The Beatitudes exemplify virtues that God deems worthwhile. As can be expected, these are not virtues that the world would identify as virtuous.
Paul wrote to the Romans that the kingdom of God isn’t about rules and trifles. It’s about peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. “Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:18-19). In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul instructs believers to “[a]im for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor 13:11).
God will be with you if you live in peace and comfort one another. Paul instructs us “with humility of mind [to] regard one another as more important than yourselves . . .” (Phil 2:3). Being a peacemaker is about living an others-centered existence.
The peacemaker draws closer to God with each step, and James tells us that if we draw near to God he will also draw nearer to us (Jms 4:8).
This isn’t to say that we should let ourselves get stepped on, kicked and beaten. Christian nations shouldn’t disarm themselves unilaterally. After all, the apostle Paul qualifies that we should live at peace as much as it depends on us (Rom 12:18). Let’s not go looking for fights, and let’s forgive as often as we are wronged (Mt 18:22). Then we will truly be children of God.
It keeps coming up in discussions with atheists that I say certain Christians are wrong about particulars of Christianity. And they are. If I’m right on certain things (which I think I am), then necessarily others who disagree with me are wrong. Not a radical notion.
What do you suppose happens when I call a Christian’s particular doctrine into question? I always get the same response from the atheist. He sarcastically tells me that I believe I’m the only one who has found True Christianity™ and that I believe every other Christian will burn, just like every other Christian he has spoken to, because believers are all that arrogant.
I think that is more evidence of the shallow thinking of the atheist, not to mention their complete ignorance of theology. Atheists, I’m going to make this as plain as I possibly can: There is no such thing as True Christianity™! Read the rest of this entry