Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Muslim riots over a cartoon in a Danish newspaper and the controversy over Bono’s spirituality and his campaign to help with hunger and AIDs in Africa provide the launch point for Wayne and Brad to discuss how believers can engage the world with the life of Jesus. Too often we are drawn into world conflicts matching power with power instead of demonstrating the character of Jesus by showing respect and kindness, even to those we think are our enemies. That’s what Jesus asked of us.

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3 Responses to “Blessed Are the Peacemakers”

  1. Andy says:

    I heard on your “Power of a Transformed Life” that you hadn’t had any responses to this podcast. I just want you to know that this was a personal favorite for me. It was very refreshing and encouraging to hear people with genuine faith in Jesus talking about peace and justice. I appreciate how you guys encourage listeners that we can be on a journey with Jesus outside the box of religion. But what makes the journey exciting and real is the life we live in Christ along the way, demonstrating through our lives together that the Kingdom of God is here — and that it really is good news.

  2. r.t. says:

    I found my way here from Andy’s photoblog,, and your ‘cast is not only timely but right on the mark.

    In response to PEACEMAKING, I would like to offer the following thoughtr to try to get folks to thnk a bit:

    “your freedom to swing your arm ends where my nose begins”
    We all know that the right to free speech *is* limited – ie: crying “fire” in a thater. So what has happened to common sense and restraint?

    Currently, the populace is so consumed with their “rights” they are completely neglecting their “responsibilities”. People are forgetting that with *any* right comes the responsibility to exercise it judiciously.

    Before we *do* or *say* anything, we need to consider
    “What are the consequences of my speech?”
    “What are the consequences of my actions?”

    And further: “what is the actual intent and motive?”

    The speaker who recieves an enourmous backlash and public censure for his “free speech” who then claims “hey it was a joke!” is hiding his intent!

    Why would someone deliberately engage in hurtful or damaging speech and action?
    How can anyone who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus do that?
    What happened to the most basic of lessons taught by Jesus:
    “love thy neighbor”, “do unto others” and “turn the other cheek”?

    As Shakespear said, Do we protest too much?
    As Jesus taught, who are we to judge others?
    Are those who engage in Self-Rightousness doing so perhaps to divert attention?

    We must ask ourselves “where is the respect for others?”
    If you do not have respect for others, how can you truly respect yourself?
    If you do not respect others, where is your respect for Christ?

    Which leads to these question: aren’t these things angry knee-jerk reactions?
    Ask yourself “why am I *reacting* ?”
    Ask yourself “who benefits from returning anger for anger?
    Who benefits from fanning the flames?”

    There are those who can identify people’s hot-buttons and take great delight in pushing those buttons. What is the motive and purpose there?

    Perhaps our buttons being played like an accordian – and we are allowing ourselves to be so easily manipiulated, just as the player desires…

    When we consider “What About Spiritual Warfare?” – perhaps the war begins at home, in each of us *personally*. We must first look into ourselves, stop the knee-jerk reaction.
    Act, don’t re-act.
    Act out of Love, not out of Hate.
    We must ask ourselves “who benefits from Love, and who benefits from Hate?”

    We must first stop the escalation of the madness before it consumes us, personally.
    Stopping it at home is the beginning to stopping it in the World.

    Of course the next question is: So what do I do to fix this in myself?
    but that is another, longer lesson.

    Isn’t that what Christ really taught?

  3. Glen from MD says:

    I have to confess that this was a…problematic podcast for me. I very much come from that same conservative culture that Wayne talked about himself and it is very hard for me to sort out how Jesus feels about the issues of our day. Does he even really care or are all of these things really just “rendering unto Caesar?” (which would be, itself, a fascinating podcast!)

    On a separate point, to be fair, I never understood the uproar over the Maplethorpe (and related) artwork (crucifix in urine et al) to be a condemnation of artistic expression (i.e., “How dare that artist create such an insulting thing!?”) but, rather, an outrage that these ‘works of art’ were all funded with taxpayer dollars and, therefore, the government is forcing me to support something I find extremely offensive. If those works of art had been done at the expense of a private foundation or individual philanthropist, there would not have been nearly the outrage. And this is what we see time and again in our society: people who want to make statements that are deeply insulting to others’ ‘core beliefs’ (as Wayne termed it) have a hard time finding the money to do that so they turn to taxpayer-funded sources which are often controlled by those who are antagonistic to christian viewpoints, religious or otherwise. And so with Islamic-inspired violence: I have no problem co-existing with my muslim neighbors from Iran three doors away, but what is my response if those neighbors decide they have a problem with me and keep trying to burn my house down because I refuse to convert?

    Which brings me back to the first point: where does Jesus lead us in all of this mess? Help us, Father, see through the emotions and culture and self and know your heart.

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