For Christian peacemakers like Tom Fox the meaning of life and death in crisis situations is understood to point the way to faith and justice for the entire human family. However, death or any sacrifice will not be universally understood as pointing the way to wholesome life because popular culture thinks differently. In factdeath or undue risk in the pursuit of nonviolent enemy loving has been used to prove that projects and experiments in nonviolence do not work. Soldiers of the military may die by the thousands in defeat or victory but one death or embarrassing failure in the work of nonviolence is enough to unleash a chorus, calling for a pull back from the experiment in enemy loving and a call to resort to the culturally approved strategy, the use of lethal force.
We live in a world where methodologies for social change or justice making are subjected to a set of steps, or guidelines that must be contained in rational statements of faith or rigid goals and objectives. Christian peacemaking combines spirit and skills and inherently carries with it a different consciousness. When Christian peacemaking is compartmentalized into a routine discipline, devoid of risk, we emasculate it, and miss the deeper spiritual content of the Way. If you read Tom Fox’s blog, you will see that he knew this and has been trying to thoughtfully work out the interplay of spirit and witness in his life, until he died.