I just read C.S. Lewis' essay "Why I'm Not a Pacifist" and I have to admit I do lean Lewis' way a bit. Here are a few quotes...
"[Abolishing war by Pacifism] consists in assuming that the great permanent miseries in human life must be curable if only we can find the right cure; and it then proceeds by elimination and concludes that whatever is left, however unlikely to prove a cure, must nevertheless do so. Hence the fanaticism of Marxists, Freudians, Eugenists, Spiritualists, Doublasites, Federal Unionists, Vegetarians, and all the rest. (pp. 44)" [Vegetarians?? lol...]
"If I am a Pacifist, I have Arthur and Aelfred, Elizabeth and Cromwell, Walpole and Burke, against me. I have my university, my school, and my parents against me. I have the literature of my country against me, and cannot even open my Beowulf, my Shakespeare, my Johnson, or my Wordsworth without being reproved (pp.45)...To be a Pacifist, I must part company with Homer and Virgil, with Plato and Aristotle, with Zarathustra and the Bhagavad-Gita, with Cicero and Montaigne, with Iceland and with Egypt. From this point of view, I am almost tempted to reply to the Pacifist as Johnson replied to Goldsmith, 'Nay Sir, if you will not take the universal opinion of mankind, I have no more to say.' (pp.46)"
"[Pacifism] It may spring from the belief that human history is a simple, unilinear movement from worse to better - what is called a belief in Progress - so that any given generation is always in all respects wiser than all previous generations. To those who believe thus, our ancestors are superseded and there seems nothing improbable in the claim that the whole world was wrong until the day before yesterday and now has suddenly become right. With such people I confess I cannot argue, for I do not share their basic assumption. (pp. 46)"
Discussing our Lord's words "turn the other cheek [Matthew 5:39]"
"[There are] three ways of of taking the command...One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances...
Two...the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientially hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view [This view would deny the authority of Scripture!]...
Three the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told...that is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me and my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands no absolute mortification of that desire (pp. 49)....if a homicidal maniac, attempting to murder a third party, tried to knock me out of the way, I must stand aside and let him get his victim?
...the best way of bringing up a child was to let it hit its parents whenever it was in a temper, or, when it had grabbed at the jam, to give it the honey also.
...I think the meaning of the words was perfectly clear - 'insofar as you are simply an angry man who has been hurt, mortify your anger and do not hit back.'
Indeed, as the audience were private people in a disarmed nation, it seems unlikely that they would have ever supposed Our Lord to be referring to war. War was not what they would have been thinking of. The frictions of daily life among villagers were more likely to be in their minds. (pp. 50)"
"St. Paul approves of the magistrates use of the sword (Romans 13:4) and so does St. Peter (1 Peter 2:14). (pp. 50-51)"
"For let us make no mistake. All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity, severally, is collected together in the life of a soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love. LIke the gallies, it imprisons you at close quarters with uncongenial companions. It threatens every temporal evil - every evil except dishonour and final perdition, and those who bear it like it no better than you would like it. (pp. 52)"
[Lewis, C.S. [Edited and introduction by Walter Hooper] The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses Revised and Expanded Edition. Collier Books: Macmillan Publishing Company; New York. 1980.]--> FYI...The hyperlink is a much newer version of this book.
Any thoughts...I'm still trying to work this out.
[Update: Okay after a nights rest I think I'm a pacifistic non-pacifist... Also, this position, I believe, in no way affects my teaching a young boy that hitting a bully back is not something that could be done in obedience to Christ. He must turn the other cheek.]