In an article titled “You Must Fight Hard For Peace,” Jon Bloom writes, “When a conflict is brewing, we should assume it is avoidable and do everything to pursue peace.” He cites Hebrews 12:14, which says, “Strive for peace with everyone.”
Granted, we can’t altogether avoid conflict, but Christians are called to try. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” Jesus says when describing the sons of God (Mt 5:9). We should be the last people stirring up trouble inside or outside the church. If anyone is in Christ, he reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2Co 5:17, 18). In other words, he has given us peace with God and entrusted us with the message of peace. We can hardly be effective ambassadors of peace when we are better characterized as antagonists than peacemakers.
Social media, in particular, is replete with “discernment ministries” and careless instigators claiming to be guilty of nothing more than contending for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). I’m not in a position to doubt their sincerity. I may not even disagree with their moral or theological positions. But as I watch their interactions from a distance—perhaps some would say from my high horse—I rarely see peacemakers at work. Peace doesn’t appear to be their goal at all.
Believers at war with one another is tragic enough, but let’s not forget about the watching world around us. The gospel of peace loses its allure when its ministers seemingly care little about the subject.