Philosophy Lite: Peace is our spiritual heritage
We are living in perilous times. All over the Middle East, the flames of rebellion and insurrection are breaking out. It is amazing that one prideful person can account for the killing of millions of people.
Bashar al-Assad is unwilling to give up his power and set up a democratic form of government. Adolph Hitler certainly knew the point at which the war was lost, yet he continued, to the very end, causing untold death and destruction.
Sadly, it is sometimes religion which is the catalyst. The Sunnis and the Shiites are killing each other in the name of religion. The Muslim extremists are destroying life and property all over the world.
Patrick Henry took a phrase from Jeremiah 6:14 when he said, "gentlemen may cry peace, peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun." We know that sometimes war is inevitable, as in the case of the birth of our nation.
In this case, it was not a war of aggression, but one of independence - and that war has given us a nation of relative peace for more than 200 years.
America has long understood that by maintaining a strong military power, peace can be maintained. The same goes for us: By maintaining a strong spiritual power, we can achieve peace between ourselves.
There is a cultural war going on in America today, indeed, all over the world. Materialism and the power of the media are reshaping our values. To bring peace to this conflict, Americans must return to God and his laws for stability. History has shown that whenever God reigns in the lives of believers, peace and stability are achieved.
Dale Carnegie, in his book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," admittedly used some of the teachings of Jesus to make his points. Many of his ideas center around how pride can get in the way.
His examples show how a person wronged does not have to retaliate but can swallow his pride and either gain a friend or win a business contract. Knowing that you are the peacemaker, in any case, can give you a great sense of accomplishment.
The Christian, especially, can take satisfaction knowing that he is following Jesus' example. Jesus, after all, is called the "Prince of Peace." He said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Peace is important to our health. Dr. Rufus Alsaker said that in order for the body to function in health, the mind must be at peace and ease most of the time.
In 1873 after Horatio Spafford lost four daughters and a son in a shipwreck, he was able to pen the words: "When peace like a river attendeth my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, It is well - it is well with my soul."
Raymond F. Smith is president of Strong Families of Victoria