The song has a lovely, lyrical tune. One of those that tends to stay in your head for a while.
It expresses an appealing sentiment, too. One that seems noble. Admirable. Godly, even.
Especially in these days of social media (and regular media) gone wild.
Too bad it’s based on a lie.
You see, the lyrics go on to say:
“With God as our Father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.”
As alluring as it might be, the idea that God is Father to all people is not a biblical one.
He is the Creator of all people. He loves all people.
But the Father/child relationship is reserved for those who are born-again through faith in Jesus Christ. (John 1:12; 11:52; Romans 8:16; I John 3:1-10)
Far from being a biblical truth, the idea of peace beginning with me is a modern-day parallel to the Old Testament superficial proclamation of “peace” when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14)
What Does the Bible Say About Peace?
1.)Peace comes from God. (Psalm 29:11; 85:8; Isaiah 26:3, 12; Haggai 2:9; Romans 15:13, 33; Galatians 1:3; Philippians 4:6-7; Titus 1:4)
Peace does not and in fact cannot begin with me. It always and forever begins with God.
2.)Peace is through Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; John 16:33; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 1:20, 3:15; Philemon 1:3)
We cannot have peace apart from Jesus Christ.
3.)Peace is the fruit of righteousness. (Psalm 119:165; Isaiah 32:17, 48:18; Romans 5:1; 8:6; James 3:17-18)
As I studied some passages in preparation for this post, I was amazed by how often peace is mentioned in correlation with righteousness. According to Scripture, the two go hand-in-hand.
4.)Peace with the world is impossible. (Matthew 10:22, 34-36; John 15:18-19; 16:33; James 4:4)
Because of Jesus, kindness and compassion can begin with me. But I cannot be at peace with someone who has positioned himself as the enemy of my Lord. To attempt it is to deny Him.
5.)I have a responsibility toward peace. (Psalm 34:14, Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2)
The Bible does teach us to live peaceably with others. Our responsibility toward peace consists of loving others, not sinning against others and not causing needless offense. But the Bible never, ever, not once advocates the weak-willed, conviction-less acceptance so many wrongly call “peace.”
In fact, since through truth people can be made aware of their sin and exhorted to receive the gospel, truth is the conduit of genuine peace and truth-telling is the ultimate form of peace-making.
I’d like to close with a passage that aptly describes these times in which we live, and which clearly delineates our God-given responsibility when the truth is unpopular:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
This is not an exhortation to the “peace” touted by the world – a silence that tolerates lies without presenting the truth.
It’s a reminder of the Christ-follower’s calling to point people to the only Source of true peace: a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.