Peace. . . .

  1. Just got back from church. The whole service was focused on the 9/11. All prayers, all hymns and the sermon were focused on healing, rememberence, gratitude, forgiveness and peace.

    Peace.

    This particular service was planned by both Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the Missouri Synod Lurtheran church (please forgive me if incorrectly mis-identified the Missouri Synod). This particular service was probably performed in most Lutheran churches if not all Lutheran churches found in the US.

    The Lutheran church's voice was loud and clear.

    Pray for Peace. Pray for the our nation's leaders NOT to take the tempting road of war and to listen to the world's voice at large. The world seems to be saying "PEACE".

    I won't speak for all who profess to be Christian. I can't. I won't. However, the service held at my church had a strong message. Rather, I will speak of the message as professed by the ELCA and the Missouri Synod in today's service. Basically this Sunday's message, in part, includes the following points:

    1) As Christians, we are called to embrace Peace and to resist the temptation of vengence-based war.

    2) As Christians, we are called to remember that unbridled anger and hate is not the Will of God. The Will of God is Love.

    3) As Christians, we are called to forgive our enemies.

    If interested I will provide a copy of this Sunday's service. It better represents the message and prayers of the ELCA and the Missour Syond at large. But the points mentioned above does fairly accurately descibe one important tone of the service.

    Now, it does seem that there is a fairly strong "force" within our current administration to highly consider the possibility of initiating a "first strike" towards Iraq. It wouldn't surprise me if we, as a lone nation, go to war against Iraq.

    The Lutheran church, as demonstrated in today's service, does not condone this line of thinking. As pointed out in today's service, the world pretty much does not condone this line of thinking. I'm choosing to listen to my church's teachings; I'm also choosing to listen to the world's - our allies - wishes. As a Christian, and as a citizen of our wonderful country, I wish peace; I want peace; I demand our leaders to opt for peace. And work hard at it.

    If we profess to be a nation "Under God"; if we profess to be a nation with "Christian Ideals", then we should be a nation united demanding that we do not initiate a first strike.

    And if our leaders of our country does do a first strike against Iraq (or any other country for that matter), and does so "In the Name of God", know this: They do not represent God's Will.

    Peace is not an easy process. Achieving Peace is harder than initiating war. Part of the process of Peace will require a different mind-set; a different way of thinking. Part of the process of peace will require that all voices of this very finite world be heard; that the poor will no longer be poor; that love comes before hate; that people come before profits; that we respect and honor the differences that exist on this world. Peace will not come easy. But if we as citizens of this planet unite as "Lovers of Peace", work together to ensure prosperity (and I don't necessarily mean monetary prosperity) for all, then, as a united voice, we will prevail over angry terrorism. These are basic, basic Christian concepts. These concepts, for some reason, are lost in our society's thinking.

    But we (our congregation) were reminded of these concepts during today's special Sunday's service. And we were reminded that as Christians, we are called to serve God's Children. And, finally, we were reminded that the whole world IS God's Children.

    Peace is not easy. However, working for Peace is working God's Will.

    If you're reading this, and you're not a Christian, then you have every right to say "Screw this!!" If you believe that we should go to war for the "sake of the nation", you have every right to express that belief.

    But if you believe in the messages of love and peace that Christ tried to teach his "children" a little over 2000 years ago, then you know that war is not an option.

    2000 years ago, many Jews believed that Christ was going to lead them to battle against a very repressive Roman Empire. Boy were they wrong. Instead, Christ died because he loved us; His Creation was important to Him: he demonstrated the ultimate sacrafice for a chance to have us learn of His Will. And His Will was Love, and Forgiveness and Peace.

    Simple concepts. Very hard to do. I guess we need help. Maybe a prayer? Maybe some God-centered action?

    My love to you all.

    Ted
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  2. 54 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Hi Ted

    That is a very powerful message regarding peace instead of war. Thanks for sharing it here. I agree with its message wholeheartedly...PEACE...NOT WAR...that is my fervant prayer for our nation. Amen! :kiss
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    ...of course, it would've been easier for some of us to espouse that ideal had we not been attacked on our own soil.... :kiss
  5. by   l.rae
    if someone attacked my family in my home.....l would do whatever it takes to whomever to see that this NEVER happens again....oh..wait....my family was attacked,(United States citizens) and in my home (United States of America)...hmmmm. Forgiveness is devine....self defense i essential.....Monday morning quarterbacking is fine..but we must remember...no matter how well intentioned.....these ''quarterbacks'' are not privy to military intelligence. As my son who is a former Navy sub-mariner said to me.."There is so much that civilians don't know...things l can't tell.....they should be scared to death.".....he made this statement 2 years ago.....just my .02....LR
  6. by   micro
    Originally posted by efiebke
    Just got back from church. The whole service was focused on the 9/11. All prayers, all hymns and the sermon were focused on healing, rememberence, gratitude, forgiveness and peace.
    Peace.
    .............................................
    Now, it does seem that there is a fairly strong "force" within our current administration to highly consider the possibility of initiating a "first strike" towards Iraq. It wouldn't surprise me if we, as a lone nation, go to war against Iraq.
    As a Christian, and as a citizen of our wonderful country, I wish peace; I want peace; I demand our leaders to opt for peace. And work hard at it.
    .................................................. .......
    Peace is not an easy process. Achieving Peace is harder than initiating war. Part of the process of Peace will require a different mind-set; a different way of thinking. Part of the process of peace will require that all voices of this very finite world be heard; that the poor will no longer be poor; that love comes before hate; that people come before profits; that we respect and honor the differences that exist on this world. Peace will not come easy. But if we as citizens of this planet unite as "Lovers of Peace", work together to ensure prosperity (and I don't necessarily mean monetary prosperity) for all, then, as a united voice, we will prevail over angry terrorism. These are basic, basic Christian concepts. These concepts, for some reason, are lost in our society's thinking.
    .............................................
    But we (our congregation) were reminded of these concepts during today's special Sunday's service. And we were reminded that as Christians, we are called to serve God's Children. And, finally, we were reminded that the whole world is God's Children.
    .............................................
    Simple concepts. Very hard to do. I guess we need help. Maybe a prayer? Maybe some God-centered action?
    .............................................
    My love to you all.
    Ted

    Ted, it is so good to hear your voice and your voice as you speak of the Lutheran church's view toward peace, not war.

    Peace is not simple. Peace is not easy. Peace seems impossible, but we should not initially strike out. That is not what should be done. It will take a miracle and a whole different mindset. Retribution and vengeance is never right, from an individual, group, society, countries. When will we learn, when will we ever learn.

    I add my thoughts and prayers toward any good and peace. I wish no further harm on anyone. We are all one, why can we not see this. To view this earth from space, you do not see the lines that divide. You do not see the hatred. You just see the beauty and the evidance that life exists on this planet.

    Thank you Ted, for your posting. May we all be humbled at this time and not be overwhelmed with fear, but pray and hope for good for mankind.

    micro
    :zzzzz



    (please know, anyone that does know of how micro writes, i mean no disrespect in the fact that I did not quote the entire passage posted by Ted, just reposted what struck me the most)
    to read his entire post, just refer to post #1,
    know ted knows this of micro style.........
    Last edit by micro on Sep 8, '02
  7. by   kmchugh
    Ted

    I respect your viewpoint, I really do. There is much in your post that I cannot and will not argue with. I've said before, and will say again, no one wants peace than those who must fight a war and their friends and families. I was in the military for a long time, and have several friends I consider to be closer than family who still serve. I pray for peace, but not peace at any price. I'm wondering whether somehow the Lutheran church has better intelligence services than the US. I'd like to look at a couple of points in your post, and I'd really like to hear your response.

    "If we profess to be a nation "Under God"; if we profess to be a nation with "Christian Ideals", then we should be a nation united demanding that we do not initiate a first strike."

    So I am assuming that we must wait until we are struck first. But wait, that happened on 9/11/01, remember? And there is very strong (to the point of overwhelming) evidence of Iraqi involvement in the attack. Or must we wait until Saddam himself delivers an atomic bomb on our doorstep? Make no mistake, he is trying to get the bomb as fast as he can. Estimates released to the press now put Saddam as having the bomb within three years. From the beginning, we have said we would ferret out those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and we would ensure they would not do so again. Now, you don't want us to do that anymore? You want more attacks of the same and larger scale as 9/11?

    "And if our leaders of our country does do a first strike against Iraq (or any other country for that matter), and does so "In the Name of God", know this: They do not represent God's Will."

    Again, a strike on Iraq would not be a first strike. Why is that so hard to understand? And you know the mind of God? How interesting, a modern prophet.

    "But if we as citizens of this planet unite as "Lovers of Peace", work together to ensure prosperity (and I don't necessarily mean monetary prosperity) for all, then, as a united voice, we will prevail over angry terrorism. These are basic, basic Christian concepts. These concepts, for some reason, are lost in our society's thinking."

    Ted, realize that the whole world does not think the way you do. I am assuming by prosperity, you are referring to the prosperity that having a relationship with Christ brings. But that is the very attitude of arrogance that the rest of the world finds so insulting. They will tell you they enjoy the peace and blessings of Allah and his prophet Mohammed. Talk of your "basic, basic Christian concepts" could be offensive to people of Islamic faith.

    For an individual to turn the other cheek is admirable and demonstrates great self control. Turing the nation's other cheek is a criminal act that will invite another strike. How many of our citizens must be killed before you say it's OK to defend ourselves?

    "If you're reading this, and you're not a Christian, then you have every right to say "Screw this!!" If you believe that we should go to war for the "sake of the nation", you have every right to express that belief.

    But if you believe in the messages of love and peace that Christ tried to teach his "children" a little over 2000 years ago, then you know that war is not an option."

    Ok, this is pretty offensive, because you are telling me that by virtue of my disagreement with you, I am somehow less Christian than you are. I firmly believe that Christ would expect us, as a nation who values religious freedom, who reject imposition of others religious beliefs, to defend our nation, and Christ always taught that the stronger should protect the weaker.

    Remember, Christ was not a man of words alone. Remember his actions when he found moneylenders and merchants defiling his Father's church. Those were pretty violent actions. Yet we know (and I accept) that Christ was free from sin. Can we not learn, then, from his actions, that there are times when force, even unpopular force, may be necessary in an imperfect world?

    Did we fail in our Christian duty when we went to war against Nazi Germany? After all, they never struck out at the United States until the United States entered the war with a formal declaration of war against Germany. Yes, they were at war with other parts of the world, but had no immediate quarrel with us. Did we fail as Christians when we went after Imperial Japan when they attacked Pearl Harbor. After all, fewer Americans died at Pearl than died in the WTC attacks.

    Make no mistake, we are facing an equally determined enemy, one who is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons. I believe the greater sin would be for the US to wait until Saddam has and has used these weapons before intervening. If we have the ability to save lives in our country, and fail to do so because others in the world don't like it, then we have sinned against God and done a great disservice to ourselves.

    As I said, I respect your opinion. But don't have the hubris to assume that your opinion is the only opinion that reflects the will of God, and the arrogance to assume the rest of us are unwashed heathen for disagreeing with you.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Sep 8, '02
  8. by   l.rae
    Kevin.....WOW!....and AMEN.....where do we draw the line at turning the other cheek......honestly, l think maybe the only one time the media was TOO conservative was in not showing MORE of the devastation of 9-11.....l am a Christain and l have a problem letting any organized church/religion doing my thinking and stating my oppinions...did we not learn from the Catholic church's propensity to ''tell'' its followers how holy and wonderful some of it's bishops and priests were? ....In the end it doesn't matter what l think or what the church thinks...the only thing that matters is the truth....and l believe part of that truth encompasses self defense......l can't imagine any ''Christain'' truly wants more innocent blood shed...it will be a sad reality of war...it always has been.....so do we wait for S.H. to come over hear with his nuclear bomb and destroy us because we belive in values and democracy....then do we still turn the other cheek?....There are some pple and some situations that only respond to a swift kick in the a$$.....and the situation with S.H. is most assuredly in this catagory..............and btw....Kevin....thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time serving our country...it is because of pple like you and my son that we even have the freedom to discuss this in an open and honest forum.....if this were Iraq, S.H. would have those who oppose him murdered.....we owe you a debt of gratitude and some ''Monday morning quarterbacks'' will NEVER grasp this .............LR
  9. by   jevans
    DEFINATELY PEACE!!!!!!

    Now I may be niave but aren't the neighbouring arab countries asking us The States and UK to look at this more closely and not to make rash decissions, at the end of the day only 3 countries think this is a good idea USA UK and Israel

    Does that not speak volumes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am an exforces wife, I do not speak out against my country very often but I do ask -

    1] Are we going to war over some issue that may be a possible threat 10yrs down the line OR is it imenent?

    2] If we go to war is it due to politics and power? just because our leaders need it?

    3] what are the remifications?

    A very concerned
    j
  10. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by jevans
    "DEFINATELY PEACE!!!!!!"

    I agree, but peace in which we can feel safe in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our country. I have friends who work for the government in and around DC. On 9/11, many of them had great difficulty staying at work, even though they were part of the intelligence arm. One of them told me "We smoked a lot of cigarettes outside in the smoke area that day. And the building damn near emptied every time we heard aircraft." Is this how you want to live for the rest of your life? When is it time to tell the fundamentalist terrorists "ENOUGH!" and back that up with action? Or, in the interests of peace, do we cower in the corner and pray that every one will like us?

    "Now I may be niave but aren't the neighbouring arab countries asking us The States and UK to look at this more closely and not to make rash decissions, at the end of the day only 3 countries think this is a good idea USA UK and Israel"

    Think about what you are saying. There are reports in the open press of involvement or knowledge of the 9/11 attacks in many of the Arab countries that you speak of. I have spoken to people from these countries, who tell me "We are as sick of this as you are, and probably sicker. But we cannot say so, for this will invite the "holy men" to declare jihad on us as unbelievers in the fight against the US."

    "Does that not speak volumes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Yep. It speaks volumes about who our true allies are after the 9/11 attacks. It speaks volumes about who has the courage to stand up to the terroists, no matter how badly that may anger the terrorists. It speaks volumes about who is really willing to say "ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    "I am an exforces wife, I do not speak out against my country very often but I do ask -

    1] Are we going to war over some issue that may be a possible threat 10yrs down the line OR is it imenent?"

    It is imminent, though we could let it percolate for 10 years. One way or the other, Saddam is sooner or later going back to Kuwait, but he won't make the same mistakes this time. He won't stop in Kuwait, but will take at least the Saudi oil fields, if not all of Saudi Arabia. And in 10 years, he will have the nukes he wants so badly. In short, we can do it now, or we can do it at the behest of Hussein in 5 to 10 years, at 10 to 100 times the cost in American lives.

    "2] If we go to war is it due to politics and power? just because our leaders need it?"

    All war is due, in one fashion or another, to politics and power. In this case, the political ambitions and power grab of Saddam Hussein. The politics of protecting American citizens within the borders of their own home country. I do not understand how people keep forgetting that.

    "3] what are the remifications?"

    I'm assuming you mean "ramifications." The ramifications are preventing a madman, who has used weapons of mass destruction in the past, from obtaining nuclear weapons. The ramifications are knocking out a major support structure that helped 3000+ Americans die on 9/11. The ramifications are preventing further terrorist attacks, by taking the money used for terror, the training grounds for terrorist, and eliminating the safe havens for terrorists.

    Why is this so difficult?

    "A very concerned
    j"

    I am equally concerned. Concerned with the ramifications of a peace at any price policy. Concerned with the message sent to terrorists when they are able to manipulate the press to pressure the US into acting against its own best interests. Concerned with the fact that the next 9/11 could easily include atomic weapons.

    A very concerned
    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Sep 8, '02
  11. by   fergus51
    Kevin, being from Canada, it is ridiculous to say that if our country doesn't support the US in this one instance that it isn't a true ally. There comes a time when even the best of friends don't see eye to eye on an issue. This is one. Our governement has come out in favor of the weapons inspectors being allowed in or else we go to war. The only difference in his opinion and George W Bush' s is that Chretien seems to want to try inspectors FIRST rather than go straigth to the war part. I understand people who don't agree with this, but that hardly makes Canada not a true ally. (Oh, and from what I heard Tony Blair is in Bush's corner, not the UK).
  12. by   Love-A-Nurse
    hi, ted.

    i do not come to disagree with the main point of your post, because i do agree with peace. however, there is a time for all things and yes, even war. i pray that when and if that time comes, either the us as the initiator or defender
    ( have try other possible means before doing and with the right intent) of the first "strike", that neither will be done to air who is better and who has the power, as i feel this is a personal agenda for both iraq's leader and our president, mr. bush.







  13. by   Sleepyeyes
    I am equally concerned. Concerned with the ramifications of a peace at any price policy. Concerned with the message sent to terrorists when they are able to manipulate the press to pressure the US into acting against its own best interests. Concerned with the fact that the next 9/11 could easily include atomic weapons.

    Exactly, Kevin. Thank you.
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    Maybe it's just me, but I'm feeling overwhelmed with all that's going on. Possibly too much CNN, ABC, CBS, Reuters, BBC, NPR.. etc. Then a former UN inspector says going to war with Iraq will be the biggest mistake America will make. Then Rumsfeld says we need to strike now. Strike, don't strike. War, no war. Good call, bad call. 9-11, 9-11, 9-11.

    My head hurts.

    I'm shutting down systems, leaving only essential life support running.

    Carry on... I can't.

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