Monday, December 5, 2011

Peace on Earth

To much of modern thought, a vacuum could be considered the most peaceful concept in existence. Consider this, a vacuum is never at rest - it is constantly straining against its bounds trying to fill itself.

Similarly, Peace is a void inside the soul of Man, a vacuum, if you will. Essentially then, the quest for peace boils down to attempting to satiate that hunger which consumes the void.

Depending on one's philosophy or religion, filling the void is attempted through diverse means:

  • Eastern philosophies following Buddhist thinking seek peace, essentially, through emptiness. This, however, does not fill the void, but add to it.
  • Those Eastern philosophies following Hindu thought seek peace through moral neutrality, which lends itself to either emptiness, like Buddhism, or a works-based system, which will be explained just now.
  • Islamic philosophy seeks peace through works. The main problem with works-based attempts at peace is that, while contributing to the filling of the void, it doesn't fill quite completely, leaving a sense that there must be more, and a sense, ultimately, of futility.
  • Jewish philosophy, while similar in this matter to Islam's works-based mindset, seeks peace through observance of the law. Again, the void is only partially filled and can lead to a sense of futility and disillusion.
  • Western philosophies, particularly those falling under nihilist and egotist or hedonist thinking, promote a very selfish view which manifests itself respectively as either a resignation to futility (and therefore a lack of effort to address the void) or an attempt to fill the void with personal desires, which still leaves a sense that there is something more.
  • Philanthropic or altruistic Western philosophies seek peace through the betterment of others and, while this may possibly be the most satisfying of the philosophies, it does not quite fill the void. It instead falls, eventually, into the same pit that all works-based philosophies fall.
What, then, can fill this void? Every human concept seems, at best, to be able to only partially fill the void. What, then, can perfectly fill that gap? If one considers humans imperfect, as all philosophies (of which I am aware) do, then can anything originating from Man possibly come close?

Of course not.

Only that which is perfect can fill the void, can perfectly bring perfect peace. What else is perfect other than God? Christ Himself has been called the "Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6), God has been called the "God of Peace" (Rom 15:33, 16:20, 1 Cor 14:33, etc), and the Bible even speaks of "peace... in the Holy Spirit" (Rom 14:17).

God. Is. Peace.

So, during this Christmas season, one of "peace, goodwill to men" (Luk 2:14), remember the real source of peace, not any artifice or thought of Man, but the perfect being and sacrifice of God.