Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her cunning.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
If I remember thee not;
If I set not Jerusalem Above my chiefest joy.

PSALM 122:6

It has not been pretty wading through the inflammatory rhetoric and vitriolic tirades coming from both sides, particularly from my fellow conservative Evangelical Christians. They never met a war they didn't like, it seems.

I can certainly understand and even agree with some of the arguments against Pacifism, but where do we get off with this when-in-doubt-go-to-war mentality? Will we ever honor Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace? Has that ever happened?

May cooler heads prevail. I hope to come up with a more coherent entry on this topic in the coming days, but in the mean time, I cannot get this old spiritual out of my head. Do you guys know it? Peter, Paul and Mary do a great rendition of this.

I’m going to lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Going to lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Ain't going to study war no more

I Ain't going to study war no more
Ain't going to study war no more
Ain't going to study war no more
Ain't going to study war no more
Ain't going to study war no more
Ain't going to study war no more

I'm going to walk with the Prince of Peace
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I'm going to lay down that atom bomb
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I'm going to put on my long white robe
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside


At July 18, 2006 10:35 PM, Blogger Worried said...

Good post, as usual, David. I haven't had time to read all my newsies yet but I have seen several whose titles blred "WWIII", and may God help us!!

Thank you for your comments on mine and Granny's blog, David. You always have astute observations.

I have read so many posts and comments on blogs that are very anti-Christian and some are quite apparently driven away from Christianity by the rabid, bigoted spewings of the RR, CC, and CRs. I believe the souls of these people will be required of the rabid fundies in the day of judgement.

At July 19, 2006 2:24 AM, Blogger Worried said...

David, the url has been corrected to the post about Bolton's comments. Also, Granny fixed it so clicking on the title accesses the site.

At July 19, 2006 5:31 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

Amen David. Amen.


At July 19, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

Wonderful comments.

While I think Israel is right to defend themselves, I don't believe blowing up the entire Middle East is going to solve a thing. *sighs*

I am ALL with you, David. God help us all. We ALL need it. Fighting is NOT going to solve this.

Unfortunately, I don't have any real answers. I'll just pray for peace, that's all I can do.

PS---the deleted comments were mine, I had a typo that changed what I meant to say...so I corrected it. :o)

At July 19, 2006 12:54 PM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...

Christian pacifism is a growing movement. It has a lot to do with embracing the kingdom of God in a biblical sense instead of equating it with American well being

At July 19, 2006 2:04 PM, Blogger Granny said...

The hatred disturbs me as well. If you and I who are poles apart on so many things can find common ground and treat each other with respect, why is so hard for others to do the same thing.

At July 19, 2006 7:44 PM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

David, when praying for the peace of Jerusalem, I pray peace for the literal city, but also for the spiritual city of Zion (“Kingdom of God” and all its inhabitants) – in Jerusalem, Beirut, Cincinnati, Orange County CA, Pine Ridge SD and everywhere else where those who’ve trusted in Christ reside. “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thes. 3:16) Shalom!

At July 19, 2006 11:29 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

That is the thing, Brian. Conservative Christians think Jesus only meant spiritual("peace I give unto you, not as the world gives"), but not literal peace. Vitriolic tirades filled with bile coming out of our mouths and found on "Christian" blogs cannot be a byproduct of so-called "inner spiritual" peace.

At July 20, 2006 12:52 AM, Blogger daniel so said...

hello david,

just wandered in via some random emergent-type links (i think)... i've really enjoyed reading your thoughts & insights...

it really is troubling how easily, and thoughtlessly, many christians separate their faith from the rest of how they live their lives. it seems that jesus' role is to help them overcome alcoholism and get to heaven (both of which are, of course, really wonderful things) but it doesn't occur to them that jesus might not like their enthusiasm for war and violence.

it's sad when bad theology leads us astray (i.e., it's ok to lay waste to the earth and its resources because it's all going down in the endtimes anyways)...

in any case, just wanted to chime in and say that i hear where you're coming from...

At July 20, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger A thinker said...

Yeah. War.

I cannot help thinking it is never a good thing. Very sad.

At July 20, 2006 1:27 PM, Blogger J.OTIS MERSTER said...

Thanks for this post, David. My husband and I don't watch the news, so it is nice to get some trustworthy info from a source (guy), I trust.

At July 20, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

Hi David! Sorry it has been so long since I have posted on your site. I wish I had something intelligent to say about what is going on, but the only thing that comes to mind is that Jesus told His disciples that "wars and rumors of wars" would be the signs of the beginning of the end. So I guess I am not suprised at what is happening. Yet I know He does not like to see His creation (especially people!) torn apart. I feel the darkness and evil of it burdening my heart when I pray. How this must grieve Him!

At July 20, 2006 7:14 PM, Blogger The Gig said...

Very nice post. I love Spirituals and, yes, I know this one.

I too shall pray for peace for Jerusalem. As I have read the Old Testament, it seems as though fighting has been pretty much a part of Bible history and so on.

At July 20, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

I agree David. A related subject I see goes back to immigration. I am surprised how one side of some Christian's mouths holds the "smiles" (love)while from the other side flows the "bile" (loathing). When faith becomes compartmentalized, it's easy to justify that "bile" (I know this from my own shortcomings). When faith becomes compartmentalized off from the whole, it's easy to justify a lot of other things as well.

When singing, "Let there be peace on earth" - I am personally mindful of the lyrics that accentuate where world peace begins "...and let it begin in ME" (in my thoughts, my attitudes, my words, my blogs ... etc.).

At July 20, 2006 9:25 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

Gosh, can't we all just get along?!?! I think that there needs to be some major time outs.

At July 21, 2006 12:05 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

"Ain't gonna study war no more"... I speak those words to myself all the time.

When the US invaded Iraq, I studied war. I read a big pile of books about war - the reality of war, from the ground level. The most grueling and moving among them was All Quiet On The Western Front, perhaps the greatest anti-war novel ever written - and all the more poignant since it was written from the "other" side, about German soldiers.

I know war may be sometimes necessary, but it is rarely. I doubt we've seen a necessary war in our lifetimes. My heart breaks for the Lebanese and the Palestinians right now - and for the Israelis who oppose what their country is doing.

At July 21, 2006 12:58 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Brian, that reminds me of what this young Jordanian woman at a peace conference said.

"In order to make peace with your enemies, you have to go to war with yourself."

At July 21, 2006 3:17 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

As I have read the Old Testament, it seems as though fighting has been pretty much a part of Bible history and so on.

War has always been a part of human history, but it doesn't have to be a part of the future. Especially now that humans have the capacity to annihilate each other and the entire planet, we can choose peace.

At July 21, 2006 5:56 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I don't see how anyone can cheer this war on, no matter what side you are on. Every life lost represents a family who will grieve forever.

At July 22, 2006 6:07 AM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

I always thought that was an old negro spiritual, but what do I know. I really am speechless about the middle east situation as a whole. None of it makes sense to me, so I chock it up to prophecy fullfiling itself, but I may be wrong, i have no idea.

At July 24, 2006 3:38 AM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

David, your post and some of the comments to it birthed inspiration for yesterday morning's sermon. Thankyou! And no, I didn't sing the Peter, Paul and Mary song in church. That would not have been peaceful.

At July 25, 2006 6:07 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

Don't know if you've seen this yet or not but it's worth a look: http://www.acwitness.org/psalm83.html


At August 01, 2006 6:01 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Good thoughts as always david. I agree we should NOT seek to engage in war as a first response nor as a common response.... however, looking at the history of hezbollah and terrorist groups like them... diplomacy and talking seem to be viewed by them as license to continue in their violent attacks to achieve their ends. Is israel or any other country who experiences their tactics supposed to just let the atacks occur hoping a peaceful nonvioent means will happen sometime???? Would Hitler and japan have eventually just stopped their attacks when desires for diplomacy suddenly struck them???

I think the USA and Israel are in a very tough spot here. Hezbollah uses its own people as human shields so they will die in warfare and bring sympathy to their cause when truth is hezbollah violates the Geneva Convention by willingly hiding as civilians and making civilians be placed in harms way deliberately. Iran and Syria of course arm hezbollah and many other terrorist cells.... very hard to determine how to resolve it the way Jesus would.


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