“We are called not to be a peaceable kingdom but a peacemaking kingdom”- Moltmann (in response to what he thinks of Stanley Hauerwas)
For the past few years I’ve been thinking through the relationship between church and nation/state/political powers. It’s a tricky affair. Truthfully, I haven’t figured out how to navigate those worlds together without feeling I’m rejecting one or the other. One trend that bothers me is what I think Moltmann meant by the peaceable kingdom. It is peaceable, but it is also removed. All of us agree it would be easier to pull away from society and live in our own little communities of justice. But then we would cease to be a peacemaking kingdom where it’s needed most. So the question is- without leaving our very complicated ties to political realities in favor of an isolated community, how do we live as people who seek God’s reconciliation?
If there’s one conviction I have, it’s that much of our action has more to do with our presence than anything else. I don’t mean just showing up- I mean the WAY in which we show up, the way we interact with others, the way we speak our words. Part of my frustration I shared yesterday is that we’ve seemingly lost the ability to be present in ways that aren’t selfish, egotistical and even violent toward others. As God’s people, we need to be incredibly thoughtful and intentional about how we seek change. They will know we are Christians by our love, no?
While “peaceable” describes a state of being, “peacemaking” implies movement and action. It’s the far more complicated of the two- but it also happens to be the one that God commands of us. Anybody have good examples or stories of how we can do this? Any tips?