A Different Kind of Peace

Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and a Christian, makes the claim that the strongest weapon in the world is sanctity. There is nothing that can defeat it.

Kreeft goes on to write:

It may sound strange to some people to speak of sanctity in connection with warfare, even spiritual warfare. Many “religious people” like to think of sanctity because they think it’s just the opposite of war. They think it is not only peaceful but “nice”: comforting, upbeat, happifying.

Kreeft goes on to give some penetrating analysis regarding why such people are wrong. Christ is indeed the Prince of Peace, but the peace Christ gives is radically distinctive. It is given “not as the world gives” (John 14:27). And it certainly is not “nice”. Perhaps the popular conception of saints is “nice”, but real saints are not nice. They are warriors. They really bother people so deeply that they are often martyred. If they don’t bother anybody, they’re not saints. That is what Jesus said: “If they persecuted me, they’ll persecute you” (John 15:20). You don’t take nice people and nail them to a cross. Do we judge Jesus by our “nice” idea of what a saint should be or do we judge our idea of what a saint is by the data of Jesus?

Why Is Jesus’ Peace Different?

Kreeft then asks the question: “Why is Jesus’ peace so different from any peace the world can give?” Again Kreeft’s answer is insightful:

Because the world can give us peace with itself, the flesh and the devil, while Jesus gives us peace with neighbor, self and God. The world gives us a peace based on greed and lust and pride: greed for the things of the world, lust for the things of the flesh and pride for things of the devil. But Jesus gives us a peace based on poverty, chastity and obedience- the 3 weapons that directly fight greed, lust and pride. In fact, the 2 kinds of peace are at war with each other. Saints understand that.

We need to remember that Jesus is called ‘the Lion of Judah’ in Scripture for a reason. In so many ways, the North American Church has domesticated Jesus. Let’s not think he was some pussycat.

Following Christ’s Example

Christians should love true peace. We also should hate a false peace which is based on lies. Christians should hate violence and intolerance against sinners. But they also should hate tolerance of sin. Christians are called to love sinners more, and sins less, than anyone else does (John 13:35). Both of these eccentricities puzzle people and often offend them (John 1:5). In Jesus’ day, those who loved sinners were accused of loving sins. Today, those who hate sins are accused of hating sinners.

Dear Christian, let us follow the example of our Lord by loving the sinner and hating the sin. May the Lord grant us a holy and discerning love and may He make us Christ-like warriors.

QOTD: Do you agree with Peter Kreeft’s statement that “Sanctity is the strongest weapon in the world”?