As Christians our fundamental stance before God is to acknowledge God’s dominion over the world. The Lord is our God. God alone we worship – not money, not personality, not wealth, not power. Perhaps the greatest distortion of the Gospel comes from so-called Christian groups who preach the gospel of prosperity. Many of these preachers have never studied theology and are ignorant of authentic biblical studies. ‘Have faith,’ they say ‘and you will be wealthy and prosperous.’ It was recently said that the outcome of better relations with North Korea could be the building of hotels on the shoreline as a great source of wealth for the country. Our prayer and hope is that any new relationship will not only reduce the danger of war but give an opportunity for a new emergence of human rights and freedom. For me it remains a strong prayer but a distant hope at this time. Jesus commands us to pray for our enemies but prayer does not allow for adulation of one who is a murderer and brutal dictator.
For us Christians to do the will of God (love of God and neighbor, living a virtuous life, living by faith, and offering our sufferings with Christ to God) will create a righteous society where genuine peace prevails. Peace is not just the absence of war but guarantees that people can live in dignity developing their God given potential and enjoying their legitimate share in the goods of the earth (fresh water, earning a livelihood, raising a family, receiving a good education, having access to health care, finding time for leisure etc.etc.) Peace is not about the acquisition of unlimited wealth but rather about a just distribution of wealth that allows all people to participate freely in creating the common good for themselves and others. For working people this means a living wage. For the elderly, the ill, those suffering from physical or mental limitations this means a helping hand from society and government. When huge amounts of money go into armaments, it is difficult to meet all the human needs. Especially crucial to maintaining the peace, is the care of our earth, our common home. When we pollute we damage the earth and its inhabitants and drive people into poor health and poverty. Those who deny the necessity for environmental care of our earth are not peacemakers and usually are worshippers of economic wealth at all costs.
Our God is a God of peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” Mt. 5:10