In Matthew 5:9 Jesus speaks very highly of those He calls peacemakers. He says,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Occasionally those involved in Apologetics are accused of causing contention and driving away peace. This is especially true of those who speak out against the heretical teachings of cults. People sometimes become offended, accuse us of “attacking them” and say we are not being “peacemakers”. These criticisms got me thinking “who are the peacemakers”? Who was Christ talking about when He uttered this statement during the Sermon on the Mount?
In order to answer these questions we need to look at how Christ defined peace. In John 14:27 Christ says,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
When Christ talks about peace He is talking about something much greater than worldly peace. In fact, Christ actually tells us as Christians we should not expect to have the peace of the world. Instead, we should expect the hatred of the world. John 15:18-19 says,
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
To make things even more complicated in Matthew 10:34 -36 Christ tells us He did not come to bring peace to the world.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother in law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
If Christ did not come to bring peace, why did He bless the peacemakers in Matthew 5:9? How do we reconcile these verses? The key as I see it lies in the definition of Christ’s peace. When Christ is talking about peacemakers He is talking about those who bring His peace not the world’s peace. The world defines peace as lack of contention, no strife, no money problems, etc. Christ’s peace on the other hand is the eternal peace of being reconciled to God and being assured of your salvation in His kingdom. This is the peace that only comes from having a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus a peacemaker is someone who helps to bring others to Christ. It is someone who shares the Gospel! This fits well with Matthew 10:34-36. For sharing the Gospel with others can be like a sword. It sometimes breeds contention, seperates families and can even bring the hatred of others upon you.
Are Apologetics Ministries peacemakers? In my opinion, yes. Although we make mistakes and occasionally offend people unnecessarily, our ultimate goal is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring others to Him. There are people coming to Christ everyday due to the work of Apologists. In fact, my wife and I were brought to The Lord through Apologetics and I will be eternally grateful to those peacemakers who helped us. They certainly helped to bring Eternal Peace into my family!