Monday, September 25, 2006

An Anglican view of "tikkun olam" (repairing the world)

From an update, 25/9/06, from Canon Andrew White, a true Anglican peace worker [not one of the fakes from the Anglican "Peace and Justice Network"]....

In just two days I will make my return to my beloved Baghdad having had five days at home mainly ill but I praise G-d that this morning I was well enough to preach at St Andrew’s Chorleywood.

....Just occasionally I think wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a lively Church rather than rushing around the world dealing with terrorist, military and people of other faiths. .... Interestingly it is Christians who often have such limited understanding of what we do, how or why we do it.

Our work is not in the comfort and safety of the West. On one hand I get criticized for getting hostages set free or working with the US Military. The fact is I do both. You do not get hostages released by dealing with nice people. Nice people do not take hostages and the only reason we can sometimes get them released is because we don’t always and only deal with nice people.

....The other thing I have been widely criticized for is my links with the military and especially the US military, there have even been those who have asked how I could bring myself to receive an award from them this week. Well the answer is easy first of all I did not know I would receive this and secondly I not only like the military but consider them the major peace keepers in the world today. My friends at the Pentagon and in the military I not only consider amongst my closest colleagues but also consider them some of the foremost peacemakers in the world today. For them it may cost them their life, most of those I work with in Baghdad have had close friends killed in conflicts. You see this kind of peace making is not just drinking tea and eating sandwiches in suburbia. This is making peace on the front line, it is always difficult. People always get hurt and killed and we soon realize that peacemaking can not just involve the nice people.

What is more if any real peace is to be made today it must always involve bad people and the good military. Only then will there be any chance of changing our broken world. Not everybody will be able to do this work themselves but what we can all do is pray and pay for peace. Please do pray for your military because they too are part of the way to peace.

So I finish with the words of Habakkuk 3:18 I will still be joyful and glad because the Lord G-d is my Saviour.



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