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“Reflecting on Tragedy and Terror”

In the wake of the September 11, 2001, tragedy, the faculty of Messiah College‘s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies published an editorial in the school newspaper. On the ninth anniversary of the event, their words remain a powerful reminder for Christian pacifists — like those in the Brethren in Christ fellowship — to choose the way of peace over the way of revenge.

Here’s a selection:

While we do think it is important for us to discuss and debate the situation we confront, we never want to forget our even more fundamental responsibility as Christians to pray for others in times of crisis. We need to pray for those who have been directly impacted by this disaster through personal harm or loss of loved ones. . . . We need to pray for our national leaders and, indeed, for political leaders around the world as they grapple with how to respond. We need to pray for Muslims living in the United States that they will be spared from acts of vengeance at the hands of their neighbors. We need to pray for those in the military . . . , and we need to simultaneously pray for peace activists who have already begun to rally against the use of force. Finally, and most difficultly, we need to pray honestly and caringly for our enemies. While we may disagree on other matters, we would all agree on the need for prayer.

To read the article in its entirety, see E. Morris Sider & Luke Keefer, Jr., eds., A Peace Reader (Nappanee, Ind.: Evangel Press, 2002), p. 249-252.