"Jesus did not come to rule, force, judge..."

We had a campfire last night with the teens and discussed the election and our participation in government. Talked a little about early Anabaptist history, how they were persecuted. And I read this passage from an Anabaptist pamphlet, written in 1528:

Those who think they possess their goods want the government to protect them. They think it necessary to use force to keep peace, to protect their own possessions and the possessions of others. In fact, all use of force comes from the possession of property. From the holding of property comes all government and force in the world. But the communities of Christ are not based on the holding of property, but on Christ.

...God only permits, he does not promote the use of worldly force. The use of force does not come from that which is good, but from that which is evil, and God only tolerates it out of necessity. God knows that if he would take the use of ungodly force out of the world, society would become totally chaotic. So, for the good of his children who must also live in the world, he lets it go.

For the sake of peace among the rebellious children of Israel, God gave the sword to Moses, to enforce his laws. Joshua, David and others were given the sword for the same reason—to keep an outward, temporary peace among unconverted men. But Christ and his followers have another calling. Christ does not bring the peace of Moses, nor an outward peace of the flesh. Rather, he calls his followers to have peace one with another and says: "I give you peace. I leave it with you, not as the world gives" (John 14)...

The Lord Most High, Christ Jesus, did not come to rule, force, judge, accuse, or have anyone accused before him. Rather he came to serve, and to allow himself to be ruled over, forced, accused, judged, condemned and mistreated. He is the mirror into which we must look if we want to see whether we resemble Christ or not. If we would do so, the question of whether we should take part in worldly government would soon be resolved!

That's quoted in Peter Hoover's The Secret of the Strength. We also talked about more recent Mennonite thought on political involvement, which they are more familiar with. But I wanted them to get a little exposure to their radical roots (which I think are much better than what we see now).