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Your peace is oppression

January 14, 2009

blood1I don’t know much about Sojourners. I’ve never read a magazine or spent much time on their website. I’ve read a few things, but nothing ever grabbed me so we’ve heretofor remained familiar strangers.

But we have Twitter in common and Monday I followed a link to a blog. I have since quit Sojourners. I’m a big fan of social justice. Big fan. But there are somethings that should just not have God’s name on them, and Monday’s post – in my limited opinion – was one of them.

The author muses the “cheap” value that we place on blood and tears. She then contends,

Blood and tears are the stuff of body and soul.  When we spill blood and tears through the extreme violence of war, we are willing to violate human bodies and souls to make a death-dealing bargain for some end.  We value the end higher than the blood and tears, higher than the damage and destruction to bodies and souls.  People in power, on one side or the other of a conflict, tell us that we must make the sacrifice for the sake of peace.  They tell us that death is necessary for peace.

This is a profound deception.

I admit I was dumbfounded at that last line, and at the same time astounded at the power of words. “Deception” is a powerful word. You can outline truth and virtue, call it “deception,” and in doing so, deal a powerful blow at any dissension. Because, clearly, if I disagree it’s because I’ve been deceived. Sneaky.

She continues, “Peace retreats.”

How is it then, that Jesus – the Prince of Peacetold His disciples, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”? He is coming again to establish a kingdom of peace, but He will do so by marching through the Middle East killing His enemies. It’s not because His mercy has suddenly failed, or because His love has finally faded. It’s because He is merciful and because of His great love for mankind that He releases the book of Revelation on the earth – but that’s a big topic in itself.

I’m not advocating war or religious violence, but this idea that blood and tears are not necessary for the establishment of peace is ridiculous. The only kind of peace you get when you retreat is oppression, and it simply is not in the hearts of people to permit oppression.

Furthermore, this utopian fantasy will only position hearts against Jesus’ return. He is coming. Judgment is coming. If we have so convinced ourselves that blood and tears are always bad, always unnecessary, always wrong – we will find ourselves among the multitudes that resist Him when He comes, and their end is not a good one.

Blood and tears are not cheap, but some things are worth a high price. Blood and tears paid the price for the freedoms we don’t give a second thought to today. Blood and tears paid the price for your sin, and gave every one of us the opportunity to return to God. Blood and tears have paid the price for spreading that great news all over the world, and one day soon blood and tears will pay the price for God’s permanent return to the earth.

Because some things are worth it.

For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a theif. (1 Thessalonians 5:3-4)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2009 5:06 pm

    Great thoughts!! I think that this is a tough one Lex.. it is a chicken and egg kind of thing.. if people acted right then no one would shed blood.. if no one sheds blood then people don’t act right. I guess it is just normal to shed blood and tears in a world where sin is king.. sigh..

  2. Lex permalink
    January 14, 2009 10:02 pm

    I agree that the issue of crime/punishment is a kind of chicken and egg dilemma, but thank God sin is not king forever! My prayer is that I’m ready for the day the King returns!

  3. January 20, 2009 9:55 am

    “Blood and tears paid the price for the freedoms we don’t give a second thought to today. Blood and tears paid the price for your sin, and gave every one of us the opportunity to return to God.”

    Excellent and well said!

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