If we claim to be a Christ follower, then we are following the Prince of Peace. Why is it that when the world is looking for peace, the church is not typically a place they seek advice? Could it be that we really have no clue about what it looks like to be peace-makers? It is not quite that simple though, because our Prince of Peace is also described as bringing a sword. What is that all about? It appears Christ walked a tightrope of tension being a peacemaker, and turning over tables. Not very many modern day examples come into mind. Martin Luther King is perhaps one example of a man, sticking to his convictions of truth, who walked this tightrope well. Most of us fall victim to one or both of two common temptations; judging others, or enabling others.
The Apostle Paul is a biblical example of a man who walks the tension between peace and truth-telling in integrity. At Mars Hill, in Acts 17, he brings truth (the whole truth) to the Athenians in a peaceable way. Paul imitated Christ in several ways. First of all, he went to them. He initiated. He pursued. Second, Paul actually cared about them. He liked their culture to some degree (he knew their poetry and customs). The fact that he took time to share the gospel with them indicates that he cared about their spirituality. Third, he didn’t base his approach on pragmatism (what works), but rather on truth. He is not obnoxious about it, but he certainly does not limit what he says about Christ. He says Christ is the only way. Paul does not end up merely judging the Athenians. Nor does he enable them to continue in their pluralistic theology. He walks the tightrope of being a peace-maker and truth-teller.
Acts 17:16 - 34