Nonviolence: Principles

Martin Luther King Jr. condensed the essence of nonviolence into the following six principles–principles which are still taught at the King Center in Atlanta.

PRINCIPLE ONE:  Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally. 

PRINCIPLE TWO:  Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The  purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.                                                                                                       
PRINCIPLE THREE:  Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.

PRINCIPLE FOUR:  Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.   

PRINCIPLE FIVE:  Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.  Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative. 

PRINCIPLE SIX:  Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.  Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice. 

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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