From the Archives: Fall 1972

IT CAME TO pass in the summer of ’72 that many young people gathered in Dallas for Explo, a week of training for Christian witness sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. ... And among those present in Dallas were some messengers of peace—some post-Americans calling themselves the People’s Christian Coalition, and a few sons of Menno sent by the Mennonite Central Committee, who had also come to witness for their Lord.

The messengers of peace set up their booths along with many others and distributed their literature. And many people came by. Some looked and smiled; some looked and frowned. Some said “right on” and “we need that” in response to posters saying “blessed are the peacemakers” and “swords into plowshares”; but others said “praise the Lord, God will take care of wars, all we need is to win people to Christ.”  ...

And some of the messengers of peace made signs saying “Stop the war in Jesus’ name” and “The 300 persons killed by American bombs today will not be won in this generation” and “Choose this day—make disciples or make bombs, love your enemies or kill your enemies.” And they walked among the people with their signs.

And some people said, “Amen” and others were offended, saying, “Why bring peripheral issues to Explo? We are here to witness to the Lord.”

Peter Ediger was pastor of Arvada (Colo.) Mennonite Church when this article appeared in The Post-American, the predecessor to Sojourners.

Image: Witness illustration, Sam72 / Shutterstock.com

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