Today, some Jehovah Witnesses came to visit me. My ever alert guard terrier Chip was first to respond with loud barking to a strange person at the door. Such a good boy… :)
Anyway, this couple asked to talk to me about passages from the Bible in reference to peace. How convenient! I blog about nonviolence and wrote a thesis on it! I’m game, so I tell them sure. They ask me why I think war and violence wages in the world despite each religion’s effort for peace. I tell them human nature is bent toward destruction because of the chaotic nothingness out of which we were created (quoting Augustine…that threw them off a little), but the grace of Christ is what covers for that, and we must emulate His teachings. They pointed to Romans 12:18, which tells us to live peaceably with all, as far as it depends on us. They hand me some literature with the words “Watchtower” printed on them (Watchtower Bible Society is the Jehovah’s Witness source for biblical interpretation and such) and go on their way. Literally, the whole thing took 90 seconds tops.
Now, the JW are correct in acknowledging the pursuit of peaceful living within all religions. From Christianity to Islam (yes, Islam) to Buddhism to Bahai to whatever, we’re all seeking peace and an end to war. Something that bothered me, though, that the literature pointed out was that , though the JW are peace loving and do not support war, they also remain neutral on politics, which, as I talked about in my last post, is impossible to do. If only they read this blog…it would solve all their problems. *sarcasm*
Action toward peace by reaching out to those around you is, in fact, religiously universal, whether by the Golden Rule or karma or the Eightfold Path. Though some do seek peace by inaction, and thus do not find it, across the world of religions, people more and more each day begin to understand that unless we stick our necks out for others, peace will not come. Peace is selfless in nature, and therefore cannot be held simply as a novel idea. Whether it’s the Buddhist monks taking people into their monasteries for shelter after a hurricane, or Muslims forming human shield lines around Coptic churches in Egypt, or New Monastic communities in America taking care of the poor, peace is active. Nonviolence is active.
Do not sit idly by and watch opportunities to live like Christ pass you by. Peace will not come unless you bring it to others.