Friday, April 11, 2008
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” Matthew 5.9
It may come as no surprise that I am not a pacifist. I believe that there are situations in which a man must defend his family and his own person using violence, if necessary. I believe that the failed policy of banning hand guns has proven only to escalate violence and I am interested in giving an armed citizenry a shot to see if that would diminish crime. (Though I am not absolutely sure this will work in lowering crime). Ironically, Colt named one of it’s most famous side arms the Peacemaker.
So how can I consider myself a peacemaker?
Matthew Henry in his commentary tells us that the idea of being a peace maker consists of 2 things. The first being in a consistant habit of both loving peace and making peace, to have a disposition of peace about yourself. The second is to bring peaceful reconciliation between parties in conflict. While we might be tempted to think generally of warfare’s cessation here, this is primarily an interpersonal word. He writes, “The making of peace is sometimes a thankless office, and it is the lot of him who parts a fray, to have blows on both sides…”*
This makes perfect sense to me. I am a “son of God” when I am reconciling because my God and Father is the reconciler of men. Why then , do we allow this passage to be ripped from it’s contextual moorings and thrown into the face of the church as if it were some great command for pacifism? Have we become so distant from the sacred text that we let the truth that it proclaims be slighted and maligned without comment?
Every Christian should determine the exact circumstances under which he or she might be provoked to use violence. Certainly that is a challenging subject in a hostile world. But this understanding of the text reinforces the teaching of Paul to the Corinthians, where he insists that the call of those in the sacred service of his majesty Jesus is to reconcile . As reconcilers, we bring men and women together in the restoration of marriages, we bring men together who are at odds with one another, and we bring mankind toward the loving God- who sent his Son to be our reconciler.
So what circumstance would make you act violently? As a Christian, what are the boundaries of your violence?
*(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
Posted by Pastor Dave at 12:54 AM