The Peace That Passes Understanding
by Dr. Robert Owens – 5/31/2020
America teeters on the edge of the abyss. Professional revolutionaries organized and funded by the Alt-left Progressives seek to provoke the Trump Administration into a response they can label as disproportionate or over-the-top. As President Trump moves to quell the violence by any means necessary the Democrats who identify as journalists take every opportunity to label his response as disproportionate or over-the-top. Some go so far as to say President Trump is assuming dictatorial power and that his attempt to restore the rule of law to the burning blue cities is as ruthless as Khrushchev stomping out the revolution in Hungary in 1956 or Brezhnev smothering the Prague Spring of 1968. This is a stunning bit of hyperbole from the purveyors of fake news.
Here is a truism that has proven itself many times over – violence begets violence or as Jesus put it, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
There’s nothing easier than to choose a side and if not joining in the assault on the opposing side at least cheering on those who do.
What are we as Christians supposed to do? Whose side are we on? There can be only one answer to that, we are on God’s side.
Every army that has ever marched with the exception of the godless communists has said they were fighting on God’s side. And even Stalin invoked “Holy Mother Russia” and had Orthodox priests released from his dungeons to bless the soldiers protecting his right to operate those dungeons.
So what is God’s side in this current season of proto-civil war wracking America?
God has called us to a ministry of reconciliation. As Paul stated in his second letter to the Corinthians, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
On one side of our current divide we must admit that there is police brutality, and in some places, even systemic police brutality. As an individual who has borne the brunt of such brutality, I can testify that it does exist. On the other side we must admit that the numbers of rogue cops and complicit agencies is miniscule when compared to the legions of dedicated peace officers who put themselves in harm’s way to maintain the order necessary for a civil society.
On one hand we cannot allow the revolutionaries, criminals, and thugs to burn our cities. This must stop. The saddest thing of all is that most of the property damage is in the neighborhoods of the very people who have the least. And there is no possible way to justify attacking the innocent to protest an attack against the innocent.
First, the violence must end. Next, we need to address the underlying issues. One of the biggest has been the Biden Crime act passed by the Democrat Congress and signed by Bill Clinton. This atrocious law imposed unfair and unequal penalties on certain behaviors while allowing other behaviors which were equally as bad to slide. It also imposed mandatory sentences that allowed for no mitigation. Thankfully, this crime bill aimed right at the ghetto has been repealed under President Trump. However, we must take up the challenge and devise some means of ridding our police departments of those who want to peruse a private agenda of hate.
Reconciliation is a two-way street. If we stand on opposite sides and call each other names, there is no chance of peace. While reconciliation takes two to tango forgiveness does not. We as Christians are called to forgive. Or as Paul said in his letter to the Colossians, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
Christ has forgiven us perfectly, completely, and for all eternity. And that is how we are called to forgive others. Once we’ve forgiven others we can move forward into the ministry of reconciliation. But until we forgive, we’re locked in the endless cycle of tit-for-tat, he-said/she-said, recriminations, and hate.
So how far should we take this? What should be the limit of our forgiveness? There is a short conversation recorded in the Gospel of Matthew between Peter and Jesus that sheds light on this. “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”
So as the wall-to-wall talking heads do their best to implant anxiety and fear, as they practice their mantra, “If it bleeds it leads” we must turn to the source and summit of wisdom: God’s holy Word. Turning again to Paul in his letter to the Philippians we find God’s recipe for peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Watching the unfolding drama that is the daily news we find it easy to feel powerless, separated, and alone. Which way to turn? Who to believe? What to do? These are all questions that currently divide our lives. Personally, I find only one answer and His name is Jesus. He tells us plainly, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” Do that and find the meaning of this old saying, “No Jesus no peace. Know Jesus know peace.”