In the world of progressive Jesus followers, there is a debate when it comes to dealing with the social injustices that flood our world. One of the main criticisms I find in this arena is that people like me are too outspoken, too fiery and that there is another way, a better way, a third way to approach social injustice. Fiery people cause tension and tension doesn’t make the right kind of peace when it comes to the third way.
The third way is favored by liberal white guys with that California hipster swagger who have given themselves the title of peacemaker. The game plan here is to listen to both sides when it comes to issues of injustice.
Listen to people of color who have lost their children to police brutality. Listen to the Chads who feel that the Confederate flag is a simple representation of their heritage. Listen to immigrants at the southern border who have just had their family ripped apart as they desperately beg for refuge. Listen to the ICE agents who are just trying to do their job. Listen to everyone’s side and every once in a while speak up for social justice issues, but in more of a muted manner because self-titled peacemakers do not want to offend the ICE agents or Racist Chads.
Third way peacemakers do state that they are against oppression, but they never ever call out racist Chad because that would put a wedge in the peace. They have the ICE agents over for dinner to learn about their side of the story, but don’t bring up the children they imprisoned earlier that week, because again that could break the peace and PEACEMAKERS CANNOT BREAK THE PEACE.
RULE ONE OF THIRD WAY PEACEMAKERS – DO NOT BREAK THE PEACE.
Third way peacemakers have to make the peace, and to make the peace, they have to have peace with both sides. They can disagree with the actions of one side, but they have to tip toe around the subject as to not upset anyone. THEY ARE PEACEMAKERS.
I mean, they take pictures and tell us when they go to the border and even pray with the actual oppressed. That is peace. Right, I mean right guys?
That is how we create an environment of negative peace – a peace without tension. AND HOW CAN THERE BE PEACE IF THERE IS TENSION????
This is why people like me are bad when it comes to the third way, we always break the peace. Our way ruins the harmony between the peacemaker and the oppressor. STOP BREAKING THEIR PEACE.
Third way peacemakers follow Jesus and Jesus is love and love means never breaking the peace.
Would Jesus break the negative peace and bring tension?
I mean it’s not like Jesus continuously called out the oppressors in a broad and public manner. He definitely didn’t call the oppressors broods of vipers and white-washed tombs. And when he had dinner with the oppressors, even though he didn’t agree with their ways, he definitely didn’t ever call them out and bring any tension into play.
Oh wait, except he did. He did all of that. He brought all of the tension when it came to oppression. He always boldly called out the oppressors and never gave them a pass for the sake of keeping a tensionless peace.
It’s almost like Dr, Martin Luther King Jr understood both the ways of Jesus and the issue with the third way mentality when he wrote Letter From Birmingham Jail.
"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."
Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
It’s almost like third way peacemakers are in reality, a great stumbling block towards the fight for justice. It’s almost like there is no third way and the idea of a third way is just there to make some of us feel like we are peacemakers without having to deal with the backlash and not being well-liked by some that comes when you actually stand up against the oppressors and do the hard work that comes with seeking justice.
But what do I know - I’m just some bleeding heart liberal who doesn’t even agree with white people titling themselves as a peacemaker in the first place.