Fighting for Peace?

Tony Jones wrote yesterday on his experience at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego.  Specifically at the end of his post he wrote: 

“Then I led the conversation about politics.  It was pretty spicy as I recounted my journey out of Hauerwasianism, Andy took an Augustinian tack, and Scot vehemently defended the utopian dream that he calls Anabaptism. :-)  My bottom line: it just was not possible to sustain the Christian enclave that the Hauerwasian mafia prescribes when I was a pastor.  I ministered to cops and military personnel, and I just didn’t have the luxury to hold fast to my ideals in the midst of real ministry.” (highlighted section by me)


Stanley Hauerwas, just in case, is a theologian, ethicist and professor of law and Duke Divinity SchoolWikipedia describes Hauerwas in this way:

“In his career, he has attempted to emphasize the importance of virtue and character within the Church. He has been an outspoken Christian pacifist and has promoted nonviolence, having been mentored by Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder. Hauerwas has also been an opponent of nationalism, particularly American patriotism, arguing that it has no place in the Church. His writings occasionally veer into the area of paleo-orthodoxy, though Hauerwas himself might dispute this claim. He has also been associated with the narrative theology movement.”


I really appreciate the statement by Tony Jones.  Attempting to live and preach and demonstrate peace yet struggling because of the culture we live in.  I might be reading into his comment a little too much, but these are the thoughts that were generated through it.

I know a lot of guys who idealize Hauerwas stance and I’m just not there.  Maybe some of it is my childhood, having grown up a military dependent.  Or maybe some of it is from having worked for the Air Force (in the chapel program and other areas).  Maybe it’s just a part of my worldview (which I can’t always explain), which believes that there is something in the nature of a boy/man that needs to accept and endure conflict, struggle and pain (probably needs more flushing out or better wording, but hopefully you know what I mean).

Nevertheless I think that while one man (and I use “man” in its generic gender understanding) endures injustice I have the responsibility to respond.  First via politics, second but peaceful aggression (which is how I see the actions of MLK and Gandhi, not just peaceful demonstrations), and third by force. 

I believe that peace is the luxury only of the ignorant and that peacemakers set aside their peace in order to bring about peace. 

This isn’t just an issue of war or physical conflict.  If I have deep resources that others are lacking in excess I believe that making peace would challenge me to humble myself and my resources in order that others could benefit.  For instance a mom going through a divorce e-mailed me today asking if I had a listing of babysitters telling me that she was in need of some “breaks” away from her two boys.  Me, being in excess of time and lounging around resources, in order to make peace offered to have her boys over for some serious Wii time.  Maybe visit the batting cages.  Or plug in a movie.  All stuff I would do anyways, so the sacrifice isn’t actually that great.

I definitely don’t think I have this all figured out, but if I were to give you a snapshot of where I am currently in my thinking of all this - the above would be pretty close. 

I am sure of this though, “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30)


Maybe you have some thoughts.  I would love to hear them. 

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