1 Corinthians 1:25 “The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom and the weakness of God is greater than man’s strength.”
This verse has come to life for me as I’ve read the first two of an historical novel series written by Janice L. Dyck. These books are set in Russia just before and during the revolution (1916-1920). What makes these particular novels hit me at a heart level is that they tell the story of the Mennonite people during this horrible time in history. I am Mennonite. Three of my four grandparents lived through that time and came to Canada in 1920 (paternal grandparents) and 1923 (maternal grandmother). One of the tenets of the Mennonite faith is pacifism. We have chosen not to bear arms. This does not make us wimps as some would like to believe. Personally, I believe it takes far more courage to believe and trust that God will vindicate and bring justice on unjust acts. It takes courage to let unscrupulous people come and pillage your home and take what they like without restraining them. It takes courage to not strike back when someone strikes you. It takes courage to look someone in the face who took part in destroying everything you hold dear and say, “I forgive you.”
The German army convinced many of the Mennonite people to take a stance of self-defence saying that it was not ‘wise’ for them to do otherwise. A rift occurred in the colonies as brother went against brother in their debate over what was considered ‘wise’. Many chose to put their faith in God rather than weapons, many died. Some chose to put their faith in weapons rather than God, many died. In fact, because of those who decided to ‘play at war’ many villages were pillaged more viciously. My mom told me the story of her mother’s village where her grandfather was head of the village. Their village decided not to take part in self-defence and is one of the few villages where no damage occurred and is, in fact, still standing. Where did man’s wisdom lead?
God’s foolishness says to love our enemies, pray for those that persecute us, forgive. He commanded us, “Thou shalt not kill.” If this is God’s foolishness, how then should I live?
(The books I speak of are, “The Calm Before the Storm” and “In the Eye of the Storm” the third in the series is now available but I don’t know the title.)