The Elusive Pursuit of Peace
Earlier this week, we honored the memory and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, the Christian pastor and non-violent civil rights leader, who was murdered in Memphis, TN five decades ago.
Later this week, Vice President Pence will meet with the leaders of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, as he travels to the “Cradle of Christianity” in the elusive pursuit of peace in the Middle East.
Fifty years ago, many Arab countries surrounding tiny Israel joined to attack the hated “Zionists,” with the expressed goal of destroying the nascent Jewish State by throwing the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. However, even after the humiliating defeat of the Arab forces in that “six-day war” and a later peace accord secretly worked out in Oslo, Norway with Palestinian representatives of the terrorist group the Palestinian Liberation Organization, little peace has prevailed.
A contemporary observer of those troubled times, Dr. King said,
“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”
Today, Israel has signed peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt and has a growing dialog with Saudi security and economic officials, particularly over the mutual concerns with the threatening actions of neighboring Iran. These relationships are always tempered by the anti-Semitic rhetoric, hatred, and violence ginned up by Islamic imams and extremists.
In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 in Oslo, Norway, Dr. King acknowledged his “… profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence WITHOUT resorting to violence and oppression.”
The Apostle Paul explained to the Ephesians that Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles (including Arabs) by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, He united Jews and Gentiles as though we were one person and did away with our human hatred for each other. He also made peace between us and God, and now all of us can become part of the Father’s family by the same Spirit. (Ephesians 14-18)
Let us pray that these truths ultimately prevail in the “Cradle of Christianity” and in every nation, tribe and tongue.