About The Contemplative Activist

Hi. We're Marty & Sandy Boller. Now that we're sixty-something years old, we have way too much history to put in this little box. So let’s just say we are recovering 3-B pastors on our way to becoming a contemplative activists. Join us!

Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – An Introduction.

This is post #1 of a series entitled Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here you’ll find very practical and biblically-sound advice on building bridges instead of walls, offering hope instead of despair. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.


Click on the link below to listen to the podcast version of this blog!

Today’s Lectio Divina:  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5: 9 (NIV)


Back in the day, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David composed a catchy tune that nearly became a national anthem for so many of us baby-boomers growing up during the turbulent times of the 1960’s.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb.
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last, till the end of time.

Lord, we don’t need another meadow,
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow.
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine,
Oh listen, Lord, if You want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

(Listen to this song-click here)

They say, what comes round – goes round. And, doesn’t it seem as though this song from 1965 could easily become our prayer once again in this wild-n-crazy time in which we live?

Back in the days of Jesus of Nazareth. Times were not too much different than they are here in America today.

Indeed, the good old days, simply weren’t!

The people of God, in Jesus’ day, lived in a very anti-God society. Rome was a completely secularized nation, with its leaders concerned primarily with dominating those lands the Roman army had conquered. Israel, in the first century, was an occupied nation. Nothing more. Nothing less. Even the religious system of Jesus’ day had been polluted by a leadership team that was more concerned with power and prestige than actually serving the people God had asked them to serve.

So, when Jesus of Nazareth came onto the scene in 30 A.D., the situation was ripe for a political savior. A man of power and prestige who will take it to God’s enemies, tear down injustice, stand for godly principles, and set up a holy kingdom, a nation built on a godly foundation, a shining city restored on a hill for all to see.

Sound familiar?

But as we all know, Jesus refused to play this role even when His most loyal disciples wanted Him to play. Rather than come into Jerusalem as a high & mighty king, the Master came as a lowly, humble servant. And over a three year period of time, Jesus modeled for us, day-in and day-out, a lifestyle for Christ-followers in every generation. A life lived for the greater glory of God.

In a private conversation the Master had with His closest associates (today we call this little chat, The Sermon on the Mount), we find words of wisdom that simply don’t line up with much of the way most God-followers tend to think. You see, whether it’s the first-century, the sixteenth century, or the twenty-first century, most Christians tend to believe that God-fearing people are responsible for keeping the faith pure while protecting poor ole God from all the evil trafficking our fallen planet. As a result, we build up doctrinal truths and scripture-based tenets that result in large, impenetrable walls that are designed to hold back the bad while keeping the good safe.

Yet, when we read Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, we find a whole different perspective on how we should then live, move and have our being in this fallen world. Rather than hunkering down, going into a defensive mode of self-protection, Jesus says this:

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s Kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Matthew 5: 3-12 (MsgB)

Ouch.

If you didn’t notice, Jesus’ marching orders here certainly don’t seem to line up with much of our present-day Evangelical approach to living the Christian faith in a world that’s seemingly more hostile toward it with every passing day.

So, in this world gone mad, it seems that Jesus just might be looking for peacemakers instead of war-mongers, worshippers instead of warriors, loving instead of confronting, and caring instead of contempt.

Maybe Paul was speaking directly into our 21st century when he wrote:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1st Corinthians 13 (NIV)

So today, in the name of love, I begin a new 31-session blog and podcast series entitled, Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. In it, I hope to bring forth a manifesto for Christ-followers living in times, here in America, that we’ve never faced before. But hear this. Just because we feel our society is out of control, doesn’t mean that it is. And just because many of the traditions we’ve held dear to our Christian faith are being challenged to the hilt, it doesn’t mean you and I panic and do things like allow our hearts to grow callused, pushing us into words and actions that actually betray the Master instead of glorifying His Name.

As I see it, Jesus made it crystal clear how you and I should live our lives in these troubled times. And over the next few weeks, we’ll spell out for you some of those core truths, as based in the Scriptures themselves.

I hope you will plan to join me in this journey.

My Prayer: Father God, I live in turbulent times. I see the violence all around me, feel the sting of dissonance surrounding me, and am fearful of losing parts of my faith that have been set in place to protect me from evil. Yet, in truth, Your Word says that in these troubled times, You will never leave me, never forsake me, and never put me in a situation where I’m left to fend for myself alone. Jesus, draw near. Holy Spirit, come close. Allow me to hear Your words of comfort and instruction as I live in these increasingly violent times, for Your glory. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.

A Few Questions to Ponder: How is the increase in violence and dissonance in society affecting me on a daily basis? Do I tend to pull away, ignoring the issues and simply doing my best to protect myself from harm? Do I join the fray by becoming more vocal in social media? What might being a peacemaker for the cause of Christ look like in these troubled times?

So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?


Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace.

We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!