Valerie called me out in comments on “A theology of power relationships and social violence“, asking me to tie this idea into the Tax Code burning that I describe over here. She was nice about it, though, so I’ve decided to reply up here, where all my loyal readers can see it.
A quck note: I’m leaving on a business trip tomorrow, so this will have to be my last word on the matter for a while. If you leave comments, it will be a few days until I can answer. Resist the tyranny of Internet time!
First, I will cite Psalm 2. Read that and hang onto it. I’ll get back to it in a few.
One of the lessons that God has been teaching me over the last couple of years is that submission does not equal silence and that peace is not always a lack of conflict. To quote from one of my favorite TV shows, Babylon 5, “Sometimes peace is another word for surrender.” Being submissive does not mean being a push-over, and “being at peace with all men” does not mean that you are unwilling to make a principled stand.
As I outlined in “Small acts of rebellion“, I see our deeds of love and mercy as acts of warfare. They are the ultimate revolt against the forces of spiritual wickedness in high places. They are not examples of being a push-over, abused by the world, even though it might look like it. Rather, they are the means by which we conquer. Remember, Peace is War. The Shalom of Christ is a conquering Shalom. We are fighting a very real war, and our weapon is the Peace of God. Is this backwards? It is, but it fits right in with a God Whose greatest moment of triumph was the cross.
So, on the one hand, I wholeheartedly embrace the small, unnoticed acts of love and peace to which God has called me. Yet, at the same time, I also understand them to be what they really are: acts of warfare and rebellion against the prince of the power of the air. And that is how I harmonize the ideas in these two blog posts.