Pentecost and peace

The ancient Christians said, as affirmed by Saint Augustine, God is One, True, Good and Beautiful.  It is the Spirit that gives us to know theses things, and to exemplify them in our lives.  To the extent that we do so we reflect the holiness of God and are accounted virtuous by men (pace, feminists, this includes you).

Those who openly speak the truth, do the good and model the beautiful have always been a minority in society, pointedly ignored, mocked, reviled and not infrequently required to prove their commitment with their own blood.  Even nominally Christian societies have found the saints’ refusal to compromise rather too much to bear.

George Orwell famously said, “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”  Christians who model themselves on their Lord and Savior find themselves sharing His fate to a greater or lesser degree.  The World doesn’t want revolutionaries.  It wants entertainers and enforcers and cowed, blind masses.

Christians cannot submit to such a system, cannot allow any part of such a system have a hold on them, for we are citizens of another Kingdom.  The World hates the Kingdom of God, all that comes from it and all who are loyal to it.  The World’s system stand in stark contrast to the Kingdom of God.

The World creates unity by threat of violence, submit or be punished.  The World concocts lies that serve to perpetuate its power.  The World oppresses those it subjects to itself.  The World reduces all to squalor as it raises monuments to itself.  To this the Unity, Truth, Goodness and Beauty of the Kingdom of God bears witness, exposes it for what it is and shames it.

The World system will always tempt the Christian with promises of peace.  “Look, it isn’t such a big deal.  Just keep quiet.  Believe what you want, but keep it to yourself.  Don’t be so extreme, compromise and we’ll get along just fine.”  It is an attractive proposition, but it is not peace.  There will always be another compromise demanded with the promise, “Just this one thing the nothing more.”  But there is always more.  There is an endless string of further retreats, further surrenders, further defeats.

With each the Christian is forced back within himself, diminishing himself, and his Faith.  With each the Kingdom of God withdraws another step.  With each dimming of the Truth, withdrawal of Goodness, crumbling of Beauty the people for whom Jesus shed His Blood and to whom the Holy Spirit was sent groans and dies a little more.

This is no true peace.  This is not the peace Jesus gave us.  This is the peace of the grave.

I, for one, want no part of such a peace.

I am Christ’s.  His power, the power of self sacrificing love that restores what was lost, heals what is wounded, elevates what is fallen and completes what is lacking, is my power.  I choose it, I purpose to use it, come what may.

Therefore I must speak the clearest truth known to me whether convenient or inconvenient.  For only that Truth can liberate me and anyone who believes it. Truth is freedom, and I passionately want to be free, for all men to be free.

Therefore I must act with gentleness and compassion, recognizing that all men are vulnerable as I am.  I make myself vulnerable that I may become a bridge for others to receive healing and strength.  I passionately desire to be holy that men may be made whole.

Therefore I must recognize and praise beauty in whatever form I find it.  For beauty lifts up the heart and ennobles as it delights.  I make myself a conduit for beauty because I passionately long for His glory and desire the despairing and downtrodden – all men – to see it and be drawn to Him.

I accept as my own God’s own love which frees me, heals me and enriches me.  I make my own all those who are also free, healed and enriched with His love.  This is the unity that is true peace.

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