I think there is a difference between “keeping the peace” and peacemaking.

In the first, tension is avoided for fear of conflict/disagreement destroying relationships. In the second, a certain kind of tension is actively sought out so that working through it together, relationships are strengthened.

In the first, a surface-level appearance of same-ness (not the same thing as unity!) must be maintained. In the second, a true and deep communion/knowing is desired even if that means acknowledging deeply embedded differences openly.

In the first, the status-quo is maintained, even when ultimately harmful or unhealthy. In the second, careful discernment leads to steady movements closer to the heart of Jesus.

In the first, discomfort is avoided. In the second, a kind of suffering is embraced.

The church in America continues to wrestle with things like how to realize racial reconciliation in our unique context, how to love one another across the political party divides, and how to present a distinctive and credible witness to the truth of the Gospel.

In order to move forward in ways that are faithful to Jesus and demonstrate true love between us, I believe we must renew our commitment to true peacemaking over and against keeping the peace.