What follows are disjointed thoughts and questions, that all tie together somehow, but not necessarily in a coherent manner...
The February 26 Relevant Podcast features an interview with Don Miller in which he discusses a number of issues, including the war. Miller mentions that although Peace Studies programs are becoming more and more popular in American universities, only one Christian university has such a program (it was started just last year). Why are we afraid to talk about peace?
I am more and more of a pacifist. I think Christ teaches peace, loving your neighbor and yourself, living in harmony with others. Jesus did, of course, turn over money tables in the temple and loudly confront hypocritical leaders. But He communed with the unlovely, He loved everyone, and He invited all to join His Life.
Does it matter if I support the war or not? Yes. Does it matter more that I love my neighbor (meaning my brothers and sisters everywhere), myself, and my God? Of course.
And why is peace only mentioned when we are closely affected by or involved in war? Do we need a drastic and negative example of the opposite of peace to inspire us to consider it?
I helped with the kids at my church on Sunday evening and heard one of the mothers discussing with her 4 year old why hitting another boy was unacceptable... she provided a recent example of when he had been loving and went with him to apologize to the other boy. That is where peace begins, teaching children non-violence and the love of Christ in practical ways.
Following the tradition of non-violent resistance, what ways can I contribute to issues of social justice? Is my green "Save Darfur" bracelet really helping to save Darfur or am I just making myself feel better by wearing it everyday?
Peace Studies is a wonderful idea, but unless we are equipped to really love others and deal with injustice, it is merely an idea. We can talk about how to be peaceful all day, we can debate the benefits being anti-war, but in the end we need strategies, we need tactics, but most of all we need to let Christ's love fill us and overflow out of us. Trying to be peaceful on our own is entirely fruitless.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)