Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes
to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.
False Teacher - Daniel
Who Are the Peacemakers?
A man presents the popular philosophy that
peace can be achieved through imitation of Jesus, as espoused by the
famous Catholic priest, Daniel Berrigan. We contrast this with Reality,
which comes not by imitation of what men conceive Christ to be, which
is dead, but by submission to the living Word of God and Prince of Peace
Himself, Jesus Christ, without Whose Presence peace is impossible and
wars are inevitable.
The following letter was sent to me recently. We live in a time of great
debate and polarization about how to resolve the global conflicts we
find ourselves invariably facing. There are answers, which come
from neither the “right,” nor the “left,” but
The letter from Frank:
The life and deeds
of Daniel Berrigan, a Christian peacemaker from
the Catholic tradition, have inspired me over the years.
And as the US warmakers and their born-again-Christian Commander
in Chief George W. Bush carry out horrible crimes in Fallujah and
across Iraq, support the murderous actions of the Israeli Occupation
Forces in Palestine, support the Colombian military and their paramilitary
death squads, carry on a so-called war against terrorism, neglect the
needs of the poor and children and women struggling for a decent life, and
offer nothing but militarism to a world that wants genuine peace and
justice and reconciliation and a human rights revolution, I offer Daniel
Berrigan's challenging words for your careful consideration. ~ Frank
(These words of Daniel Berrigan have been selected from a variety of
sources . . .)
“The military method is finished… [We
must take on] peacemaking as the form of our lives...
I am responsible, not to the warmakers and purveyors of violence, but
to the community of peacemaking resistance...
Our profitless task
is our "No," uttered at the shabby door
of a civilization where today and tomorrow, the rape of the innocent
is in progress and murder is the hourly outcome.
We are filled with hope for our world and for our children as we join
this act of resistance...
I have had to go beyond,
to strike out on my own. His ways, as I hope. And
this, to indulge in the understatement of the century, has not been well
received. But at some point [about 40 years ago, around 1965], a
question put itself to my soul, without trouble or anguish (though there
had been of both, long before):
Was I to follow the old way, of consultation, dependence, delay, filtering
my conscience through five or ten coolers -- or was I to seek different
counselors, in effect a different way?...
The world showed me
its heart... What we are asking of one another is that Mars be transformed
into Christ. That our species be so transformed:
neither victims nor executioners. That conversion of heart leads
to conversion of structures; as they inevitably do.
This at least the
Christians have to offer, as the warmakers claim the political day,
and the multicorporate ties strengthen and thicken like
the cable of a gigantic noose and bind humanity in one bundle of terror...: "Come
to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you peace. Take
up my yoke, learn of me; I am meek and humble of heart. You will
find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, my burden light." In
Jesus we learn of the modesty of God... In our action we draw upon a
deep-rooted faith in Christ, who changed the course of history through
his willingness to suffer rather than to kill.”
What are we to make of war? When the dust settles on all the platitudes
about peace, what are we left with? More war. You have asked for consideration
of these sayings of Daniel Berrigan. I will answer your conclusions about
the current state of affairs in the world and how we should react to
them. You appeal (through Berrigan) to Jesus Christ as justification
of your position of pacifism, and give counsel accordingly to all. What,
in fact, does the Lord Jesus Christ Himself have to say about all this,
and where does He stand? That is the general topic of this letter.
To bring peace to this world, Berrigan says we must be transformed into
Christ. In this, he is partly right. I say partly because while an individual
can be reconciled to God, and will thereby have true peace within, by
no means does this mean that this same person (nor any other) can then
go about to accomplish world peace by their own works. None of the apostles
or saints of the past accomplished this; Jesus Christ Himself did not
do this when He walked the earth as a man. Why, because He could not?
No, the answer is simply because it was not yet time for that. It was
not His mission, nor has it been the mission of the saints. Paul did
not preach world peace, but rather repentance to every person towards
God through Jesus Christ. Paul was sent by God in the person of Christ,
to reconcile others to God, or in other words, to bring them to peace
with God. Only when the individual has peace with God can he or she have
peace with another. Without Jesus Christ reigning in the hearts of men
there will never be true peace. All must turn, not just in word, but
firstly in their hearts, unto obedience in all things to the Prince of
Otherwise, you may as well try to sprout wings and fly to the moon,
as try to bring peace to men and the world. Without repentance there
will be no new heart by which true peace is possible. Does that mean
there is no hope? Not at all. Everything happens according to the will
of God, and in the fullness of time we all will see His glorious reign
of peace and righteousness. Jesus put His trust in God’s sovereign
will, and not in the ability of men to be good. Jesus did not entrust
Himself to men because He knew what was in them (John 2:24). They wanted
to make Him king right there and then, but He denied them. Jesus did
not allow that man, in his own will, could bring about the Kingdom of
Heaven (peace) on earth. He did not even trust men who seemingly were
looking to, and honoring Him.
So what is our duty? How are we to love God and our neighbor? How can
one have peace within, anyway? Berrigan gives no idea how to accomplish
this. I should say that you also provide no thought or direction on this.
You assume the desire for world peace makes one righteous. And, coupled
with the imitation of what you suggest is Christ’s primary message
and mission of being an example of non-violence to the world, you expect
man’s willpower is sufficient to bring true peace. You imply that
we can transform the world. You imply that men can will themselves to
be as God. If that were so, Jesus Christ would not have died for all
mankind. If we could imitate Him, He would not have shed His blood. You
presume that all men are good. You stand in direct opposition to Jesus
Christ, Who says, “...none is good, save one, that is, God” (Luke
Both you and Berrigan, as well intentioned as you might be, are confused,
You expect that this world can transform itself into the Kingdom of
God by men’s good intentions. It has not happened and will not
happen. Yes, the world will change when the Kingdom of God comes to reign
in men’s hearts, but never before. And the Kingdom can only come
by the will of God. Men cannot decide when they will believe. It is God
Who must give this to all.
Jesus said He came not to bring peace to this world (Matt 10:34). He
said His Kingdom is not of this world. He said, “If My Kingdom
were of this world, then My servants would fight so that I might not
be delivered to the Jews. But now My Kingdom is not from here.” (John
Those who believe and follow the living, risen Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ have not been trying or fighting to change the world, any more
than Jesus did. At least they will learn soon enough not to. Instead,
they learn to submit to His Lordship, walking in obedience to Him by
power, to be transformed to be as He is and to be where He is (present
in heaven). They are in the world, but not of it. The world loves it
own, and its own try to save it. God comes and says it all must end,
to make room for the new. When He comes it is the end of this
as we know it. You cannot have both. You do not sew a new patch on an
old garment. The new, which is the Kingdom of God, is the change that
causes war to cease. It comes from within, and is accomplished by the
Spirit of God, and fire. Those called of God are not called to embrace
the world, but to forsake it. He now calls on all men everywhere to repent.
It is time.
(1) “What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts
(quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise
from your lusts that are ever warring in your bodily members? (2) You
are jealous and covet and your desires go unfulfilled; you become murderers. You
burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain, so you fight and
war. You do not have, because you do not ask. (3)You do ask
and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil,
selfish motives. Your intention is to spend it on your lusts. (4)You
adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that being the world’s
friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend
of the world takes his stand as the enemy of God.”
It is surely then not a matter of promoting and embracing peace measures
with this world’s governments. Since when have any of those worked?
Nor is it a matter of trying to force governments to change. Since when
has that worked? It is not a matter that we can put our trust in
man to resolve. It is rather a personal and inner issue; it is about
taking up our own crosses and being changed from within. Jesus was not
calling for demonstrators to try to change this world, but for doers
of His word that become the change themselves that the world needs. He
compared true believers to salt. You don’t see salt when it is
applied to food, but its effects are there, needful and good. So are
His people which walk in Him. They are not lovers of the world, trying
to save it in its unregenerate state, which is what you are calling for.
The people of God know that all must come to repentance. Every mountain
will be leveled, and every valley will be raised.
Whoever loves his or her life will lose it, but whoever loses his or
her life for Christ’s sake, the same will gain it. You must
die. You must go down, and come up again into new life, born of God.
In the wisdom of God, there is a time for everything.
"(1) To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose
under the heavens: (2) a time to be born, and a time to die; a time
to plant, and a time to pull up what is planted; (3) a time to kill,
and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (4)
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (5)
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a
time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; (6) a time
to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; (7)
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time
to speak; (8) a time to love, and a time to hate; a time
of war, and a time of peace."
Until men’s hearts are changed, it is a vain thing to protest
war. (And when men’s hearts are changed there will be no need to
protest war, because men will no longer take up arms.) In fact, you who
protest are even found opposing God Who has sent these wars as judgments
on mankind, for correction of confidence in man’s knowledge, goodness,
independence, and self-importance.
"And another, a red horse, went out. And power was given to him sitting
on it, to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.
And there was given to him a great sword."
When God takes away peace, who can restore it? Who will fight with God?
Frank, you are, in your ignorance, warring against God’s judgments.
You fight against Him, and His wisdom. You are not a peacemaker at all.
You trouble others with a burden they are neither able nor required to
carry. You trust your own righteousness rather than the righteous judgment
of God. You cannot end war. First you need to be delivered yourself
of the evil within. You must repent. Then you will praise God for His
works of evil, such as the sending of wars, as well as His works of good,
in ending them, when their work is done. All these things serve a higher
purpose, a greater purpose, and an eternal purpose, which is good.
When will peace come? An oft-quoted Scripture speaks of that wonderful
day. However, the full context is not considered. Listen:
"(1) The Word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (2)
And it shall be, in the last days the mountain of Jehovah's house shall
be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above
the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. (3) And many people
shall go and say, Come, and let us go to the mountain of Jehovah, to
the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and
we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law, and
the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. (4) And He shall judge among
the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and 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. (5)
O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Jehovah."
People must turn to the house of the God of Jacob, where He has established
His Name. In this they will be turning to the Lord, not religion, nor
theories, nor philosophies, nor role model Jesuses, nor idealized Jesuses,
nor their own power, but to the Mount Zion God has raised up. Then they
will hear His word, and Law. When His righteous judgment flows from Zion
nations will no longer learn war. Not until then. Who among us will presume
to do this? Who can make this happen? It is not peace, but this Mount
Zion that you need, Frank. Do you know where it is?
God is in full control and does not depend on the help
of man. From Heaven He rules over all, determining the times, and bringing
in the age of peace when it is time:
"(16) After this I will return and will build again the tabernacle
of David which has fallen down; and I will build again its ruins, and
I will set it up, (17) so those men who are left might seek after
the Lord, and all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the
Lord, Who does all these things. (18) All His works
are known to God from eternity."
He knows the end from the beginning. He doesn’t need your works;
He wants your heart. Repent from your own works; worship God and not
Until the time is fulfilled, the Lord determines wars to judge the world:
"(9) Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare war, wake up the mighty
men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. (10) Beat
your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let
the weak say, I am strong. (11) Gather yourselves and come, all
you nations, and gather yourselves together all around; cause your mighty
ones to come down there, O Jehovah. (12) Let the nations be awakened
and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge
all the nations all around. (13) Put in the sickle, for the harvest
is ripe. Come, come down; for the press is full; the vats overflow, for
their wickedness is great."
To tell the world it can have peace without repentance from sin is to
condone sin. It is to approve of and to love this wicked world. A person
loves this wicked world because he or she is unrepentant themselves,
and is yet in sin. You can’t imitate Jesus in the flesh to get
around this. He is not of earth, but of Heaven. You don’t even
know what He is like. You make Him in your own image when you presume
what He represents. What you make is a false image, which the Bible calls
an idol, and is really no god at all. That is why all these efforts fail,
because your gods are powerless. The true God and Jesus Christ, however,
does not fail.
Frank, you have set up an altar to peace, to a strange god, and not
to the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose Name you co-opt for your gods. There
is no peace to the wicked, He says. You must repent before any peace
will come. May God have mercy on all. Surely there is no other hope or
chance for good to come, except He does have mercy.
I have not even gotten into the matter of supporting religious institutions
such as the Catholic Church as a platform to promote world peace. You
could hardly find an organization with more blood on its hands. The Catholic
Church has slaughtered many brothers and sisters of Christ, besides multitudes
of others found opposing or inconvenient to her plans of world domination.
Who is she to criticize and lecture others to be peaceful?! What a work
of self-deception! You say, “We are different now, the Pope apologized.” By
so saying you admit you are the children of those who persecuted the
true followers of Christ. In truth, prostitutes will preach against extramarital
sex before the Catholic Church preaches against war. When each repents,
each will no longer be known by their former titles, either.
The Scriptures declare that the problem, Frank, is not Bush, or corporations,
or evil men. It is YOU. Because you are yet in your sins you are
blind to the Whore, which you are one with, and the blood on her hands
is also on yours. “And in her (man’s religious works) was
found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain
upon the earth” (Rev. 18:24).
Until men completely put away these religious works, ceasing to trust
in their own righteousness, there will be conflict with God and between
men. Only when men put their entire trust in God, Who alone is righteous,
and Who has made Himself known to all by Jesus Christ (Whom we preach),
can and will there be peace. He Who has paid the price will also bring
this to pass. Blessed be His Name forever!