Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spiritual Leaders as Peacemakers

How can your spiritual leaders help, not hinder, peacemaking? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1332).

Nothing can trump a role model and Christ is our model. But you may say that the Prince of Peace lived controversially and died violently in a cruel and violent world. Didn’t he fail as a peacemaker? Remember he said that only through losing one’s life can one gain it (Matthew 16:25). Through his refusal to raise the sword against his enemies he confirmed his identity as the Prince of Peace. We, on the other hand, are abundantly willing to wield the sword in the purported cause of peace—presenting real evidence to the contrary and tossing out any chance for peace with a violent and vengeful spirit.

I will always be suspicious of those spiritual leaders who unfailingly are among the first to mount war horses in any and every conflict all the while shrilling advocating God and country. Violence should never be (sic) the first tool taken up in the face of conflict. What I want from a spiritual leader is not shameless pandering to the prejudices of the people, but one who seeks rather to open up and explore alternative courses of action; zealots, while sometimes acclaimed as spiritual leaders, will never be my spiritual leaders. My leaders consistently will be noted for their steady forbearance, for their insistence that empathy, compassion, and love be offered even to enemies—who say in regard to our enemies: “Let us show them that we love them, that we care for them and their best interest. Let us be less concerned with 'who is right' and more concerned with mutuality of interests and areas of spiritual accord. The 'letter of the law' will have us at loggerheads until the end of time whereas the living 'spirit of the law' can bring us together in little but significant steps towards peace. We can be CONFIDENT that there ALWAYS will be people along the way to offer us cool drinks of water. Generosity will work its magic on perception—theirs and ours.” Such a person is whom I chose as my spiritual leader.

Print Page