After watching the video I must admit I was a little confused. I didn't find anything at all "scary" about the senator's position. In fact, I really liked it. I understood him to be holding out a peaceful vision for the future. Now before you say to yourself: "Oh, here we go again—just another young, white, educated guy caught up in the rock star status of Obama," bear with me for a moment. I happen to like Obama, but this isn't about Obama's candidacy as much as it is about a Christian perspective on peace and what it means to be people who witness to the Kingdom of God.
Although the Old Testament is not shy about strife between nations and the Israelites often times being right in the middle of all the war and bloodshed, we can’t overstate the vision that one day peace would eventually fill the lands. The prophets testified to this future hope of a peaceful world. Perhaps the most enduring image the Prophet Isaiah lifted up was that found in Isaiah 2:4-5:
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!
The prophet’s vision for a peaceful world would be reinforced in the person of Jesus, Israel’s long awaited Messiah. On the night he was betrayed, Jesus refused to fight and refused to have any of his followers engage in acts of violence. I hear it often quoted, but let's not forget that Jesus was the first to choin the phrase, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.”
When I consider the thrust (thank you Dr. Spina) of the biblical narrative, I have to say a vision of peace is one the most central features. The prophets talked about it. Jesus talked about it. Even the book of Revelation talks about it. And as those who follow in the Way of Jesus, giving witness to the Kingdom of God, it would seem that we too should work towards peace. So why are Christians, out all people, so reluctant to believe that a day would ever come where we could be making political strides with other countries to jointly dismantle nuclear arsenals? Why is peace such an audacious endeavor?