This week, my junior high school student came home with an assignment to draw a poster for a Peace Poster contest. The instructions were to draw a picture but use no text or writing of any kind in your design. This turns out to be a preliminary step in some international competition. This event is sponsored locally by the Lions Club.
We were surprised and concerned that our child received such an assignment. As a result, my wife and I had an hour long discussion with our child about what is peace? What is war? What about nations that are not at war but tyrannical?
Our child wanted to use primarily a symbol of a dove to represent peace. Ok so what does the dove represent? Our child did know that the dove (with olive branch) was from the biblical account of Noah and the ark. Our next question was where else in the Bible do you find a dove and what does it represent? Our child was clueless. We opened the New Testament and read the account of the baptism of Jesus. Mark 1: 9-11 From this story we learn that the dove often is related to the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We also discussed the purpose and origin of government. As source material we used the Westminster Confession of Faith section XXIII on Civil Magistrates, the scope and limitation of government as viewed by our founders and the biblical covenant where God first established human government Gen 9.
What was shown was that God established human government as a means of protecting the innocent and punishing the wicked. God raises up human leaders and removes them at his pleasure. The government has a God-given role, the church also has a God-given role in society and each citizen has obligations to their government.
We also briefly mentioned a description of Christ on his throne ruling over the nations as described in the book of Revelation. We talked that normally war is only justified as a defensive measure. Government insures the safety of citizens from threats both internal and external.
Our child kept saying that harmony was a goal of nations. It was a typical Rodney King moment appealing to the why cant we just get along? sentiment. Ok. What does that mean?
Using the Global War on Terror as our example we explained that not everyone is interested in peace. Peace can often be confused for surrender. Just ask Cindy Sheehan. We asked our child what the United States could do to have a ceasefire with the Islamic fundamentalists. Who would we negotiate with? Who has authority to sign a treaty? What assurance would there be to compliance with the terms of peace? (These are the same questions that the Liberals are unable to answer.)
The War on Terror is a just war because it is a defensive measure necessary because of a clear and present danger to our nation.
Our child enjoys music and said that all the nations are a big orchestra and peace is defined as a harmony of all the parts. We then inquired as to why nations should be in harmony and to extend the analogy, what would they be playing?
My contention is that there can only be peace when every knee shall bow and tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. Phil 2:11 To that end our song is Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Rev 6:8b Only to the extent that nations are obedient to Christ and fulfilling their God ordained role can any nation truly know peace.
Question 1 of the Westminster Catechism asks, What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever .
One purpose of government is to maintain a society where man is free to worship his creator and live in peace.
Now that you understand all this, we told our child to go and make a poster about world peace.