One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Where are the Peacemakers?

Matithyah (Matthew) 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of Elohim.”

We live in a time of instant communication. Knowledge, nearly all knowledge, is available at one’s fingertips through the internet. Along with knowledge being readily available, many people’s thoughts and opinions are also available for easy access through blogs and personal web pages. There are discussion forums geared toward every subject imaginable, and perhaps some which aren’t.

Everyone seems most interested in putting forth his own opinion about that subject about which he is passionate. Discussion in a forum can go sideways quickly when emotions flare and individuals do not see eye to eye. The discussion of the subject can deteriorate rather quickly into an online shouting match, with personal accusations flying back and forth. Neither party benefits, nor do any of the other people who might have been involved in the discussion. At that point, it becomes “see it my way or else.” Oftentimes, those in the discussion are galvanized into one side or the other as if the only right choice is an either/or option. An either/or mindset is a logical fallacy. There are often many more options available than just an either/or choice.

But where are the peacemakers?

I mean really, where are they?

Rarely does one stand up and make a concerted effort to bring peace to the group or discussion. And if one does, he is often seen by both parties as being the opposition to their own positions. Is it any wonder Yeshua said the peacemakers shall be blessed, because oftentimes, people do not bless or appreciate them the way they should? Perhaps, this is part of the reason why few people actually step into the role of a peacemaker.

Many times I have had the privilege of bringing unity to a group of people, although not always in the way one might expect. As I have attempted to bring logic and reason into a discussion, sometimes this has caused the opposing parties to unite against their common enemy, me. I am not sure why this happens, but it has many times. It’s just a gift, I guess. But it does speak to why more people do not take up the mantle of being a peacemaker. It is a difficult task, and often thankless.

When I look across the internet landscape, I do not see many peacemakers. What I see are a bunch of individuals vying for recognition of their own beliefs, individuals hawking their version of what they know.

In order to be a peacemaker, one must be able to see and understand another person’s position. This does not mean one has to agree with it. But it does mean a willingness to admit that there is more than one option available. When this is applied to Scripture in particular, one has to be able to see that there may be more than one “right” way to see, understand, and apply, a given passage of Scripture. Within the Hebrew mindset there are four levels of understanding. This does not mean that those four are the only four.

When it comes to application, there may be as many ways as there are individuals. This is highly subjective and personal. When one person suggests that the way another person has applied a particular passage is incorrect, it tends to raise defenses, and individuals get crossways with each other.

Bringing peace to such a situation is difficult. It will take humility. This is especially so for the peacemaker. But it is also so for those who have been galvanized against each other. There needs to be a willingness to set aside all the emotions and take an honest look at the other person’s position. It is going to take a willingness to admit that there may be some truth in what the other person is saying. It is nearly always a given, that there is truth present in any person’s position. When it comes to an individual and his beliefs, there is no such thing as “pure evil” or a person being completely wrong. Even Satan is not 100% wrong on every single point. The way Satan works is to take truth and either take a very small part away or to add a very small part. This action changes and twists the truth of YHWH. Now mind you, truth is still present.

When it comes to humans, every single person is flawed. Every person is fallible. We all make mistakes. We do not have it all figured out. And no person can. Just because one may be wholly convinced that his position is correct, does not mean that he cannot be wrong, or, more correctly, that he cannot come to a better or more complete understanding in his position, if he just simply listened and respected the other person more.

We live in a world which touts the rights of the individual. It is me, me, me! No, No, No! We are commanded to watch out for our fellows. This does not mean shoving your own thoughts and beliefs down his throat. What it means is having a spirit of gentleness about us in our dealings with one another. It means interacting with another in a spirit of love. It means that we should be moving towards reflecting Mashiach, instead of ourselves.

Where are the peacemakers?

Perhaps you are one.

Are you working to bring peace to your part of the world? Or, are you working to bring your opinions?

Please prayerfully consider how well you do at peacemaking.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah