Being a peacemaker in a time of war

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9

th-72Want to be a child of God? Be a maker of peace. Bring people together. Join in conversations that unite and heal, not those that divide. Think before you speak: Is what I’m about to say going to build someone up or tear someone down? Is what I’m about to do going to bring people together or push them apart? Is it constructive or destructive?

This is an election year, and people always get mean during election year. Politics is the hot topic right now. It’s pretty much a given that you will talk about politics in some form to someone today, and that conversation will most likely be contentious in nature. Either you’re going to disagree and bash each other or each other’s party or candidate, or you will agree and bash everyone else.

Politics is war. To a certain extent, it’s the nature of the beast (and it is a beast). We have two parties so we can organize our battles.

No party is the answer.
No candidate is the answer.
No political solution is the answer.
Jesus is the answer.
And, short of Jesus, cooperation — not separation — is the way to get things done.
Love, unity, and respect are what we want to foster.

I’ve been to two city council meetings this year and every meeting begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Just as we did in grade school, we stand up, put our hands over our hearts and repeat, as with one voice, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible…” stop there. That’s the way this works. We are Americans before we are Republicans or Democrats. Look at the words: “united”… “one”… “indivisible.”

Old-school politicians operate this way. They represent different perspectives — they disagree — and they may have gotten elected over those disagreements, but once in office, they are public servants, figuring out a way to get things done, and they do that with respect for those who disagree. At least that’s the way they used to be. Now politicians have a tendency to be Republicans and Democrats before they are Americans, and they keep emphasizing their differences in office, because they want to be elected again and nothing fuels the fire and gets people out to vote like a good fight.

And Christians are playing right into this strategy. Christians today are not known for being peacemakers in the community; sadly, they are generally known for being quite the opposite. They are known for being mad. Is it any wonder that the politician who is the most angry right now, is the one with the most Christian supporters behind him, even when he and his policies are way off the mark as concerning things that are important to Jesus?

This is why I wrote about my friend, Wayne, yesterday. He’s a pastor, known in his city for bringing people together. He was noted for “improving relationships between churches and government, between the sheriff’s and police departments, and between pastors on the west and east sides of town.” He’s a Christian who is a unifier — a peacemaker.

Whatever you can do, even in the smallest way, to contribute to a spirit of civility and good will is good for your country and good for the kingdom of God. Don’t stoop to making enemies. That’s too easy. Be a peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9

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6 Responses to Being a peacemaker in a time of war

  1. David says:

    Thanks for reminding us that Jesus was a peacemaker, not a polarizer. Even though peacemaking takes way more thought, and a lot more energy, let us follow His example!

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Dear Pastor John again I maybe wrong I hope I can be a big enough man to admit when I am and I’m pretty sure in the near future, I’ll be wrong again. With that in mind let me plz comment on this, which I believe is a great myth:

    “Old-school politicians operate this way. They represent different perspectives — they disagree — and they may have gotten elected over those disagreements, but once in office, they are public servants, figuring out a way to get things done, and they do that with respect for those who disagree. At least that’s the way they used to be. Now politicians have a tendency to be Republicans and Democrats before they are Americans, and they keep emphasizing their differences in office, because they want to be elected again and nothing fuels the fire and gets people out to vote like a good fight.”

    Please consider reading a few books, one like David Mucllum: where he wrote about the great rift that dived John Adams (our 2nd President) and Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd one) then reading about how nasty many others have been.

    I believer your 100% correct in the peace maker comments, but dead wrong in your analyst of our American history in politics… 🙂

    • jwfisch says:

      Yes, of course there have been bitter fights going on all throughout history. I’m speaking “old” as in my lifetime. I can remember a lot more respect, civility and cooperation going on when I was much younger than there is now. A lot more friendships across the aisle. Even good-natured fun.

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Pastor John can you please, petty plz look into why I no-longer receive an email when someone leaves a comments to me or on this blog, I’ll thank-you in advance if you can do that…
        PS Of course everyone likes to believe and think this ‘good-ol’ day’ myth – if your looking for any thing that is what fills your eyes & mind.. I’ll try a bit more this time to be more polite in suggesting to consider either guarding better what you’re allowing in your mind or maybe even think about watching C-Span. Instead off reading or watching bad News everyday – As I was challenged years ago to think about and consider how does this make my life better and more Godly? If it doesn’t make my life better, or more Godly… Then why allow it to be in my mind? Just to be informed and now what to pray about.. a Mark’s paraphrase of the very well written book by Norman Vincent Peal (sp?) yet I do know and understand how many Evangelical Preachers & Pastor reject him out-of hand, Now I don’t know if I should include you in that crowd… Yet could be wrong, I’ve been before and sure I’ll be again, yet don’t recall to much positive thinking coming from Newspapers, OR TV News. Especially regarding politics!

  3. TimC says:

    1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

    Ecclesiates 3
    1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    2 a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    6 a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    8 a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

    Matthew 21:12
    Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

    Mark 15:3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

    Sometimes you have to give, sometimes you have to take a stand. I don’t know.

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