CHAPTER ONE: Peace Makers
The followers of Jesus have been called to peace. When he called them they found their peace, for he is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult. Now, PEACEMAKING is a divine work. For peace means reconciliation; and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation. … It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the particular blessing which attaches to peacemakers is that "they shall be called sons of God." For they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with his love. 1.1
Who are the Peace Makers
Being a peacemaker is part of being surrendered to God, for God brings peace. We abandon the effort to get our needs met through the destruction of enemies. God comes to us in Christ to make peace with us; and we participate in God's grace as we go to our enemies to make peace. For no one has ever been converted by violence. Making peace makes us God's children—and kin to each other. According to Michael H. Crosby, in his work ‘Spirituality of the Beatitudes’. The peace intended is not merely that of political and economic stability, as in the Greco-Roman world, but peace in the Old Testament inclusive sense of wholeness, all that constitutes well-being. … The "peacemakers," therefore, are not simply those who bring peace between two conflicting parties, but those actively at work making peace, bringing about wholeness and well-being among the alienated. However, they play a vital role by their impact by creating peace where violence has taken control. It is important to note that peacemakers are honoured insofar as they speak about peace as something already victoriously won that we can celebrate as part of our glorious past or as something that will be won in the other world. They continue to be dishonoured insofar as they continue to point out injustice, hypocrisy, and suffering. They are noble when their actions bring to light, problems far away from us; they are an odious nuisance when they point out our own sins. We are called peacemakers as Christians by our ways of life. However, in our reflection, it’s interesting to point out that, none of those theologians seem to give much thought to how one deal with evil. Are we supposed to give in and allow violent, evil people to make slaves of us all? That would be the result of peace making at any cost. Hitler and his people would be ruling the world today, people would be evaluated according to their mental and physical abilities and those who are for whatever reason unable to participate and contribute would end up in concentration camps. Muslim extremists are not all that different; a good example is the recent religious crisis in Jos Plateau state. Perhaps Mr. Bush and his people were wrong for starting the war and as he himself has said, we might never know the answer but evil and injustice must be fought against with every thing we have. Jesus commanded us to do good and that includes putting down evil action. As long as there are violent self-serving leaders in charge of underdeveloped countries there is nothing we can do. The poor will ever benefit from our charity. 1.2
The Cry of the Beatitudes: Get a New Heart
One after the other the beatitudes tell us that the blessings of eternity will be given only to those who have become new creatures. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. If we don't obtain mercy, we receive judgment. If we don't see God, we are not in heaven. If we aren't called the sons of God, we are outside the family. In other words these are all descriptions of final salvation. And it is promised only to the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. Therefore the beatitudes are like long spikes holding down the lid of the coffin on the false teaching...
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