“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” That’s prayed in one form or another in thousands of American churches every week. I wonder if we would recognize that particular kingdom if we saw it. Sometimes I doubt it. I wonder if we have any understanding of how it really comes.

Does it come the way we tried to bring peace and democracy to Viet Nam, winning their “hearts and minds” – as we are now doing in Iraq – with strategies summed up in this quote from 1968?

“It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”[1]

Does it come as the Romans brought ‘civilization’ to less militarized states and barbarian tribes on the frontiers of the empire?

“They create a desolation and call it a peace.”[2]

Langston Hughes made some analysis of these issues years ago:

Once more the guns roar. Once more the call goes forth for men. Again the war begins, again false slogans become a bore. Yet no one cries: ENOUGH! NO MORE! Like angry dogs the human race loves the snarl upon its face; it loves to kill. The pessimist says it always will.

That I do not believe. Some day the savage in us will wear away. Some day quite clearly men will see how clean and happy life can be and how, like flowers planted in the sun, we, too, can give forth blossoms, shared by everyone. [3]

Jesus did not instruct us to push the world to descend into economic and military chaos and catastrophe – but that’s what is being done by our ‘moral values’ administration. Jesus CERTAINLY did not want those who claim to believe in Him to hope in – or even brag about – such events!

He said, “blessed are the PEACEMAKERS,” and “love your enemies,” and He warned that whatever we do, or do not do, for “the least of these,” we do or avoid doing to Him. Those things are done – or not done – in THIS world, in this life, now. And for those things the judgment described at the end of Matthew 25 comes on us. Those are Jesus’ values, and He, if our Christian theology is true, IS ultimately in a position to enforce His values and His will even on U.S.

We are to SEEK peace, and PURSUE it. But our American ‘Christian’ leadership does not do that. It deliberately destroys peace. A majority of us saw through it in the late ’60s and early 70’s. It is time to do so again. Otherwise we are in direct violation of Jesus’ concerns and His specific teachings.

[1] Attributed to a US military officer in Viet Nam in 1968  [2] as quoted by the ancient Tacitus  [3] the poem “Some Day” by Langston Hughes  [4] Scriptures referenced: Matthew 5, Luke 6, Matthew 25, I Peter 3 (quoting Psalm 34)