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Peace, Peace Where's The Peace?

 

A Muslim man emailed me recently and asked me to comment on a YouTube video by a former Catholic named Garry Miller.  We've emailed back and forth many times since.  Miller attempts to put doubt in the minds of Christians concerning Jesus and the Bible in an attempt to lead them towards Islam.  It's amazing to me how many Catholics are turning to Islam these days.  It's a sign of the times and a product of some bad theology.  If Miller can't convert you, he'll try to dismantle your Biblical thinking sufficiently that you will accept Islam as a credible religion.  That's the way of the religious world these days.  It's unity and peace at any or all costs.     

 

Although I was frustrated hearing what Miller had to say, I found it interesting.  It helped me gain a clearer understanding of the trend towards tolerance and unity in the world of religion these days.    

 

The Muslim man who emailed me always greeted me with the words "peace be with you", as Muslims do.  One of Garry Miller's minor criticisms of Christianity is that Christians never greet people outside of Christendom with words of peace, as Muslims do.  The inference is that Muslims are a more peace seeking people than Christians.  That got me thinking about peace.

 

I don't consider saying "peace be with you" a big deal.  Christians understands that peace cannot be found apart from Jesus.  So why would I say "peace be with you" to an unbeliever?  I'd rather say, "give your life to Jesus and peace will be with you."  Once an unbeliever becomes my brother in Christ, then I can say as the apostle Paul often said, "peace be to you, my brother."     

 

Thinking of peace reminds me of Jeremiah 6:14.  It reads, "peace, peace, when there is no peace."  Next to the word "love", the word "peace" is an often used and misused word.  The hippies of the 1960's espoused the virtues of peace when in fact they had no peace.

 

I'm also reminded of 1Thessalonians 5:3.  In reference to the end of this age Paul said, "when people call out peace and safety, sudden destruction will come."  In today's political world, leaders are seeking peace among the nations, even with nations who don't want peace.  If peace finally comes, watch out for the sudden destruction.

 

Religious leaders are seeking a similar peace among the various religions of the world.  Garry Miller is one such leader.  This sounds nice, but for Christians, there is a major problem.     

 

The modern multi-cultural and tolerance movements, both on an ethnic level and religious level, are built on a premise of peace.  Adherents to these peace movements promote "peace at the cost of conviction".  Conviction of what one believes as truth no longer matters.  It only gets in the way of peace.  It's all about tolerating one another.  Ironically, those who preach such peace and tolerance don't seem to have a lot of tolerance for those of us who aren't so excited about their brand of peace. 

 

In Romans 14:19 Paul tells Christians to "make every effort to do what leads to peace."  That being said, our attempt at making peace has limits.  The same apostle Paul states in Galatians 1:8 that those who preach a gospel other than the gospel of Christ, should be "eternally condemned".  That sure isn't peace at any cost.  We must never forsake Biblical truth in the pursuit of peace.  If we have to choose between peace at all cost or no peace, we choose no peace.  There is no compromise for the Christian.  Despite popular opinions, Jesus told us that because of our association with Him, division might come into our lives. (Matthew 10:34)      

 

In the mid 1970's one debate in Christian circles was over "ecumenicalism", that is, the uniting of various  church denominations.  The concern for some of us was that this unity was a unity at any cost.  Like the apostle Paul, we maintained that such unity with denominations that had forsaken such important Biblical truths as the Deity of Christ was not acceptable.  It was not acceptable to us back then, and it is not acceptable to us today. 

 

The trend towards "ecumenicalism" has now moved from church denominations to the union of world religions.  This has even been supported by the so-called Christian movement known as the Emergent Church.  My parent's generation would turn over in their graves with this present trend.      

 

The Bible predicts the trend to a worldwide unified religion.  Babylon, as seen in the book of Revelation, is both a united world-wide political system and a united  world-wide religious system.  Both systems are satanic and will fall at the end of this age.    

 

Those of us who have given our lives to Jesus should strive for peace the best we can, but we cannot compromise the truths of  Scripture in the process.  Can I be a friend with a Muslim?  I sure can.  I've got friends who aren't Christians.  Christians shouldn't be so inclusive that we don't have non-Christian friends.  We just can't forsake Biblical truth to maintain a friendship.    

 

Romans 5:1 says, "since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".  To borrow the title from a popular book, that's the "inconvenient truth" as stated by the apostle Paul.  Let's never forget it. 

 

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