#IStandForPeace

FB_20151208_07_22_42_Saved_PicturePeace seems to be a rare commodity these days.

In the midst of polarizing election cycle, with almost daily reports of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, and extremists terrorizing the most ancient and sacred lands on earth, it’s hard to discern the presence of peace in our world.

This last couple of weeks really epitomizes where our world is. It began with terror in the streets of Beirut, followed by more in Paris. Then a shooting targeting innocent women looking to get health care in Colorado, and then more against those celebrating the holidays with their co-workers in California. And all the while, irresponsible, opportunistic politicians and religious leaders and talking heads have overwhelmed our televisions and newsfeeds and inboxes with messages of hate and intolerance and fear and calls for war.

The worst of all is that so much of this rhetoric comes from those who claim to follow the One we know as the Prince of Peace. It is disgusting to me, as a Christian, to see that those who are representing our faith to the world are those who can spew forth the most hate and fear and violence to the world.

When a businessman-turned-politician rallies a sizable chunk of this nation by demonzing an innocent group of people, by stoking fears and playing on people’s worst inclinations, then the Way of Jesus, the way of peace has been abandoned.

When the president of the nation’s largest Christian college implores his students to buy death-dealing weapons of war, and talks of “ending” a group of people, the Way of Jesus has been abandoned.

When we find more peace in guns than we do in fellowship with one another, the Way of Jesus has been abandoned.

When we are so scared that we are willing to turn fleeing women and children away and back towards those who they are fleeing from, the Way of Jesus has been abandoned.

When we exercise our “pro-life” bonafides by praising the man who murders innocent women at a health clinic, the Way of Jesus has been abandoned.

When we see the only answer to violence and war as more violence and war, the Way of Jesus has been abandoned

Jesus called us to transform the world, not by the sword, not through the wielding of power, not through fear or by circling the wagons. Jesus called us to transform this world by love, by turning the other cheek, by casting out fear, by opening our arms and our hearts and our borders to those in need. He showed us a way of life that accepts and respects our brothers and sisters, no matter the color of their skin or the religion they adhere or the nation they call home.

Jesus stood for peace. Above all else, he envisioned a world of peace brought about by love and mercy and assurance.

I stand for peace because more violence is not the answer to stopping violence.

I stand for peace because Muslims are my brothers and sisters too.

I stand for peace because I welcome the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee to our shores.

I stand for peace because love cannot be expressed through exclusion and intolerance.

I stand for peace because safety cannot be found through the barrel of a gun.

I stand for peace because closed walls and closed borders and closed minds only bring death.

I stand for peace because diversity and differences make us stronger.

I stand for peace because all people should have the right to worship how and who they want without fear of hate or violence.

I stand for peace because love drives out all fear, and we are told to “fear not.”

I stand for peace because the Way of Jesus goes no other way.

The Peace Project was started here in Tulsa by members of our great Islamic Society of Tulsa. The goal is to show that those that stand from peace are diverse, and come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. You can become part of the movement by taking a picture telling us who you are and including the hashtag #IStandForPeace.

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8 thoughts on “#IStandForPeace

  1. Do you #standfortruth? Does the ‘Way of Jesus’ go forth down the path of truth as well? Let me point out the endless false statements made in this blog alone:

    1)”Peace seems to be a rare commodity these days” — When was peace abundant?

    2)”with almost daily reports of mass shootings” — Is this a world wide statement? Because only 4 have occurred in the US this year. Curious what number you made up?

    3) “shooting targeting innocent women looking to get health care in Colorado” — When did they release the details of the this man’s motives? You must be referring to the ‘baby parts’ quote; which by the way the police have not tied to a motive.

    4) “death-dealing weapons of war” — Do the weapons commit crimes?

    5) ” talks of “ending” a group of people” — As he later stated, he was discussing the ability to defend oneself against those Muslims committing terror. Please provide a quote that proves he meant genocide as you appear to be claiming.

    6) “When we find more peace in guns than we do in fellowship with one another” — All the mass shooting over the last couple of years have taken place in ‘Gun Free’ zones. Areas with higher legal gun ownership see lower crime (ie peace).

    7) “fleeing women and children away” — 70% are men. Moreover, please provide someone in the US who is unwilling to assist (notice the difference between assist and shipping them to the US). In addition, women and children are committing terror.

    8) “back towards those who they are fleeing from” — You mean like the Syrians Christians the current administration turned away at the border?

    9) “our “pro-life” bonafides by praising the man” — Provide one praise for this man by a person of significance in modern day Christianity? If you took the time to understand, you would have noticed the Christians were calling out Planned Parenthood for murdering countless babies without batting an eye, but used this event for political leverage.

    10) “who murders innocent women at a health clinic” — The shooter killed a pro-life male pastor, another man and one woman who was not at the clinic for medical treatment. All of the killings were terrible and evil, but not as you describe.

    11) “When we see the only answer to violence and war as more violence and war” — Where in the Bible does it say that we cannot defend ourselves against violence and war by taking an equal or greater force in response? If it was your wife on the receiving end, would you back away in peace allowing it to happen? Are the actions of the these people sinful? http://controversialtimes.com/issues/constitutional-rights/12-times-mass-shootings-were-stopped-by-good-guys-with-guns/

    12) “Jesus called us to transform this world by love, by turning the other cheek, by casting out fear, by opening our arms and our hearts and our borders to those in need.” — Do you have any Biblical citation for this? He called us to spread the gospel. Which is not a peaceful endeavor.

    13) “Above all else, he envisioned a world of peace brought about by love and mercy and assurance.” Again, Biblical citation? Have you read Matthew 24 or any of Revelation? Maybe John 15:18 – 16:4

    14) “I stand for peace because I welcome the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee to our shores.” But house them off your property please.

    15) “love cannot be expressed through exclusion and intolerance.” — Really? Matthew 7:6 and Acts 18:6, Matthew 18:17

    16) “safety cannot be found through the barrel of a gun” Nothing can be found in the barrel of gun. However, in the hands of trained person it the epitome of safety. Its why the police have them.

    17) “closed walls and closed borders and closed minds only bring death.” Tell that to the dead in France. The raped in Sweden. The dead in San Bernardino.

    18) “we are told to “fear not.”” — The devil once said to Jesus, “He will command his angels concerning you”. We are not to abandon fear, rather use it to keep ourselves safe. There is overwhelming proof in the Europe and now the US that Muslims are emigrating to cause harm. Turning a blind eye to that and opening the opportunity for harm to innocent Americans is ignorant, arrogant and not the way of Jesus.

    19) “I stand for peace because the Way of Jesus goes no other way” — This is a half truth. We are not be aggressors, but are we not allowed to defend ourselves? Or do you believe that Islam (the religion of peace) has been killing since 600CE because of western aggression?

    ———————————–

    You again have decided to trample the 2nd commandment. Using the name of Christ to encourage ignorance, to embrace Islam and to push your personal political agenda couldn’t be much farther from the way of Christ. Beyond that, I had a hard time finding anything truthful about what you wrote.

    This world will not see peace until Christ’s return, attempting to create that utopian world is pure ignorance and arrogance. Spreading the Gospel itself is an act of war against this world of sin. I act with peace to my neighbor. I love my enemy and pray he finds Christ. However, I will not allow violence to occur in this country because we reject the rational thought God gave us and bring our enemy into our towns and homes. Our country is founded on freedom of religion, not the freedom to promote a hate filled political ideology that wishes to destroy the fabric of our lives.

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    1. Can we just step back and acknowledge that you, a self-professing Christian, are arguing my premise that what we need in the world is peace? You, a follower of the one known as the Prince of Peace, who commanded love of our enemies and laying down our swords and turning the other cheek, have a problem with my assertion that Jesus would be encouraging us to love the stranger (his words, you know, Matthew 24.)? And you want people to think that I’m the heretic?

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      1. So the outcome (peace) outweighs that means (deceiving) if you claim your overarching agenda is Christ-like? Regardless if you are claiming a peaceful stance, you are misrepresenting the facts and Christ to achieve your goal.

        Your response is immature in nature. It assumes that the government doesn’t have a God given right to protect the community (Psalm 72:4). It assumes that when you and your family are being attacked you don’t have a God given right to defend or evade that attack in a Christ like way (Nehemiah 4:13-14, Luke 4:28-30, Matthew 10:23 & Luke 22:36-38). Making war as a mechanism to promote oneself is sinful, engaging in combat as a form of protection is just.

        Your utopian notion that temporal peace always wins out based on Christ being the Prince of Peace; is foolish and not Biblical (Luke 12:15). (It sounds more like the Jewish stance of an earthly ruler than anything Christian.) In Matthew 24:4-8, Christ says the world will see violence without peace. In Matthew 10:21-22, Christ points out that the Gospel itself will drive families apart. The peace he brings is the peace between men and God. That those who believe will enjoy the reward of heaven. It has nothing to do with our temporal existence.

        I have made no statement that we are to go to war against any people or nation. Nor have I claimed we shouldn’t act in a peaceful/loving manner. We can do all of that without embracing Islam or bringing terror to our shores through a broken immigration system. In love we can help those refugees maintain their homeland and support them where they are. In peace, we can end the terrorist threat posed to this world by eliminating that faction of Islam that wishes to destroy the west. All while acting Christ like and following his command to spread the Gospel.

        Now are you willing to address the errors in your original blog?

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      2. I don’t believe there are errors in my original blog. I stand by every word. I also believe you are inferring things I never stated. I never said the state doesn’t have a right to defend its citizens; I never said we don’t have a right to self defense in our homes. I believe we do have both of those things. But this idea that the peace Jesus talked about what only a peace between man and God, or that when Jesus talks about violence he meant violence brought by Christians, or that temporal peace is somehow not something Jesus wanted to see, is all waaaayyyy outside the bounds of traditional Christian thought and understanding.

        Let me ask you a question: do you believe the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God to us?

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  2. Pingback: #IStandForPeace | sisill1

  3. Pingback: Week in Review: 12/13/15 | Justin DaMetz

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