For much of my life I've seen Jesus through "Republican Party lenses." I thought of Jesus as caring for the unborn, but not caring much for the poor. I saw Jesus condemning sexual sin, but didn't see his warnings to the wealthy. I understood Jesus to be in favor of self-defense, but didn't think much of his teachings about peace.
I'm slowly learning that Jesus was and is far too complex and interesting to be claimed by any one political party. One way that Jesus is un-American (and neither Republican or Democratic) is that he cares a great deal about peace. His teachings all point toward loving service of others, whether they be his followers or not. He never suggests that we use violence to solve problems. My desire is that I become more like this.
I've reached a point of what I'll call limited pacifism. In my dealings with the world in general I plan on living peacefully. I'll not take up arms for any sort of political reason; I could never serve in the military.
The one place I'd still use limited violence is in defending others (especially family). My hope is that I'm never placed in this situation. I'll exhaust all other options before resorting to any sort of force.
I encourage you to look at this issue with me. I'm new to it. If you have thought about these issues in depth, then I cherish your input.
As we look at the life of Christ, we must understand that there are certain things he did to fulfill the OT law. For example, he kept the Sabbath and celebrated the festivals. These are not things we need to do. However, Jesus also gave us many examples to live by that meld with his teachings. One of these is his emphasis on peace.
In Matthew 5:9, toward the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
Let us be people of peace.