All of sudden, peacefulness was shattered. in heaven and on earth and under the earth, God himself will be with them. Get updates from Mark D. Roberts delivered straight to your inbox, Seeking the Peace of Christ or, at least, we Christians have complicated what was meant to be simple. Sun. When two sides in a war come together and sign a treaty, then peace has been achieved. When we act on our passions, we tend to have more energy and “stick-to-itiveness.” My only word of warning is that sometimes people who are passionate about an issue can have such strong emotions that they don’t think clearly about it. Under the present conditions, an international church conference will undeniably have a full agenda. How can you be a peacemaker in your church? But, you and I are called to be peacemakers within our churches, to preserve the unity and seek the wholeness of Christian community. After first showing that the death of Christ leads to our personal salvation (Eph 2:4-10), Ephesians 2 goes on to explore the corporate implications of the cross, focusing on the fundamental division between Jews and Gentiles. And this doctrine, which confines war within man, is the only one able to bring peace to the nations.”. I also believe that one result of this peace is deep, inner tranquility and a sense of well-being, the of God “which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). Reckless nationalism had to be replaced by Christian brotherhood. Although Evangelical churchmen from both sides, from Germany, England, and other countries, had assembled for three days in Bern in 191523, together with representatives from neutral countries, the efforts to bring about the great international church council in Oslo were unsuccessful. They share intimate fellowship with each other, naked in body and soul, completely without shame (Gen 2:25). Upon the occasion of Jesus’s birth, angels filled the sky with praise to God. Jesus’ birth was only a prerequisite to his final peacemaking effort, something we celebrate during Holy Week, not during Christmas. Adam and Even were kicked out of their paradise. But all too often well-intentioned people think about all the good they could do in the world without lifting a finger to make a real difference. If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners. How else would he learn how to forgive? Adolph von Harnack (1851-1930), German Protestant theologian. I had already warned in a sermon against possible Pharisaism in neutral countries, but Providence could not be praised too highly for having saved the three Scandinavian countries from the deluge, even though it had not spared them the pain of witnessing it. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (Jn. In fact, I can still remember a young Norwegian churchman, a Swede, and a Dane composing in my library the brilliant sentences which have remained the tenets of the ecumenical revival. Nevertheless, our meetings have extensively clarified the differences between us and manifested better than we had dared to hope the essential spiritual and religious unity within the whole Evangelical church. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Frances’s stepmother came between her and her father, causing deep hurt to the girl. Before us lay an exquisite sight. I just couldn’t escape from the grip of fear. Yet, as I thought and prayed about what to do, it seemed right to humble myself enough to apologize to Nathan and admit my error. May I here also cite what A. F. Ozanam wrote eighty years ago in La Civilisation au cinquième siècle48: “It is often good to humble men, but never to drive them to despair. Jesus promised to give his followers supernatural peace: I’m leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. I have seen Paradise . From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against – or the other way around. Bernt Støylen (1858-1937), bishop of Kristiansand, Norway. We share in this story both because Adam and Eve are our spiritual ancestors and because we mirror their behavior in our own lives. Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. But the growing ones, the young to whom new gods are to be given, new ideas, new dreams, new tasks – the youth that is to build a new world? They felt the need to hide from one another and from themselves. What does the Bible say about political correctness? This is the first part of a series I’m calling: First, theologically conservative American Christians (like me) have tended to think of Christ’s peace mainly if not exclusively in terms of personal peace with God and the inner peace that follows from this divine relationship. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! Becoming a Peacemaker: Some Practical Advice, Once again I want to address a very practical question, the kind of query I get from people who want to take God’s truth and live it out in their daily lives. When a husband and a wife choose forgiveness over bitterness, or a person of power chooses the way of servanthood, you taste a morsel of the messianic banquet yet to come. But if a body does not possess a soul, it differs little from a machine. When it comes to the matter of Christianity, peace, and peacemaking, we encounter several perplexing problems. When I come home from work, after a day of exercising humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness in my work life, I’m worn out. But this doesn’t mean she should simply stick around and take the abuse. Finally, the biblical picture of peace yet to come binds us together with other Christians in a fellowship of hope. This word is usually translated as “righteousness,” referring not only to doing morally correct deeds, but also to living rightly in relationship with others. Though I didn’t receive any reassurance about my family’s financial situation, I felt utterly, uniquely, supernaturally peaceful. While the world lives in fear, Christians must look to the peace and power … 1 Corinthians 13: 1–13 When he was created, Adam was told by the Lord that he could enjoy the fruit of all the trees in paradise, save one. To these mistaken folk Jesus said. No question about it. To quote from the Apostle Paul once again: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:13). The British association mentioned earlier, which was campaigning for a united Christian testimony, inquired whether such a conference could not be arranged in the neutral North. In March 1938, Germany absorbed Austria under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Finally, as the ultimate demonstration of what sin has destroyed, God banished Adam and Even from paradise. Religion has a definite role to play in people's search for world peace. Filled with anguish, we asked ourselves whether the church, which had been called the Prince of Peace, had fulfilled its duty. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Fourth, we bring God’s peace to the world by seeking his righteousness and justice. 40. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist and religious philosopher; defended Jansenism. Some Jews believed that, if he were the Messiah, Jesus would usher in a season of painless prosperity. Mikael Skjelderup Hertzberg (1874-1927), clergyman and author of several religious books. Will the obligation of the church to peace then be investigated more profoundly and more generally? taking the form of a slave, In addition, however, there are some purely practical tasks such as the exchange of help and research, and the collection and processing of material. As a young adult, Frances became chronically ill. Like a river glorious, Is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, In its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth, Fuller ev’ry day; Perfect, yet it groweth, Deeper all the way. A French newspaper commented on the lofty thoughts that dwell behind his Goethe-like brow. It’s not all that demanding to tell others, especially if they’re geographically far away from us, what they need to do to live in peace. It was the present Archbishop of Canterbury36 who expressed the principle of our peace work during the war: “God can never be an Ally, only the Supreme Lord., Bishop Woods, who has been the deputy for Canterbury since 1920, continues the great tradition of social concern connected with such Anglican names as Maurice, Kingsley, Westcott, Lightfoot, Scott Holland, and Gore37. Don’t think too highly of yourself, but consider others better than yourself (Phil 2:3). Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Unlike some philosophies and religions, we do not believe that suffering is essence of material existence. Quietness and confidence will fill the land forever (Isa 32:15-17, NLT). This appeal, however, was received with suspicion, scorn, and resistance – understandable in view of the circumstances. Jack would make an appointment to see me. The Pope spoke more than once in a way which did express the reaction and desire of the Christian conscience. God of peace, During this season of Advent, we watch for your coming reign of peace. If efforts toward peace are to get anywhere, they must be more realistic than in the past. As we have seen, the duty of the church toward the cause of peace includes three essential tasks: (1) To inculcate the spirit of fraternity and truth into the heart of mankind. Robert Cecil (1864-1958), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1937. If you are struggling with doubt or worry, I’ll bet that your mind is focused somewhere else, probably on yourself and your problems. This is the mission of the Institute. Every existing legal system is incomplete, requiring for its completion the development of moral consciousness. Violence, crime, poverty, injustice – all were common in “the neighborhood.” They sought God’s. They reveal God’s intentions for how we are to live. It means that, no matter how much you enjoy peace with God and within your own heart, you must also pursue the corporate aspects of shalom. Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948), governor of New York (1907-1910), secretary of state (1921-1925), chiefjustice of U. S. Supreme Court (1930-1941). Solving Human Problems through Transforming Human Attitudes But he represents only a part of Christianity. I shall exclude those in the North, and mention Jonkheer van Karnebeek, Gustave Ador, Chuard, Frank B. Kellogg, Herbert Hoover, Charles Evans Hughes, Lord Robert Cecil (Viscount of Chelwood), Ramsay MacDonald, Lord Parmoor, Hans Luther, Walter Simons, Paul von Hindenburg, Curtius, Thomas Masaryk, Benei, Aristide Briand, Gaston Doumergue, and Albert Thomas. Harald Ostenfeld (1864-1934), bishop of Själland (1911-1934). Gustave Ador (1845-1928), Swiss statesman, member of National Council (from 1889), president of Swiss Confederation (1919). In a nutshell, we’re to live in peace. You may hear the Spirit’s voice as you reflect upon what the Spirit has already said in the Bible. In my experience in a mainline denomination, so-called peacemaking often goes hand in hand with vigorous, partisan criticism of the United States. When the serpent enticed the woman to eat some of the forbidden fruit, she disobeyed God’s command and was joined by her husband in an illicit feast (Gen 3:6). That doesn’t invalidate what I’m about to say, however, because my advice comes from the Scripture, not from my own inconsistent experience. A Life and Work conference held in August, 1920, to prepare for the proposed international Christian conference; Söderblom was the outstanding figure at the session. Is it true that everything happens for a reason? It will not be achieved, but all Christians must make the effort. Weapons have lost their splendor and fascination; human bankruptcy is complete; people are tired, worn out, only glad to have escaped death-humanity lays down its arms. It would have been so much easier just to move on in the hope that we could forget the whole incident. Thus we live outside of God’s paradise. I am discussing the global dimension of peacemaking after the ecclesial and familial, not because the global is less important, but because we can hardly commend the peace of Christ to the world if our primary relationships are fractured and contentious. As sickness dominated his body, Wesley knew that he would soon die. 1. Rather, it’s a result of relationship with the living God, a God who cannot be put into a neat little box. As war between Germany and Czechoslovakia seemed imminent, the Czechs looked to their allies, France and Great Britain, for help. More importantly, I was beginning to teach Nathan how to be a person who admits his mistakes and who forgives others. Without entering the political arena, the Christian Church must assert itself as the indomitable prophet and interpreter here on earth of the moral Law, which is imposed on national communities just as it is on individual consciences…, Let us follow the example of the first disciples and send forth messengers two by two from Stockholm to the cities and the towns, announcing like the prophet43: ‘Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ Without national and international repentance, our civilization will perish!”. We can still hear the death rattle of our wounded friends. But individual Christian communities are sometimes quite fragile. How else would he learn how to admit his own mistakes? It is my belief that “leaving ourselves in peace” with our self-conceit and evil passions does not lead to real peace. He came to bring peace, not only between God and people, but also among people. After countless setbacks and difficulties, and after the unfortunate failure of the labor movement’s efforts to bring about a common meeting, responsible patriots eventually managed to assemble in 1919 at Oud Wassenaar near The Hague for the first time since the World War24. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Church unity is not something you can take for granted, but it is something to be sought with vigorous effort. Bishop Bernt Støylen attended and reached our very hearts when speaking in Uppsala Cathedral. “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. This was proposed at the first meeting of the League of Nations Assembly after consultations between their two governments and Denmark’s. I felt so much better! Christianity and Peacemaking. It would be a great error to think of the social dimensions of peace as simply whitewashing social evil in a grand attempt to “make nice.” It’s all too easy for us to confuse peacemaking with “nice-making.” This was also true in Jesus’ own day. God’s grace enables us to forgive, genuinely and fully, what we could never do on our own. I know lots of people who would readily agree: the mom with young children who cherishes those rare moments when her kids are asleep and the house is quiet; the harried manager who takes an extra minute in the stillness of his car just to calm his soul after work; the high school student whose jammed schedule allows no time for sleep. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. I would like to quote now the three main points of the proclamation issued at the Uppsala meeting in December, 1917. The patriarch of Constantinople carries out the duties of his presidency in the Ecumenical Council through his deputy, the metropolitan of Thyateira32, who lives in London. Willoughby Hyett Dickinson, Baron of Painswick (1859-1943), member of Parliament; in 1931 he was elected chairman of the International Council, an important agency of the World Alliance. Then there are folks who find themselves in heartbreaking conflicts with family or friends. He will no longer be separated from us because of sin. Does the Bible glorify violence? Compassion is the pillar of world peace; 3. Help us!” In that moment I sensed God’s lavish, comforting presence as I had never known it before. Peace, intimate fellowship, righteousness, justice, these interrelated qualities characterize God’s perfect paradise. Other Norwegian representatives were the present Bishop Eivind Berggrav, Dean C. Hansteen, Secretary General Piene, and the present Parson Thvedt8. Our individual experience of God’s peace depends, to a great extent, upon our participation in the community of God’s people. Perhaps no term better describes God’s perfect paradise than “peaceful,” a world full of wholeness, righteousness, justice, and prosperity. I prayed today in the Capella Johannea, belonging to the Church of the Priests, which he founded. I remember a time when an elder named Tim helped the leaders of Irvine Presbyterian Church resolve a contentious discussion about worship. Through Tom, I realized that I had truncated biblical peace to fit my own values, needs, and preconceptions. Jens G. Gleditsch (1860-1931), dean of the Cathedral in Oslo in 1917, bishop of Trondheim(1923-1928). (Phil 4:6-7). Yet Prime Minister Chamberlain was so eager to avoid war that he caved in to Hitler’s demands. Rather, turn your heart to the Lord. The second problem with peace is that we who speak English tend to think of peace in negative terms, as the absence of war or other kinds of conflict. Third, we extend divine peace into the world by living peaceably each day: “Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible” (Rom 12:18). We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.” Our Lord Jesus Christ said in the Gospel of Matthew, “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ Bishop Otto Jensen, Professor Morgenstierne, and Parson Eugene Hanssen7 were among those Norwegians who could not come but who declared their support. The Bishop of Oslo wrote that, if Oslo were chosen, “I will do everything in my power to arrange the meeting in the most suitable way.” He further testified to the warm interest of the King of Norway and the Prime Minister22 in an ecclesiastical world conference. All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end (Isa 2:2-4). Everyone fought, everyone was brave, everyone needed courage to fight. We are not satisfied with merely bringing together those inspired by zeal for this noble endeavor. We end up proclaiming the possibility of peace with God and peace within ourselves without mentioning peace among people. Samuel Parkes Cadman (1864-1936), Congregational clergyman, president (1924- 1928) and radio minister (1928-1936) of Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America; pioneer in radio preaching. Perhaps the moldering hearts of those who were taken from us now give life to the flower sprouting forth twelve years later. Otto Jensen (1856-1918), bishop of Hamar, Norway (1917-1918). In this connection, I would like to quote from Bishop Tandberg’s answer to my letters at the beginning of 1918: “I understand clearly that it is important for the sake of Christ’s church that we should, during the present conflict in the world, unambiguously preach Christian unity which stands above all worldly disagreements. Kaspar Kristian Piene (1868-1949), secretary-general of the Norwegian Student Christian Federation (1903-1929). 33. The brasswork becomes as green with verdigris as the fields in the spring, and birds build their nests in the muzzle. Sixth, don’t just sit there, do something! Obtaining world peace hinged on submission to the will of Allah, as it was the core principal teaching in Islam (Sura 5:15–16). We later also approached through delegates those Christian and other bodies which were most closely interested in these problems. There is one universal tenet: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”19 However, it is not this tenet to which we are here appealing. Peace with God includes intimacy, blessing, and the unimpeded flow of divine love. It is still weak like the Infant in Bethlehem’s manger and Him threatened by Herod’s assassins. Many peacemaking actions are clearly taught in Scripture and therefore require little debate. 5. If you have a complaint or criticism, communicate it with humility, realizing that you could be wrong. Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), friend and faculty colleague of Westcott at Cambridge; bishop of Durham (1879-1889). And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Israel. Cry out to him for help. After about four miles of uphill hiking we came to upon the dazzling cascades of Mist Falls. A few years ago my wife and I were camping in Kings Canyon National Park, a deep valley in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. (these countries were then still neutral), and in Finland and Hungary. The text in Swedish published in Les Prix Nobel en 1930 is used for this translation. How can people without discipline and self-control promote peace in the world? We should, therefore, strive with all our might for Christian unity of mankind and we should be generous in our small circles to prove that the brotherly unification of mankind is not an idealistic dream of utopians but a realistic aim, inseparable from the Gospel.”. The Conference was a triumph for Söderblom. What Language Did Jesus Speak? Tasked with a mission to manage Alfred Nobel's fortune and has ultimate responsibility for fulfilling the intentions of Nobel's will. “Get rid of foreign rule and we’ll have peace,” they thought. The war was to teach hatred instead of love. It was to be a testimony by patriots of the two sides at war, showing that they possessed, besides loyalty to their own nation, something deeper, something fundamental and unifying, namely the Cross of the Savior. This is, of course, much easier said than done. Scripture teaches us to do this in one of the most significant and challenging passages in the New Testament: If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. I would never deny the wonder of these dimensions of peace, and will not do so in this series. I was panicked, afraid that we would lose our home and be forced to move away from our friends and family. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he came to die so that God’s peace would pervade all peoples and nations. (Our word “paradise” comes from a Greek word that described the elegant parks of ancient Persian kings.) Please forgive me.”. How can we bring God’s peace to the world? I remember watching with amazement a Bible study led by Jay, one of the first City Dwellers. But there’s a tremendous difference between the relationship of Christianity to the K.K.K. Carsten Balthazar Hansteen (1856-1923), seamen’s pastor, N.Y. (1883-1889), senior pastor of the Cathedral Church, Bergen (1907-1923). But it’s only half of the equation. As we begin this series on Seeking the Peace of Christ, my goal is uncomplicated. Through Tom, I realized that I had truncated biblical peace to fit my own values, needs, and preconceptions. The herald Angels Sing,” lived a full life of service to Christ. And, indeed, those who don’t know the Lord may be seekers. Doing more than you have time to do will quickly steal away your inner peace, and thereby enfeeble your attempts to be a peacemaker for others. The great hymn writer Charles Wesley, who wrote such beloved songs as “Hark! Do we now stretch out our hands to one another more willingly? But let us now return to 1917. The Bible tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). A faithful and talented Christian, she wrote many beloved hymns, including “Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated.” her relatively short life was filled with difficult challenges. Jack was on the search committee that called me as pastor, as he had been on the first committee that called Ben Patterson, the founding pastor of the church. 45. No wonder it was called “Paradise Valley.” And, no wonder that peace should pervade a place called “paradise.”. Second, you can make peace within your fellowship by being “patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Eph 4:2).

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