Thursday, December 01, 2005

A High Price to Pay for Peace

I am extremely troubled today as I think about the hostages taken in Iraq over the past couple of days. The two Canadians, one American and on Briton abducted in Baghdad were from the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), a mennonite peace organization that I have had contact with from time to time over the past six years. When I was living in the West Bank in 1999 I visited CPT projects in Hebron and was inspired by their commitment to ministry through peaceful activism. I've been asked and have seriously considered joining the CPT reserve corps many times but it never seemed to work its way into my plans.

CPT's mission is to "get in the way" of violent situations in turbulent parts of the world. Their work as christian intercessors has taken them to Palestine, Colombia, Chiapas, Arizona, Northen Ontario and now Iraq. They are not evangelicals in the traditional sense of the word but spread the light of God through peaceful action that aims to expose the moral depravity of violent forces in the world. They believe that if there are countless amounts of soldiers in this world ready to die for war, then there should also be christians out there prepared to die for peace. One certainly cannot criticize their level of commitment to this difficult calling. And now this recent kidnapping has brought CPT some unfortunate publicity and some interesting responses from the muslim community.

Let us pray that their message of peace and cooperation will ring louder in Iraq than the incessant violence perpetuated by all war mongers in that region. Let us also pray that they will continue to find the fortitude to maintain their integrity in this extremely difficult situation. Let us also pray for their safe return to their loved ones. Let us pray that their example will be an inspiration for all of us regarding the true costs of discipleship and servanthood.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" - Jesus


Anonymous Aaron Penner said...

The high price for peace that you refer to in your report was envisioned twenty years ago when Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) was first established. Ron Snider at the time was quoted as saying " We must be prepared to die by the thousands. Those who believe in peace by the sword have not hesitated to die....Unless we are ready to die developing new non-violent attempts to reduce conflict, we should confess that we never really meant that the cross was an alternative to the sword." CPT for the last twenty years has attempted to do just that.

Although I believe the above to be true, we watched tonight the CBC documentary featuring the Jim Loney family. You could not help but feel their pain in dealing with the possible loss of their son/brother. And yet, they knew that he had placed himself in this position for the very reasons outlined by Ron Snider.
through their tears, they simply asked us to join them with our prayers for his safe release.

Jared, I know you feel close to CPT and this group and that your prayer request for them is real. We will join you in this prayer and hold steadfast to the belief that God will care for them.

"Blessed are the peacekeepers..."

11:21 p.m.  

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