- Religion and Philosophy
'Blessed Are The Peacemakers For They Shall Be Called The Children Of God': Jesus Christ Tells Of The Role Of The Peace
A MOUNTAIN OF PEACE
A BUILDING IN THE MIDDLEEAST
2000 years ago, in one of his epic sermons on a mountain, Jesus Christ, a leader of the Jewish community asserted that peacemakers are children of God.
This statement begs two obvious questions. The first is, who is a peacemaker? And the second: who are children of God? In answering these questions, this article will also attempt to examine the role of the peacemaker in the 21st century.
Arbitrator, conciliator, mediator and people who bring peace, are some of the definitions listed in the Oxford dictionary as peacemakers. The word peace also suggests words like harmony and freedom from war.
The pacemaker according to the dictionary definition can effectively be labelled as:
- a person who is able to bring harmony in the midst of chaos,
- a negotiator,
- and one that can bring freedom from war.
Given the simplicity of these definitions, it is obvious that each of us can easily identify with peacemakers, or even know a peacemaker in our personal lives. Or perhaps, many of us are peacemakers ourselves. When we think about Desmond Tutu and the role of reconciliation he played after the apartheid movement, he makes an excellent peacemaker. Martin Luther and Gandhi who negotiated peace and brought about change in political arenas are all, respectively, instruments of peace .
According to Jesus' statement, however, peacemakers are children of God. But who is a child of God? First of all, what is the definition of a child? A child is an offspring that possess the gene of the parent. That gene comes with characteristic akin to the parent. It means children possess the blood or the DNA of their parents.
In view of the above, below are three characteristics that make us all children of God. These characteristics are regardless of religion, creed or race.
1. The ability to reason
2. The ability to create,
3. and the ability to rule – leadership
These innate characteristics are functions of God and are part of what make the role of the peacemaker possible.
However, one day, while chatting with a Jewish religious minister, Jesus made a very strong and bewildering statement that baffled even the minister. He said:
'unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God' (John 3:3) .
In his writings, Paul the apostle also defined the kingdom of God as 'righteousness, peace and joy' ( Romans 14:17).
So in effect what Jesus was saying is that a person cannot be a peacemaker without becoming born again? So how did men like Gandhi and others bring peace to their community without being born again? Can they really be labelled as peacemakers? Is this what Jesus meant? Or was there a higher purpose or reason behind Jesus' statement?
The Hand Of A Peacemaker
The 21st Century Peacemaker
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PEACEMAKER IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
If the role of the peacemaker is to promote harmony and freedom from war, then the role of the 21st century peacemaker is already cut out. And this role has never been in more demand than in this 21st century of war, unrest, terrorism, poverty, sickness and the likes.
When we look at the Olympic Committee, for instance, one of the functions is to promote harmony and peace through sports. And so far, the Olympic games have achieved that goal. The games have helped in removing prejudice, banished stigmatisation and promoted cooperation among participants and nations.
In addition, International bodies like the United Nations (UN) play the important role of resolving conflicts among nations. The UN has often intervened where possible and made a phenomenal impact. These bodies too, are peacemakers.
Furthermore, government ministers acting as ambassadors at foreign embassies are all agents of peace. Even in situations where citizens have stormed embassies, caused chaos and consequently destroyed relationships among nations, peacemakers have been able to restore harmony among these countries.
Typical of this is the relationship between America and Cuba, where after a long period of a strained relationship, the recent President Obama's visit has healed and restored harmony between the two countries.
Likewise, peacemakers from the international community worked together a few years ago to lift sanctions placed on the nation of Iran and welcome the country back into the international community, making international trade possible with this country.
The role of the peacemaker is broad and varied in the 21st century, for instance, there are peacemakers who negotiate for the release of political prisoners. There are also those who negotiate among governments and opposition groups. And there are peacemakers who mediate between unions and employers.
If however, a peacemaker's task includes someone who brings peace from war, then those fighting the battle against poverty, sickness and political wars are also peacemakers. In this case, charity organisations like Red Cross, UNICEF and Cancer Research are all peacemakers in this 21st century.
There are all kinds of pressure groups who are fighting for just courses. Leaders who train others in riding extremist ideologist through de-radicalising all count for the 21st-century peacemakers. And rehabilitation centres that help in restoring people to normalcy are also forms of peacemakers.
There are, however, situations where in order to bring peace, confrontation becomes necessary. And confrontation can either be on a personal, national or international level. Confrontation, nevertheless, does not, in any case, suggest the use of violence on fellow human beings. And this article is not about answering political questions either. After all, Jesus Christ who thought and modelled spiritual and social laws did not advocate violence. Even when compelled by one of his cabinet ministers through betrayal, Jesus would not relent.
And the bible states that 'the fruits of righteousness are sown by those who sow peace'.
Where I believe confrontation becomes necessary is when dealing with issues like sickness and poverty etc. In these matters, being ruthless in my opinion is acceptable.
In conclusion. The role of the 21st-century peacemaker is to promote peace through negotiation, harmony, understanding, authority and care. Those who do these things are 'children of God'.
What are your thoughts? Do you have to be a christian to be a peacemaker? Who is a child of God in your Opinion? And who is a peacemaker? Please leave your comments.