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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Church Teachings About Peace
Jesus taught that peace was important during the Sermon on the Mount, saying, 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.' Matthew 6:9. He also taught the disciples to 'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.' Luke 6:27-28.
The Church uses these teachings and others to show Christians that they should always seek peace.
However, whilst the Church promotes peace, it sometimes accepts conflict because the Bible has many examples of violence and war, some of which are approved of by God. Also, there are some direct teachings in the Old Testament that suggest it can be an option. For example, Exodus 21:23-25 states: 'But if the woman herself is injured, the punishment shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.' This indicates that if you are being attacked, then it is acceptable to respond likewise, even with violence.
Because of this, the Church has occasionally supported conflicts that have been regarded as unavoidable. An example of this might be to protect a country that is being unjustly attacked and is unable to protect itself. Indeed, Church denominations may support conflict if all the conditions for a just war have been met.
To read more about why Christians believe peace is important click here.