The fear of phony peace.

by K.W. Leslie, 22 December 2016

When “blessed are the peacemakers” gets ditched in favor of popular End Times theories.

So as I said yesterday, we Christians aren’t necessarily known for being peaceful. ’Cause we lack peace. ’Cause we’ve adopted one of the typical incorrect notions as to how to attain it, and haven’t correctly chosen to follow God and pursue his kingdom. Mt 6.25-34

And sometimes it’s ’cause we don’t trust peace. Especially societal and political forms of peace. When our secretary of state brokers a treaty between warring nations, or between the United States and some other nation we’re not really getting along with. Definitely when the United Nations tries to do likewise. We don’t believe any of that stuff is real peace—we suspect there’s something underhanded and devilish behind it.

Why’s that? Well, in Revelation there’s this vision John had of a Beast who’s gonna take over the world. Rv 13 And according to one of the more popular End Times theories, the Beast is gonna gain its power by pretending to be a good guy. Pretending to care about the little guy; pretending to care about our values and safety; pretending to know how to fix the economy and fight terrorism. No I’m not talking about Donald Trump, much as his opponents will scream the shoe fits. But that’s what certain Christians fear most: Someone portraying a prince of peace, who’s absolutely not.

Basically they figure the Beast is gonna be Bizarro Jesus: Anything Jesus does, the Beast’ll do the opposite. Jesus says love your neighbor; the Beast’ll try to make you hate ’em. Jesus says heal the sick; the Beast’ll try to make you poison the sick. Jesus says preach the gospel; the Beast’ll try to shut you up. Black is white, up is down.

So since Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers, the Beast’ll say blessed are the warmongers. But, before it can weasel its way into real power, it’ll make like a peacemaker. By stealthily, evilly getting nations to stop fighting and love one another. That’s just how crafty it is, using goodness and kindness to lull us into a sense of security. Then bam: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Bizarro!

Here’s the problem: What if we’ve got an actual peacemaker on our hands? Someone who actually wants nations to stop fighting and love one another? (Or at least benignly stop bombing one another?) Someone who’s trying to be a child of God like Jesus wants? Mt 5.9

…Nah, can’t risk it.

And this is how the devil regularly tricks paranoid Christians into fighting, of all things, peace.

The false peacemaker?

Of course the bible doesn’t at all say the Beast is gonna be Bizarro Jesus. It’s only a popular Christian myth. As is the belief the Beast is a fake peacemaker.

Most of the folks who believe this bushwa tend to quote this verse:

1 Thessalonians 5.3 KWL
Whenever people say, “Peace and safety!” then disaster suddenly comes upon them—
like having contractions in the womb—and they may never get away.

What’re the chances they’re quoting it out of context? Right you are, 100 percent. Wanna read what it’s really about?

1 Thessalonians 5.1-4 KWL
1 As for the timing, Christians: There’s no need to write you,
2 for you’ve known precisely that the Lord’s Day comes like a mugger at night.
3 Whenever people say, “Peace and safety!” then disaster suddenly comes upon them—
like having contractions in the womb—and they may never get away.
4 Don’t be in the dark, Christians, or the day may jump you like a mugger.

It’s about the coming of our Lord Jesus. Not the Beast. Seriously, how wrong could one be?

Funny thing about out-of-context scriptures: So often they get turned in the opposite direction. A full 180 degrees. Just as bizarro as the Bizarro Jesus theory about the Beast. And no, that doesn’t prove the Bizarro Jesus theory any. I don’t blame the devil for turning these verses all the way around; I blame human ignorance. We flip things over on their head. The devil merely twists ’em a little here, a little there; just enough to muck us up. The devil’s subtle. Humans, not so much.

The Beast doesn’t need to lull humans into any false sense of security and safety, then spring some evil scheme on us where it takes away our freedom, or starts a war. Human nature doesn’t work that way anyway. Way easier for the Beast to lead us, willingly, into war—to avenge ourselves on our enemies, to sacrifice our freedoms in exchange for security (or sacrifice our security in exchange for freedoms; whatever does the trick). Humans have followed devilish dictators and madmen time and again throughout history. What’s one more?

So in the few passages about the Beast in Revelation 13 or about the Lawless One in 2 Thessalonians 2, we don’t read about a phony peacemaker. We read about a warmonger. A fight-starter. A lawbreaker. Never any kind of peacemaker. Its bad fruit is obvious. It’ll even revel in it. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay?—and I wouldn’t lose voters.” (Again, Donald Trump is not the Beast. But he’s such a useful example.)

But if Christians are convinced the Beast is a false peacemaker, they will, as I already said, line up against any real peacemakers for fear they’re being led astray.

And they’ll perpetuate the lie. They’ll continue to teach, in their End Times timelines, how the Beast’ll pretend to be everyone’s friend. Pretend he’s got a solution for any middle eastern discontent. Pretend long enough to get Israel to sign a peace treaty with all its neighbors. Then the great tribulation begins… and four and a half years later the Beast’ll renege on the treaty and carpet-bomb Israel, just like Germany violated their non-aggression pact with the Soviets during the Second World War. It’s all part of the evil plan.

Thing is, just about every American president tries their hand at sorting out the middle east. And every single time they do, you’ll find American Christians at the forefront of their critics. The very first to denounce it. How dare anyone try to establish peace in the Holy Land before Messiah does it personally.

Hence no peace. It sorta becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, perpetuated by dark Christians so blind they can’t recognize just how far outside God’s will they’ve gone.

Yeah there’s false peace. And real peace.

Of course there’s such a thing as phony peace. I listed a few types previously: Peace through strength, nonviolence, and libertarianism. It’s not all that hard to tell the difference between the real stuff and the fake, and we Christians should critique the fake sort. False peace isn’t better than strife; in most cases there’s plenty of strife just under the surface.

But when people attempt to implement the real thing—true peace, God’s peace—the very last place we Christians oughta be on is the opposite side. We should recognize it for what it is. After all, we have the Spirit’s fruit of peace within us already, right?… Hope so.

Matthew 5.9 KWL
“Those making peace: How awesome!—they’ll be called God’s children.”

Be God’s children. Not the devil’s dupes.