Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nonviolence and Community Life: The Value of Accommodation

Another connection with regard to the value of accommodation for the stability of a society in which regular, serious ethical disagreement will (inevitably) occur (cf. Wong, Natural Moralities, p. 64).

I read this years ago online, and the sentence I've emphasized (in boldface) below has stuck in my head ever since: (This is from a Christian Century article on "Alternative Christian Communities" by Jason Byassee.

Something of a different animal from Reba is the Church of the Servant King in Eugene, Oregon. Many of its members are evangelicals who originally joined a parent congregation of the same name in 1978 in Gardena, California. The Eugene congregation was planted in 1987. Most of its key leaders have been living together in intentional community since the ‘78 founding.

Servant King started as an evangelical effort to live out scripture’s vision of the church. A commitment to nonviolence evolved slowly, partly as members read the works of Stanley Hauerwas, partly as they decided who would clean the bathrooms. Peace is not merely about a position on the war in Iraq; it is about how one relates to one’s neighbor, one’s spouse and one’s adversary in the community. Community leader Jon Stock points out that most intentional Christian communities that are not committed to nonviolence don’t survive, because when arguments erupt, someone has to win -- and the community loses. The Gardena congregation that planted Servant King has had such a rupture and is now on strained terms with its ecclesial offspring in Eugene.


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