Battling This Present Darkness

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:12-14)

Peacemaking is a spiritual struggle. In the most fundamental sense, it is a battle for the soul of humanity. Today peacemaking is a struggle between two faiths, each very real, each elusive.

What the world accepts as its source of security is a faith system. It is built on the existence of a whole series of lethal apparatus and weapons--on submarines at the bottom of the sea, missiles in the ground that very few of us have ever seen, and on people going to work every day planning for, organizing for, and thinking about the conduct of nuclear war. Most of us have only a peripheral connection with any of this and never see it. But somehow, at a very deep level, we believe in it. We believe that our security is to be derived from intimidating others, by allowing the massive threat of death to be communicated in our name.

The other faith is a faith in God, a faith that is inseparable from a faith in human beings, because the two faiths are one. The possibilities of peace, other than through intimidation, stem from a fundamental belief that human beings can love one another. That is the injunction of the scripture that W.H. Auden once paraphrased, "We must love one another or die." This faith says that love is possible, indeed it is the only reality.

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