The older language in which the theme of “conformity to this world” was stated in Bible times had to do with “idols,” with those unworthy objects of devotion to whom men in their blindness sacrificed. Thus it is quite fitting to describe the use of violence as the outworking of an idolatry. If I take the life of another, I am saying that I am devoted to another value, one other than the neighbor himself, and other than Jesus Christ Himself, to which I sacrifice my neighbor. I have thereby made a given nation, social philosophy, or party my idol. To it I am ready to sacrifice not only something of my own, but also the lives of my fellow human beings for whom Christ gave His life.
In the deep nonconformity of mind to which the gospel calls us, we can not accept the analysis according to which one kind of action (suffering servanthood) is right from the point of view of revelation, but some other pattern is equally right from the practical perspective. This ultimately denies the lordship of Christ and shuts Him up in the monastery or the heart. There is clearly a double standard in the world, but it is not between discipleship and common sense; it is between obedience and rebellion.
~ John Howard Yoder, The Original Revolution, 174-75.