The United nations has learnt peace from heaven. From heaven, means the acts of God which teach us about peace. The cross of Christ is the greatest act of peace seen in this world. That is, if we understand the cross properly as an act of God’s humility, and not as a divine demand for blood to restore justice. This latter view suits our violent cultures. It also wrongly imagines that peace is ultimately made by law. Peace is made through new hearts that rebuild others in mercy.
The reason it is the greatest act of peace ever seen in the world, is because of the distance God travelled in the incarnation of Christ. He came all the way from his transcendence over creation, to become a man within creation, not only a man, but a servant, and died as a slave.
The reason we don’t have peace is because we don’t do this for others. We don’t walk in the shoes of our enemies, or of the poor and lowly, and so we don’t reach out to theme in restorative acts. We place ourselves about one another, often in our holy estimation. God didn’t do this. This shows us the way to peace.
The cross also shows us God’s forgiveness. When he came as a man, we executed him unjustly. Due to his righteousness, this was the greatest act of injustice man ever committed. Yet, despite the severity of our act, he forgave us immediately on the cross, without condition. This is the greatest principle of peace, forgiving others, especially those who are our enemies.
The statement of Jesus on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,” shows his compassion towards those who hurt him. He saw their own need.
When we see the need of our enemies, and not what they have done to us, we reach out to them in restoration, to help them in their own need. This is one of the greatest acts of peace-making, which restores our divided and hostile communities. The cross teaches us to see our enemies with compassion and to help them.
The cross teaches us the nature of leadership. God came in Christ to serve the world, not to demand service from others. The leader gives him/ herself for others, rather than uses others for their own need. When we lead like this, we care for the poor and for the weak who can’t care for themselves. We don’t use them for our own benefit, making their condition worse. The cross teaches us to look after others and this is what brings peace to our communities. When we impoverish others, we divide community. When we serve others, we heal the community.
We have hardly scratched the surface of what we learn from the cross. Lessons could go on and on. But these are the main principles the United Nations seeks to embody in its activities in the world. And the United Nations learned them from heaven. Without heaven intervening, we wouldn’t know this. We certainly wouldn’t have known it from our Old Testament cultures. God had to come himself and show us.
It’s also true that these acts of God weren’t carried out just for our personal salvation. They were shown to us so that we might do them also, in the world, and restore relationships and people’s lives. That is, God didn’t show us this to take us to heaven, but to fix earth. He didn’t show us these things for us to hide under a box, but to live out in the world, to bring peace with our enemies. God taught us, so that we might teach the United Nations, so that his people might act like him in the secular world.
So, it’s wrong for the United to be secularist, because its first teacher is heaven. And it’s wrong for Christians to shun the secular, to shun the United Nations, because the purpose of the teaching is to fix the world.