Thursday, September 4, 2008

Theological Foundations for Peacemaking

From Sunday noon until Tuesday night I did not have access to the Internet and have been busy since - this is my excuse for not posting this week until now. I still hope to get an update posted by Saturday on the progress at NGWC. But for now - I found this on the Route 59 blog (title comes from Matthew 5:9) that I read and it is so good that I wanted to pass it along to others.

Three theological principles of peacemaking as stated by Ajith Fernando who is a leader with Youth for Christ.

1. What unites us as members of the body of Christ is much, much more powerful and influential in determining our actions than what divides us. Ephesians 4:4-6 says that what unites us is the motivation to being eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit (4:3). This theological motivation causes us to approach the problem with confidence even though the conflict may be huge.

2. Because God is sovereign over the affairs of this world, however serious the problem, he is able to turn it to good if we let him. So we work with believing that good will come out of this if we are obedient. Because unity is the will of God, it should come into our reckoning when we think of the goodness that will come out of the conflict.

3. However deep the hurt, we know that God’s love is greater than that pain and than the unkindness that caused it. This gives us the courage to forgive those who have hurt us and to strive for reconciliation rather than to strive to win the immediate battle. We can win the battle to retrieve our wounded ego and lose the war for kingdom principles. True success is measured not from temporary triumphs in individual battles but from the triumph of the agenda of the kingdom. It is sobering to note that this agenda encompasses every member of the body of Christ, even the one who is now our enemy.

These three principles, I believe, is why I am passionate about intentional interim ministry and trying to help congregations and individual believers make peace and learn to live in peace with one another.

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