whereas all manner of evil hath been falsely spoken of us, we hereby speak forth the plain truth of our hearts, to take away the occasion of that offence, that so we being innocent may not suffer for other men’s offences, nor be made a prey upon by the wills of men for that of which we were never guilty; but in the uprightness of our hearts we may, under the power ordained of God for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of them that do well, live a peaceable and godly life in all godliness and honesty. For although we have always suffered. and do now more abundantly suffer, yet we know that it’s for righteousness’ sake; ‘for all our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our consciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world’ (2 Cor.i.12), which for us is a witness for the convincing of our enemies. For this we can say to the whole world, we have wronged no man’s person or possessions, we have used no force nor violence against any man, we have been found in no plots, nor guilty of sedition. When we have been wronged, we have not sought to revenge ourselves, we have not made resistance against authority, but wherein we could not obey for conscience’ sake, we have suffered even the most of any people in the nation. We have been accounted as sheep for the slaughter, persecuted and despised, beaten, stoned, wounded, stocked, whipped, imprisoned, haled out of synagogues, cast into dungeons and noisome vaults where many have died in bonds, shut up from our friends, denied needful sustenance for many days together, with other like cruelties.

      And the cause of all this our sufferings is not for any evil, but for things relating to the worship of our God in obedience to his requirings of us. For which cause we shall freely give up our bodies a sacrifice, rather than disobey the Lord. For we know, as the Lord hath kept us innocent, so he will plead our cause, when there is none in the earth to plead it. So we, in obedience to his truth, do not love our lives unto the death, that we may do his will, and wrong no man in our generation, but seek the good and peace of all men. And he that hath commanded us that we shall not swear at all (Matt. v.34), hath also commanded us that we shall not kill (Matt. v.21), so that we can neither kill men, nor swear for or against them. And this is both our principle and practice, and hath been from the beginning, so that if we suffer, as suspected to take up arms or make war against any, it is without ground from us; for it neither is, nor ever was in our hearts, since we owned the truth of God; neither shall we ever do it, because it is contrary to the spirit of Christ, his doctrine, and the practice of his apostles, even contrary to him for whom we suffer all things, and endure all things.

      And whereas men come against us with clubs, staves, drawn swords, pistols cocked, and do beat, cut, and abuse us, yet we never resisted them, but to them our hair, backs and cheeks have been ready. It is not an honour to manhood nor to nobility to run upon harmless people who lift not up a hand against them, with arms and weapons.

      Therefore consider these things ye men of understanding; for plotters, raisers of insurrections, tumultuous ones, and fighters, running with swords, clubs, staves and pistols one against another, we say, these are of the world and hath its foundation from this unrighteous world, from the foundation of which the Lamb hath been slain, which Lamb hath redeemed us from the unrighteous world, and we are not of it, but are heirs of a world in which there is no end and of a kingdom where no corruptible thing enters. And our weapons are spiritual and not carnal, yet mighty through God to the plucking down of the strongholds of Satan, who is author of wars, fighting, murder, and plots. And our swords are broken until ploughshares and spears into pruning; hooks, as prophesied of in Micah iv. Therefore we cannot learn war any more, neither rise up against nation or kingdom with outward weapons, though you have numbered us among the transgressors and plotters. The Lord knows our innocency herein, and will plead our cause with all men and people upon earth at the day of their judgement, when all men shall have a reward according to their works …

      O friends offend not the Lord and his little ones, neither afflict his people, but consider and be moderate, and do not run hastily into things, but mind and consider mercy, justice, and judgement; that is the way for you to prosper and get the favour of the Lord. Our meetings were stopped and broken up in the days of Oliver, in pretence of plotting against him; and in the days of the Parliament and Committee of Safety we were looked upon as plotters to bring in King Charles, and now we are called plotters against King Charles. Oh, that men should lose their reason and go contrary to their own conscience, knowing that we have suffered all things and have been accounted plotters all along, though we have declared against them both by word of mouth and printing, and are clear from any such things. We have suffered all along because we would not take up carnal weapons to fight withal against any, and are thus made a prey upon because we are the innocent lambs of Christ and cannot avenge ourselves. These things are left upon your hearts to consider, but we are out of all those things in the patience of the saints, and we know that as Christ said, ‘He that takes the sword, shall perish with the sword.’ (Matt. xxvi.52; Rev.xiii.10) “


  3. And yet… the Bible says that:
    – Government is the minister of God bearing a sword indicating that violence does have its place (see Romans 13).
    – God will one day eradicate sinners in the most violent Holocaust the world has ever seen (See Revelation 20).
    – Let mercy be showed to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of the uprightness will he do wickedly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Isa. 26:10

    So the definition of violence is dependent on ideas of justice. The reason why we as Christians should not commit violence is that the New Testament has not given us the mandate to execute God’s justice on the wicked. This is not the same mandate of politicians and political leaders who are operating from a non-Christian platform.

    And all the Old Testament commands by God to engage in violence, were always in the context of executing justice upon the impenitent and the wicked.

    It is interesting that king David, who was recognised as a warrior, was more interested in being recognised as a religious person than as a mighty warrior (which he was). But what did the Lord say when David wanted to build the temple? David was not permitted to build the temple because he was a man of war, because he’d shed blood.

    It is also interesting that when soldiers came to be baptised by John the Baptist, he told them to do no violence to anyone, as a condition of baptism. How one can still function as a soldier and not continue violence is anyone’s guess.


  4. How can this report not shock and fill us with terror—those of us who have much-loved little children in our families?

    “Boys aged FIVE are quizzed over rape: 200 under-10s accused of sex crimes, including girls as young as six, with NSPCC blaming relentless rise of online porn.”

    This is one of the greatest travesties of our times, believing that censorship is somehow evil and against our inalienable rights. Wake up to reality folks, this is the f***** up world we now live in and have helped to create. Give ourselves a pat on the back.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s