Tags: Religion | christian | history | sermons | peace

Christian History: 3 Memorable Sermons on Peace

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 07:34 PM

Peace and justice are two central tenets of the Christian faith despite the world's constant struggles achieving them. Christian leaders often speak to their faithful followers about the need for peace in the world. Here are three sermons and speeches on peace by Christian leaders that impacted America.

1. Pope John Paul II at the United Nations, 1995

Pope John Paul II addressed the United Nations General Assembly during his visit to America in October 1995. He used the speech as a way to express the Catholic Church's hope for the U.N. advancing peace and freedom throughout the world. “I am vividly aware that through you I am in some way addressing the whole family of peoples living on the face of the earth,” John Paul II said.

The Pope connected freedom and moral truth to lasting peace. “Freedom is not simply the absence of tyranny or oppression,” he said. “Nor is freedom a license to do whatever we like. Freedom has an inner logic which distinguishes it and ennobles it: Freedom is ordered to the truth, and is fulfilled in man's quest for truth and in man's living in the truth.”

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2. Henry Ward Beecher and 'Beecher's Bibles'

Henry Ward Beecher was a Congregationalist preacher and the brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Beecher was strongly against slavery. His publications and sermons strongly linked justice and freedom for the slaves with the possibility of peace in the United States.

Through his sermons at his church in New York, he raised money for rifles to be sent to abolitionist forces during the “Bleeding Kansas” events, arguing that they would do more than a hundred bibles for the cause of emancipating slaves. These rifles were known as "Beecher's Bibles," according to U-S-History.com. Once the Civil War was over, Beecher argued for the southern states to be readmitted to the union, which was an unpopular opinion within the northern states at the time.

3. Rev. George Regas and the Iraq War

A sermon at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, on the Iraq War in 2004 gained attention for the anti-war movement, as well as attention from the IRS. The Rev. George Regas, the church's former rector, gave a guest sermon in which Jesus was involved in a political debate along with President George W. Bush and presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

“Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine,” Regas suggested Jesus would say. “Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.”

The government agency's concern was that the sermon came just days before the presidential election, and appeared to violate the tax code's prohibition against tax-exempt organizations from advocating in political elections. The IRS eventually ended its probe two years later without revoking the church's tax-exempt status.

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Peace and justice are two central tenets of the Christian faith despite the world's constant struggles achieving them. Christian leaders often speak to their faithful followers about the need for peace in the world.
christian, history, sermons, peace
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2015-34-03
Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 07:34 PM
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