Monthly Archives: July 2009

On Peacemaking

We need not label ourselves pacifists, but peacemaking is not something optional for Christians. A major element of Christ’s teaching his call to become peacemakers. They are among the blessed and are witnesses to the Kingdom of God. To be a peacemaker, Christ says, is to be a child of God. In the years of Christ’s life described in the Gospel, one of the most notable aspects is that he killed no one but healed many. He is not a warrior king. Caesar rides a horse while Christ enters Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Even when he clears the Temple of people who have made a place of worship into a place of commerce, he does so using nothing more than a whip of cords, not a weapon that can cause injuries; the only life endangered by his action was his own. His final instruction to Peter before his crucifixion is, “Put away your sword, for whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword.” Saying that, he healed the wound Peter had inflicted on one of the men arresting Jesus. On the cross, far from calling down his Father’s vengeance on those who participated in his execution, Jesus appeals for mercy: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Again and again, throughout is earthly life Christ gives his followers a witness of peace.

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship


Dispatches from the Future

The pampered American youth of bourgeois classes came to believe that their mere attendance at rallies and the symbolic choices they made between factions in the election booths constituted a movement–even a sort of revolution. Sincere though their intentions were, they lacked the historical knowledge of the sustained sacrifices that revolutionary struggle entails. They could not see that their efforts had brought “change” without any real political movement behind it, and therefor no true change at all.

Harper’s Magazine, June 2009, 34. Excerpted from The Dragon Rising, Vol. 1 of Li Xian’s The Chinese Century, HarperChina. Translated from the Chinese by Peter Moore.