Ceasefire Campaign – Petition to Put Pressure on Leaders

Every now and then I like to have little bits of activism promoted through my site, ones that I feel are not too weird or are doing something worthwhile. Kent, PhD student in Ethics and Mennonite, sent me a link to the Ceasefire Campaign and I think it fits the criteria.

Here’s the little message taken from their website:

Right now a tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or wounded in the bombings in Lebanon, Palestine and Israel and the death toll is rising every day. If the US, Syria or Iran get involved, there is a chance of a catastrophic larger war. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of international troops to the Israel-Lebanon border, and been strongly supported by almost every world leader. This is the best proposal yet to stop the violence, but the US, the UK, and Israel have refused to accept it. I have just signed a petition calling on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair, and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to support Kofi Annan’s proposal. If millions of people join this call, and we advertise our views in newspapers in the US, UK, and Israel, we can help pressure these leaders to stop the fighting.

Go to the link below and sign up now! http://www.ceasefirecampaign.org

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Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

19 thoughts on “Ceasefire Campaign – Petition to Put Pressure on Leaders”

  1. A cease-fire would only benefit the terrorist organization by allowing them to continue to gather their resources of war and recieve unwarranted legitimization by the world community. Israel is in a fight for existence, they are not simply responding to the capture of two of their soldiers. This is a conflict that has been going on for 50 plus years. One cannot allow a terrorist organization to amass arms on their border when the sole purpose of their existence is to wipe them off the face of the earth. We should instead be rallying to support Israel in their fight against terrorism. Hezbollah needs to be destroyed, along with their weapons.

    We can’t be so narrow in focus that we do not see the bigger picture.

  2. No honest Christian can be opposed to a cessation of hostilities at any time in any armed conflict whatsoever. No Christian can support armed conflict for any cause whatsoever without being unfaithful to the clear teachings of Jesus Christ. Thou, hypocrite, are not great enough to go to your death calling God Almighty a liar and also to inherit life eternal, else, if you are, then it is my words that are false and not yours.

    That said, it is doubtful that the rulers of this world will listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, however many voices are raised to echo the single thought: Thou shalt not kill.

    Period.

    Christ did not come to convert nations, but souls. The leaders of this world are already condemned. Why preach to the dead? Speak to those who can hear. Speak to those who pull the triggers. Surely there are some of God’s people among them. Forget the leaders! They are blind leading the blind. Speak to the indivdual holding the gun! Speak to the mother wishing him well at his job. Speak to the father who has not yet rebuked him. Speak to his brothers and sisters who are not ashamed of what he is doing to his fellow human beings.

    Orders? Ptui! Neuremburg answers ‘orders.’

    Hell is the only alternative to living a peaceful life.

    Christians have no obligation to support murderers, whoever they may masquerade to be, or whatever verse of whatever book they quote to cite their claimed ‘authority.’

    “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.”

    And see Ezekiel 21 for a look into the future.

    If we were of this world, we would fight to preserve the status quo. But the battles of this world are not our battles, because we are not of this world.

    “A new command I give you; that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples: that you have love one for another” –Jesus

    “Love does not come out of the barrel of a cannon.” –John

    John

  3. They have agreed to a cease-fire.

    Thank God that civilians will stop being killed for a time while politicians try to work this out.

    There are other modes of dealing with years and years of turmoil besides bombs. I’d like to point out that the brilliance of humankind doesn’t always resort to such primitive behaviors to solve every world problem, this should be no different.

    Christians should always promote peace, even at the cost of our own lives, I see no other way. There is enough of the world bent on violence and brutality for Christ’s community to join in condoning such affairs.

  4. John,

    I certainly agree that Christ is never pleased by war or glorified by it. The unfortunate reality is that war is a part of fallen humanity. Is it ever something that is right, no. However, should terrorist organizations be allowed to continue to spread their hatred and violence? Do you actually think that they can respond rationally? They are not going to sit down and chat about it with Western Countries. To believe that is completely without precedent or reason.

    Yes, I grieve and pray nightly for those who are forced to suffer and feel the dreaded hand of war, and I also pray for the terrorists that they will see and come to embrace Christ and the peace that He offers, but I cannot as a Christian turn my eyes away from the natural outcomes of their existence. The terrorist organizations only reason for existence is destruction and in this case the destruction of Israel. They will not peacefully co-exist and why should they be allowed to? Why should we let them strap bombs to their children? Why should we let them bomb random subways and planes? Does not God care for the weak and innocent? Does He not expect His followers to stand up for the hopeless and those who are persecuted?

    John, I appreciate your passion and integrity, but I do not agree that I cannot be a Christian and support Israel in their defense of their nation. If that makes me an unbeliever, so be it. I will continue to pray every night for Hezbollah and Israel and all of those who suffer and commit it to the grace of God.

  5. Kevin and John thank you both for representing each of your sides well. There have been Christians who’ve disagreed about the issue of war ever since the early church around the 300’s. We certainly will not come to a conclusion on the matter and I don’t know if we should care to do so.

    What seems more important to me is to work towards carrying out our assumed positions on the matter. I find that war is not acceptable for Christians and so I must (if faithful to the peace church tradition) find ways to engage, pray and call forth peace in the world in the name of Jesus.

    If I am on the other side of the coin, I must do similar things, pray (as Kevin suggests), engage and promote fair and “humanizing” warfare (but only once creativity of peaceful options are exhausted – at least for those holding to the classic Just War Theory).

    In either case, we are pushed to activism for humanity’s sake, to reconcile the world to God, to care for the innocent and downtrodden, and to call people forth to peaceful living. I do think Christians can be on both sides, if this is their primary mode of operation.

    However, this all being said, Kevin, I wonder how effective it really is to bomb a terrorist (therefore guerilla) organization – can that actually be done effectively at all and do we have to assume many civilians will inevitably be killed in this process (or is there another viewpoint on this)?

    Are there really zero ways conducted throughout history where countries have contained, or prevented more terrorist activities in their regions?

    Do you see any good at all coming from a ceasefire? What do you look for in a continued war in this region that points to “effectiveness.”

    These questions are being asked in honesty and sincerity, I would like to hear you ideas on this. I know you and I disagree on the issue of whether war is moral or not, I want to know some of the details of the matter from your perspective to learn from it.

    (And if you don’t see your comment appear send me an email.)

  6. Kevin.
    You are wrong.
    What’s this ” we can’t let them …” ? nonsense?

    Didn’t even stubborn and self-willed Peter eventually get the message and “let” the soldiers crucify Christ?

    Backing up a bit …

    Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him (to tell Jesus that ‘he’ (meaning Peter and the other ‘rationalists’ in the group), wasn’t going to
    ‘let’ happen to Jesus what Jesus was clearly predicting.

    I must now say the same thing to you that Jesus said to Peter:

    Get thee behind me, Satan! Your thoughts are men’s thoughts, not God’s!

    We die. On a cross. We do not kill.
    Those who kill, go to hell. Those who die on a cross, go to heaven.

    It’s very simple. Even a little child can understand this.

    Those who kill will not inherit eternal life.

    Spin it any way you want. The true gospel looks the same from every direction because it is very simple.

    Those who kill to save their necks will not inherit eternal life, because they do not really believe in the resurrection of the dead.

    Whoever tries to save his life will lose it.

    If you cannot pray “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit,” while forgiving your killers, you will never enter into the Kingdom of God.

    Shut up. You have nothing further to say as a messenger for Christ until you absorb this into your deepest belly.

    I say it again, Kevin. Shut up.

    Terrors will enter into your bones if you continue to speak those abominable lies, and peace will flee from you and remain far distant.

    God will be more angry with you than with Hezbolla’s cold-blooded murderers, since they do not pretend to speak for Jesus Christ.

    You have no part in suffering for the Kingdom of God and its reward with those words. Go back to your drunken stupor. There’s nothing for the likes of you waiting in heaven.

    You are brandishing the wrong kind of sword and kindling the wrong kind of fire. You will get seriously broken and burned that way. And all for nothing.

    For nothing.

    Shut your stupid mouth.

    For a long time.

    Then teach it something useful.

    John

  7. Wess,

    “They have agreed to a cease fire.”

    You haven’t read Ezekiel 21 yet, have you? Or, if you did, you didn’t believe it was speaking to you —now.

    I wouldn’t want to see you disappointed when God keeps His Word.

    Forever.

    John

  8. Kevin,
    “I will continue to pray every night for Hezbollah …”

    while wishing them dead?

    Even someone as slow as you apparently are should be able to see the hypocrisy of that statement (and it’s utter falsehood) when it is made so plain.

    Don’t just shut up. But shut up.

    You’re making the followers of Jesus look shallow and asinine.

    John

  9. To all,
    Kevin has obviously stepped into some very deep doo-doo here, and run into something neither he nor many who think like he does is quite prepared to deal with, I am sure—an aggressive pacifist with a rolled-up newspaper for wayward dogs!

    They will now have to get used to this, because …

    …it is in their future.

    Ummm, y’see…
    The truth is, that there are many “christians” who claim to follow Jesus Christ but are always making excuses for fighting evil with evil. Such talk of “support for Israel” every time violence flares up in the Middle East belies their claim to faith in Christ, and makes the whole Christian Church look foolish and godless. It isn’t enough to belive that Jesus is the Son of God. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not what I say?” We have to believe that He spoke only the truth, too! And we have no license to filter out the parts we find too extreme for our world-pleasing ‘moderations’.

    All of these compromised people, every gooney bird in every pulpit across the country speaking weasely words to please the rent-payers needs to be seriously slapped hard across the face, every one of them—hard enough to make them dizzy, to make them see stars and either get out of the Way altogether (and they can take their self-righteousness and their resentment with them and mutter and complain all the way out the door and long down the street just fine by me with no needed hand-wringing over concern that I’ve hurt their itty-bitty little feelings a tad too much) or else they need come to their senses and stop preaching the stupid, pointless, hopeless, faithless, false gospel of which Paul says: “Let them be accursed!” who preach it! The gaggle of loons petrified of losing a few approval ratings points and terrified of embarrassment are never going to tell the crowd with the rent-check from the pulpit that they’ve chained themselves to a vicious dog and are walking arm-in-arm with the devil! God knows they’re never going to get anywhere near the foot of the cross when there are soldiers gathering around with a fistfull of nails in their gunbelts and all the sure footedness of well-trained boots thoroughly broken in by the bad attitudes that always go with losing half-a-platoonful of buddies in a cause no one dares question and may even get them arrested by friend and foe alike for just [i]doing[/i] the stupid job! I know. I’ve been there. Either place. And you can bet your circus tickets that all the tap-dancers aren’t even [i]looking[/i] at the truth! How in God’s name are they ever going to tell it to you?

    Well, somebody has to.

    How many hearts have [i]you[/i] ever put a hole through? And did you, too, see the look on the dead man’s face?

    “Here am I Lord, send me.”

    John

  10. John, I always am happy to have you comment on this site, your colorful and passionate commitment to your faith and points of view are welcome here. But I do feel as though you’ve crossed the line with attacking Kevin. This site isn’t for that, you’re both welcome to disagree with one another and with me all you want, but please keep it from becoming a personal insult or attack on the other.

    We must remain cordial and loving even to those who we strongly disagree with it. I won’t be able to publish anymore of your comments if they continue to says things like this, “Shut your stupid mouth.” Please share your thoughts and stand up for your view points but don’t give into that kind of discourse. Thanks.

    Finally, Kevin is a friend of mine, and even though his perspective is different than my own in this instance I have no doubts that his love and commitment to Christ is alive and evident in him. I know this from my being with him and seeing how he carries himself in day-to-day life.

  11. John,

    I think you have misunderstood what I was trying to communicate. I do not relish war. I do not pray for the death of others. I do not believe that we are free from suffering. I pray for peace.I pray for Hezbolllah that they will see the light of Christ and the peace and hope that he offers. I grieve for them and their suffering. I also pray that Israel will find the peace and hope of Christ and will no longer need to use weapons of war. I grieve for their suffering as well.

    John, I have seen glimpses of war first hand. I have seen the coffins of those who have been killed being wheeled by and I wept for them. I am not a war-monger. To answer Wess, I do not think war is moral, ever. Unfortunately, I believe that sometimes it is necessary. I do not believe that we should not resist evil. I do not think God is honored by us allowing people to be terrorized by a group whose only agenda is evil and destruction.

    Obviously I have upset you. I do not apologize for that. Everything in me wants to respond to you in the same venomous way in which you engaged me, but I do not think Christ would be glorified by it. Therefore, I want you to know that nothing you can say will make me respond to you in the way in which you attack me.

    Wess, to further answer your questions, I do not think that civilians will ever be free from the suffering of war. I pray for them, but unfortunately in order to ease the greater suffering, innocents have to die. This breaks my heart and keeps me up at night interceeding for them. I eagerly await Christ’s return when He will right all of these wrongs and reign in peace.

  12. Did you hear the violent sobs of his children? … deep, gut-wrenching, chest-heaving sobs from the pit of their might … long into the night, … till there was no strength left to sob any more?

    … did you hear them still as the sobbing went on and on ever more painfully, with every muscle in their sides and gut, still powerless to rest and remain still despite the deep and exhausting ache from protracted involuntary overuse, spasm after spasm wrenched them into shriveled misery every time the happy memories flooded back again, and the cruel finality of the new, unwanted understanding once again sliced through them, forcing its ugly way close into their face and triggering once again the crushing heartbreak that now stubbornly refused to melt away and vanish into fiction?

    Thou shalt not kill.

  13. Did you see his mother collapse to the floor when she heard the news, unable to stand on her feet while picturing the child she delivered and spent so much of her life loving, sacrificing and caring for to insure his safety and survival in a heartless world being cut so violently open and torn from her life in such a merciless instant, turning her screaming bloody labor and all of her years of backbreaking work, sleepless nights, and patient forebearance into a suddenly empty vanity, a complete waste of time, a mere pointless, useless nothing?

    Thou shalt not kill.

  14. Did you see his empty seat at the table? Did you regard the size of the uncountable host and hear the multitude of voices of the jury in heaven as the commandment and the verdict and the sentence all went forth with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder that echoed repeatedly from one end of heaven to the other?

    THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

  15. I did not misunderstand anything, not the least bit whatsoever.

    Nor do I misunderstand now.

    What I said before, I say again, and in all deliberateness and charity for the cause of Jesus Christ:

    If anyone think to advise, in the name of Christian values, that “we” should use military force in response to some perceived problem in the world,

    First: Shut up.
    Second: Don’t open your mouth again to use it in that wicked way.

    John

    P.S. Wess, you do what seems good to you. But is your commitment to pacifism all that shallow? Behold, I have brought with me a lamp to shine in all the dark corners. I will not compromise with darkness. If you bar me from this site over what I have written here, what will remain of your claim? Such an act could become a witness against you for all time—one you would come to regret … maybe not now, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

    Just sayin’

    Every whitewashed tomb appears beautiful on the outside, but within is all manner of corruption and dead men’s bones.

  16. Kevin,

    “Wess, to further answer your questions, I do not think that civilians will ever be free from the suffering of war. I pray for them, but unfortunately in order to ease the greater suffering, innocents have to die.”

    Shut up.

    Or be self-condemned.

  17. John,

    The commandment is “Do not murder.”

    By your reasoning, Moses, Joshua, David (One described as a man after God’s own heart), and countless others will not recieve eternal life because they were involved in war. I’m glad that you have excluded these men of faith.

    Also, I’m glad that you have minimized what I have tried to describe to you about my time in a warzone. I’m glad that you can make these pronouncements in your comfortable room, with your non-threatening computer. I’m glad you can hide behind it and attempt to provide me with statements that are so corrupted by your personal animosity for me that they are of no profit to me or anyone else. I suppose your goal is to simply condemn me. I’m glad for that. I am glad that you are so focused on your goal that you have completely eliminated the grace of God.

    I hope you can pick up on the sarcasm here, but I doubt that you are that perceptive. However, I will continue to seek after the will of God and pray for those who suffer. That is all I can do.

  18. Kevin,
    You are wrong. All of your assumptions are wrong. All of your conclusions are wrong.
    I have neither the time nor the will to address every point and explain every detail to you.
    You have a responsibility to think for yourself.
    But I will suffer this one last time to address you. If you afterward continue to be deaf, I will have nothing further to say you unless you repent and ask for forgiveness for being so reckless and so foolish that you defy one who was certainly sent by God to warn you.

    I did not rebuke you sharply for any personal reason whatsoever, and certainly not out of malice. God said to me, “Speak,” and I spoke. Yes, I rebuked you sharply, as I should have.

    I do not wish that you or your hearers should be damned. This only.

    Whether you belive this or not is no matter for me to fret about.

    What you are saying is a damnable lie, one of the most vicious, pernicious lies of all time. Many, from North, South, East and West will be condemned to eternal separation from God for being so shallow in their commitment to truth that they allowed themselves to become so distracted by this world’s concerns, approvals, contempts, and so-called ‘wisdom’ that they swallowed this particular lie hook, line and sinker and turned to bloodshed (‘in self-defense’, of course), thus crucifying Christ, the only One who could, in fact, save them from death. All such will flee from His presence at His appearance, because they will be terrified, not resembling Him, but resembling those who crucified Him. In fact, I would prefer that damnation for that which is deserving of damnation, not happen to you, Kevin. But in your pettiness, you can only see that your feelings have been hurt. That is your problem, not mine. Look instead at the motherless child in the bombed out crater. Understand. And then shut up.

    You are teaching that which is false, and no one who teaches and practices what you have been teaching will enter into the Kingdom of God. David, being here today, would say to you exactly what I am saying to you now. He knows that it was for being ‘a man of blood’ that he was forbidden to build the temple that he so very much wanted to build for God. He speaks to you now, but you neither know him, nor listen to him.

    You are building a wall of pride between you and the Kingdom of God, through which you will never pass to enter into eternal life. Unless you tear down this wall, you will never enter into the Kingdom of God.

    The very thing that you are teaching is the very thing about which Jesus was speaking when He said that the hypocrites were like whitewashed tombs who appeared beautiful on the outside but were full of all manner of corruption and dead men’s bones. This precisely describes you. You may appear to be the faithful and earnest servant of Christ to others, but when you speak of the ‘need’ that innocents be killed for a so-called ‘greater good’, you pull the mask off of the lie. “Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Should anyone ‘need’ to die as ‘collateral damage’ for the benefit of the so-called ‘greater good’ in the future, Kevin, it would be just and fair to you if it were you personally, or your own mother, or your own father, or your own brother, or your own sister, or your own wife, or your own child.

    As for how you respond to this, I care neither way. I have warned you that you are speaking heresy. Your blood is on your own head, now, and I am innocent of it. If you continue to defy what not I, but what God has said, your blood is on your own head.

    I am concerned for the gullible and the unwary who may fall into the trap that you are spreading for everyone. My concern is that no one else be tempted to follow you into the ditch. If this hurts your feelings, it is no matter of my concern. I wish only to be innocent of your blood in the eyes of God. If you don’t believe that, I will lose no sleep over it.

    You cite Old Testament morality to justify your wicked heresy. This, as though Jesus Christ had never come and told us the truth and shown us the will of God. Your argument is completely false. All of the assumptions on which you base this false line of thinking are wrong. But only one example is needed to rebuke you: “You have heard it said, ‘Love your friends, and hate your enemies,’ but I say unto you, Love your enemies.” If you teach some other gospel, Kevin, then may you be accursed. But since you have repeatedly pushed patience beyond breaking with your shallow, presumptuous arrogance, and your false accusation of base motives on my part, my prayer is now this: May God make you an example to all in one way or another, as it pleases Him. Either God make you an example of the wicked man who persists in his sin after being warned by God, by giving your body and your words over to Satan in plain sight of all until you publicly repent of this particular sin in an appropriate way or die unrepentant, or may He make you an example of the righteous man who repents of the evil when warned by God, and is afterward blessed and rewarded; but in either case, may He not leave you unscarred by this encounter.

    I say this, not for your benefit, I leave that in God’s hands. Only He knows truly what or who you are. I say this for the benfit of those who hear your foolish words, that they may fear terribly, and be cautioned to tremble at the thought of you and to never follow your fatal advice.

  19. Wow, Wess, this is intense! Thanks for giving Aaron and I a heads up that you had a conversation going about this – I always like to hear/see what others are thinking and saying. And in this case it’s really interesting to see the way people are warring with words about war.

    If I may, Kevin, I’d like to ask you a few questions about your views. I agree with you that innocent people have to die sometimes – take Jesus for one, but what if it was Christians standing up for peace (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer) who sacrificed like Jesus instead of Christians being the ones killing people in the way of the world? What if that was our witness instead of fighting? I first became a pacifist because I believe that “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I appreciate you saying you pray for things because I feel that this is our place of battle, along with speaking peace and truth to the systems of evil in our world (often embodied in governments, economics, etc.).

    You said, “I eagerly await Christ’s return when He will right all of these wrongs and reign in peace.” Which I hope for too… I also see the Church as the Body of Christ on the earth right now, so I believe that we can bring about some of what Jesus will fully bring when he returns. I believe we need to work in the way of Jesus to bring the peace that we can while we await his return – we can right these wrongs right now by his grace and power. This is not the wisdom or way of the world – it’s foolishness to them. What do you think?

    I’ll try to come back and check this and keep up, but be patient with my infrequent blogging.

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