Monday, September 29, 2008

Peace and Justice

Just a question and looking for some thoughts.

If your church were going to start a Peace and Justice Ministry, what would that look like? What would be the goals? The methods? Should churches have peace and justice ministries? Is that too political?

Like I said, I'm just curious about people's thoughts on that.

7 comments:

Brian said...

Phil, I'm currently reading a book about Islam called "Mosques and Miracles". The point is heavily underscored that Muslims integrate ALL aspects of their lives with their faith. It is impossible for a Muslim to separate faith and politics. I know that the States prides itself on that very separation, but is it really a valid Christian position? Perhaps we could/should learn something from Islam in this regard. After all, Christ should touch all parts of our lives.

b. said...

VERY interesting question!

Keith Brenton said...

I think a peace and justice ministry would have to be focused on taking up the cause of the poor and disfranchised - in whatever country they live (or barely survive).

It might take the form of non-partisan news alerts by e-mail, warning of pending legislation or political rhetoric or military action by leaders anywhere on the globe that would endanger the rights and lives of the very kind of people Jesus came to preach good news to.

It might take the form of a fee-free employment agency and training center, teaching marketable skills to the under- and un-employed, and helping them find more than subsistence-level jobs.

It might take the form of public protest of wars that are racially, ethnically, religiously and/or economically motivated - again, wherever they are in God's world.

It might take the form of sharing the gospel - good news to people who desperately need to hear some; of sending reconciliation teams to troubled churches, neighborhoods, cities, or even nations.

Top of the head thoughts! I need to think about this further - and more deeply. Thanks for an excellent, challenging question, Phil!

Justin said...

The Church is by definition a political entity. Not in the sense of Republican or Democrat, but in the sense that the church is an alternative for how the world can operate. Its not through force, but through self sacrificial love.

And that means that we stand as a witness when the state acts in ways contrary to what the rule of God looks like. If we are to be a prophetic witness to the world, we must necessarily be political. Seeking to be love in every situation. As Cornell West says, "Justice is what love looks like in public"

Brian said...

Justin and Keith, I agree with you both.

Does anyone have any comments about why the fundamental Christians in the States are so aligned with the Republicans that they will make such negative comments about Obama - such as "Obama is the anti-Christ".

I live in NZ, and just do not understand that type of thinking.

Phil said...

Brian,

I think a lot of it comes down to ideological reasons. Democrat vs. Republican. Liberal vs. Conservative.

But honestly, I think some of it (perhaps much of it) is racism. Of course, it's unpopular to be a racist these days, so people accuse him of being a secret Muslim, because it gives them a better reason to hate him, rather than the fact that he's a different skin color.

Brian said...

That is really sad

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