Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to Make Peace (NOT!)

This evening our church finished a group study based on Ken Sande's book, the Peacemaker.  It was excellent.  Not just psychology with a few Bible verses thrown in, but real, solid application of Biblical truths to everyday conflict.

You can read a lot of the key peacemaking concepts on their web site, but let me recap a few that have helped me.

  1. Conflict is an opportunity, not something to escape.  Whether we "win" or "lose" a conflict, we can always use it to glorify God, serve our opponent, and grow to be more like Jesus.
  2. The Bible is sufficient to guide us in handling conflict.  (We don't need the "help" of man-made philosophies.)
  3. Peacemaking is a powerful form of evangelism!  Christians ought to be characterized by radically different resolutions to conflict.
  4. The gospel is what makes peace possible.  If Jesus had not taken the initiative to make forgiveness available to us through the cross, the just dying for the unjust, the victim bringing healing to the aggressor, we would have no fuel to do the same with people who wrong us. 

The video below demonstrates the way that many people try to make peace without Jesus.  It's humorous.  But it's also a bit sad, when you realize that this is really the way some people live, and these are the best peacemaking principles they know! 

Hippie Peace from Peacemaker Ministries on Vimeo.


  1. I tried the link to the Peace Making Concepts and didn't get there. Got the main page and clicking on options gave me ads for their products. That's ok, just was expecting solid information.

    So a quick comment. Jesus said, do you think I came to bring peace? No but to set brother against brother, wife against mother-in-law, child against parent .... Ok, loose paraphrase, but the point is that Jesus is the divider of mankind. He would not fit in a multi-cultural, multi-acceptance, multi-religious setting. Christ is exclusive and His message exclusive. Yet His foremost attribute is love. It is a beautiful paradox that can only be viewed from this side of the cross.

  2. I guess I need to add about Paul, our apostle. Paul faced anything but peace in his long and successful ministry. Why? First it was not successful by man's standards. Indeed at one point he declared all Asia, the churches he had founded, had turned against him. A quick review in 2 Corinthians of the beatings, shipwrecks and imprisonments shows how un-peaceful his life was.

    If we take that a step further to those that are persecuted today. Their "crimes" usually have little to do with peace, nor do they even have the luxury of considering it.

    That we can strive in our relationships with others to be as loving as we can is about as close to this as we can come. But peace???? No, ultimate peace is only found in Christ and for us will only exist in eternity.

  3. Hi Jack,

    Thank you for your comments and essentially I agree with them! I'm sorry that my comments seemed to come across as promoting the "tolerance" that the world calls peace. Nothing could be further from what I believe. I think as you dig into the actual peacemaking web site a little further that will become clearer. I am sorry the links did not work for you. I tried them again on my computer (in both FireFox and IE) and they worked fine. If they still take you to the main home page, go up to Resources (upper left corner), and start browsing through the articles there. Here is one that is a very good overview of the whole thing: go to Resources, The Peaacemaking Church, Articles, and click on "Conflict an Opportunity? I Hate Conflict!" by Ted Kober. It's fantastic.