Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The True "Peace" of Christmas [Scott]

Here's a Facebook posting from Ron, who is angry at my Christian friend Rick for writing about Christmas peace. Ron writes:

How can we celebrate Peace when we are killing Muslims and occupying their homes? How can we openly support Republicans and Democrats that make unjust war and then quote... scripture about Peace? These wars based on lies must be challenged loudly.

You described yourself as a Conservative first,yet others that describe themselves this way do not speak or act as Peace-mongers.

Words have meaning. If you are going to be my friend,and speak of Peace, then you must -be- a man of Peace.

I challenge you to prove your words, and the words of your God, and speak as loudly about ending these wars against brown people, as you do about these Christmas Values of Peace and Joy.

WWJD? ...and what would he say.

Ron, Your reply to Rick is question-begging in that it assumes the very thing it is trying to prove, namely, that the theological peace spoken of in the biblical documents is identical to the political peace you speak of. Only if they are identical in nature is there a contradiction in Rick's claim.

They are not. Setting aside your claim that the current war against terror is unjust (a claim I'll assume you've presented evidence for elsewhere), the theological peace Rick speaks of can be summarized in the gospel. Whether you believe that gospel is not my point here, only that you understand its basic storyline and thus understand what Rick means by "peace." Briefly, the gospel is the story of a good God who created a good world with people who were to worship and enjoy Him forever. But our first parents rebelled against their maker and set themselves up as Kings. God, who had every right to destroy the rebel race instead did something remarkable. He sent Jesus, the sinless one, to bear in full His wrath against sin. As the prophet Isaiah writes, "He was crushed for our transgressions...the punishment that brought us peace was placed on Him."

In short, the theological peace Rick speaks of is vertical while the political peace you reference is horizontal. The former is vertical because God, through the death of his son Jesus, reconciled Himself to a rebel world He had every right to destroy. As a result, those who trust in His Son's righteousness (rather than their own) are completely forgiven of their sins and adopted into God's family. That's the gospel of peace Rick speaks of.

Again, whether you believe that gospel is another matter. I simply wanted you to understand the peace Rick speaks of.

Blessings, Friend.

Note: correction on prophet name made @ 10:56.

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