Aggression, War, Violence

Viewing the North Korean attack on a South Korean island this morning saddened me.  War and violence continue to be part and parcel of the human experience.

Important for us to remain mindful of the Christian call to a different way.  Jesus clearly said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  Likewise the Old Testament spoke of the coming of God’s kingdom as being a time when men would “beat their swords into plowshares.”

War and nations function under a logic not far removed from the individual.  In the New York Times, a reporter noted that this provocation by the North followed a well rehearsed script – “…a pattern of aggressive actions by the secretive government when it feels under stress or threatened.”  Individuals often lash out when they feel under stress or threatened.  Nations and their leaders do the same.

This is where the Christian New Church path should give us pause.  Into that pause must come not only the words of Jesus but His actions.  As a church and a culture, we need to do the same, really looking towards arresting the insidious logic of aggression.

That is the work.  The Bible states it well … forging their swords into plowshares.   That takes fire, heat, shaping with a hammer – there is little “soft” in sticking to Christian roots.

In my humble opinion, technology, while wonderful, has not necessarily made us safer.  There is a safety out there but it will not be arrived at through technology but through the redeployment of consequential faith.  As Deitrich Bonoeffer noted, “Peace is the great adventure.  It must be dared.”  My prayer is that the warring parties find peace, especially given the presence of nuclear arms on the Korean Peninsula.  My prayer is that there be a reflective moment to create a space where the crazed logic of “eye-for-an-eye” can be seen for what it is.  Peace in its deepest form is one of greatest blessings one can be thankful for. 

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