Herbie Newell on Peacemaker or Peacekeeper: Which One Should Christians Be?

This is what we know after the 2020 US election: the results of the race for President stand in limbo; political camps are more polarized than ever; the balance of power in the Senate may not be known until 2021; and the country is fractured by deep division. The importance of the sanctity of life was squarely on the ballots in the form of contrasting positions on abortion, economic and social policies, racial justice, and the response to Covid-19.

This year will most assuredly be labeled in history books as the year of “uncertainty.” In the midst of these turbulent times, the Lord Jesus’ message to his Church remains that the world will know us by our love. (John 13:35)

The church can neither become divided nor lack certainty in the task ahead of us and succumb to differences in policies, politics, or even the methods we use to forge ahead. Our unity doesn’t come by ignoring or denying our disagreements; it comes by joining together for the one common mission and purpose that is greater than our disagreements.

Herbie Newell is the President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms including (un)adopted, Crossings, Families Count and Lifeline Village. | (Courtesy of Herbie Newell)

Jesus was not a peacekeeper. He never feared telling the hypocritical Pharisees the truth. He never pretended that differences didn’t exist among his most sincere followers. Jesus sought to bring understanding and reconciliation through the united mission of the gospel.

There is a mammoth difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Peacekeepers simply want to keep the peace and disguise true differences with fake unity, while true peacemakers act to unify people around a common mission more powerful than lesser differences. Peacemakers unite us without denying the differences that can make us stronger, not weaker.

Peter, a devoted disciple known for speaking his mind, most probably had various conflicts with Matthew, a tax collector who was also a disciple. However, in spite of their differences, both men accomplished much for the flourishing of the gospel. Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways on their 3rd missionary journey over a strong difference of opinion regarding John Mark; yet both men forged ahead with gospel proclamation.

Beloved, God’s Word tells us that we have been adopted into God’s family and that we are His children. The mission that defines our family beckons us to seek gospel reconciliation in a broken world. The Lord adopted us knowing that we have no ability to ever repay Him for His inexpressible gift of adopting grace. However, we often treat our interactions with the world and the vulnerable of the world more like a business deal and less like a mission. Too often we are guilty of acting as though we believe if we give, we should receive something in return.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Herbie Newell