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"BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS - for they shall be called sons of God."

You may say "Well that’s nonsense. All you have to do is see all the so-called Christians who have been involved in bloody conflict in history, all done in the Name of God". In fact even Al-Qaeda operates in the Name of a god called Allah.

What about Joshua and David and Gideon who all went into battle because God told them to? What about all the bloodshed of the OT? It’s full of bloodshed in the Name of God! What about God Himself who floods the earth and wipes out all those people? What about Sodom and Gomorrah? That doesn’t appear very peaceful!

"Blessed are the peacemakers"! You may well say, "Tell that to the radical Muslims of the world! Tell that to Robert Mugabe! Tell that to the Iranian Government! Tell that to Al-Qaeda! To suicide bombers, to conflict ravaged Israel, to Martin Sheen! Tell that to our world today which is not exactly peaceful!" Well, that’s exactly what He did! He told us, but 2000 years later we are still not listening!

But when He told His disciples up on that mountain about this one, they did listen? What kind of leadership principle is this? What is Jesus getting at? Yeah, I know, we all want peace. That’s a given, so what’s so radically new and inspiring about this? Why was this one of the points in His leadership series of messages? And how does it gel with all the bloodshed in God’s Name in the Bible and Christian history? In America they even had a gun called the Colt Peacemaker. What a contradiction in terms!

I think the clue is that Jesus says that the "peacemakers" will be called "sons of God."

That indicates that we are talking about peace with God here primarily, not some kind of man-made peace accord by some Nobel Peace Prize winner. The word "peacemakers" (eirenopoios) means "to make peace between people and God" and yes, on a more general level, it also means "to bring people together; to solve disputes and erase divisions; to reconcile differences and eliminate strife; to build right relationships" but unless you get the peace-with-God thing right first, then you can kiss the rest goodbye.

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