[saymaListserv] Baptist Peacemaking

Nancy Whitt nmwhitt at samford.edu
Tue Aug 1 09:18:17 JEST 2006

A message from the Christian Women's Leadership Studies chair at Samford

12 Things That Every Christian Should Know about What the Bible Says
about Peace
1. Peace is the will of God.
>From the first chapter of Scripture, where God pronounced creation
"good" (Gen. 1:31), to the very last, in John's vision of a tree "for
the healing of the nations" (Rev 22:2), God pursues peace. Trust in
is contrasted with trust in the instruments of war (Is. 31:1; Ps.
33:16-17; Hos. 1:7).
2. Peace was the mission of Jesus.
His role as "The Prince of Peace" was foretold by Isaiah (9:6). Angels
announcing his birth declared "Glory to God" and "peace on earth" (Lk
2:14). Weeping over Jerusalem, Jesus prayed; "would that you knew the
things that make for peace" (Lk. 19:41-42).
3. The fruit of the Spirit is peace.
(Gal. 5:22). "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the
Lord" (Zech. 4:6). Prior to his death, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with
you," in reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:25-27).
4. Peace was the witness of the early church.
The new community created in Christ bore witness by its reconciled
fellowship: "And all who believed were together and had all things in
common" (Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-37). Paul urged that the church's "feet"
"shod with the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15).
5. Peace is more than the absence of war.
Peace - shalom - occurs when captives are released (Lk. 4:18); when
outcasts are gathered (Zeph. 3:19); when the hungry have plenty to eat
(Joel 2:19-26; Lk. 1:53; I Sam. 2:1-8).
6. The foundation of peace is justice.
"The effect of righteousness (justice) will be peace," predicted
(32:17). "Righteousness and peace will kiss," wrote the psalmist (Ps.
85:10). "Sowing justice" will result in peace, said Hosea (10:12-14).
7. Peace, like war, is waged.
Peacemakers are not passive, but active. Peter, echoing the psalmist,
urges us to "seek peace, and to pursue it" (I Pet. 3:11; Ps. 34:14).
Jesus urged worshippers to take the initiative to settle disputes (Mt.
5:23-24). Peace includes loving and feeding enemies (Lk. 6:27; Rom.
8. Peacemakers sometimes cause trouble.
Jesus turned over the tables of oppressive money-changers (Jn.
2:13-16). When he says, "I come not to bring peace but division" (Lk.
12:51), the "peace" of which he speaks merely disguises an order of
injustice (see Jer. 6:14-15). It was Jesus' peacemaking mission which
landed him on the cross (Col. 1:20).
9. Peacemaking is rooted in grace.
In Jesus' prayer, our "debts" are forgiven in the measure to which we
forgive others (Mt. 6:12). "Whoever is forgiven little, loves little"
(Lk 7:47). It is grace which frees us from fear (I Jn. 4:18) and
empowers us to risk our lives for the sake of justice and peace.
10. Peace in Christ and in creation are linked.
Not only are divisions in the human community overcome "in Christ"
(Galatians 3:28), but also in the whole created order. The knowledge
God and the healing of creation are parallel realities (Is. 11:3-9).
land itself mourns (Is. 33:9). "But ask the beasts...and the
the plants, and they will teach you: of the ways of the Lord (Job
11. Peacemaking is not optional.
The separation between "preaching the Gospel" and "working for peace
and justice" is a perversion of biblical truth. Jesus prayed; "Thy
kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt.
We lie if we say we love God yet fail to assist neighbors in need (I
4:20). Loving enemies - whether close at hand or far away - is the way
to become children of God (Mt. 5:44-45).
12. God's promised future is peace.
Though now living as "aliens" in a strange land, peacemakers have
caught a glimpse of how the future will finally unfold. Both Isaiah
John's Revelation speak of the coming "new heaven and new earth" (Is.
65:17-22; Rev. 21:1). The day is coming, says Micah, when nations
beat their swords into ploughshares...and neither shall they learn war
any more" (4:3-4). On that day, creation itself - which "has been
groaning in travail...will be set free from its bondage to decay (Rom.
>From "The Bible Speaks About Peace: 12 Things Every Christian Should
Know" from the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America:
http://www.bpfna.org/bspeak or http://www.bpfna.org/areyou 
Ten Practices of "Just Peacemaking" by Dr. Glen Stassen, Professor of
Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, California
"What Is Real Peace?" by Laurie Forner
 "There Is A Compassionate Rebel in Everyone" by Carriann Mikish
Julia Ward Howe
Mother's Day Proclamation 1870
"Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me"
Jill Jackson and Sy Miller
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
With God our Creator
Children all are we,
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony. 
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now;
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow: 
To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Copyright 1955 by Jan-Lee Music, renewed 1983, alternate lyrics. 
All rights reserved. 

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