Appeasement

by J. Randal Matheny
handshake.jpgPolitics is astir with the word “appeasement.” President George W. Bush used it last Thursday when he addressed the Israeli Knessit on the sixtieth anniversary of that country. He said to the members of that parliament,
“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history. (Applause.)”/1
In the sense in which President Bush used the word, “appease” means “to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles.”/2
The root meaning of appeasement, however, is to make peace. And God did not sacrifice any of his principles, none of his righteousness, to make peace with man.
As Paul said in Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory” (NET).
On the contrary, God preserved his justice and made us just at the same time, by giving his Son to die for us, the innocent for the guilty.
Again, Paul says that God is both “just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness” (Romans 3:26).
All accounts paid in full, with man restored to God’s side.
This was appeasement at its best, and it is this peace we celebrate around the table of the Lord.
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1/ “President Bush Addresses Members of the Knesset.”
2/ “Appease.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

2 Replies to “Appeasement”

  1. Do you think God is pleased with the Lord’s church using so many versions of His word? Any more, it’s hard to keep up in bible study because they all sound a little different. I was raised in the church with the KJV and thought I had some verses memorized, but they are all so different now that I find it hard to keep them straight when I try to repeat them.

  2. Dear Mrs. Boswell, thank you for writing. I take your question as a sincere one, rather than rhetorical.
    Yes, if one may know what God thinks on this matter, I believe that our Lord is well pleased with the many versions of his Word, because he desires that people understand the Bible.
    The New Testament writers sometimes translated words in the text so their readers could understand. See, for example, Matthew 1:23; Mark 15:22; John 1:38; 1:42; 9:7; Acts 4:36; 9:36; 13:8.
    In Mark 5:41 the writer translated Jesus’ words from Aramaic into Greek, so his readers would understand what Jesus had said. “And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise” (KJV). The word “interpreted” here means “translated,” and is so rendered by the NKJV and NASB. He does this with our Lord’s words on the cross, also, in Mark 15:34. Mark translates these phrases because his readers, presumably Romans, would not understand the Aramaic spoken by Jews in Judea and Galilee.
    For all its beauty and influence, the KJV is outdated and unintelligible to the vast majority of people today. Biblical studies have progressed greatly in the last 400 years. The English language has changed tremendously since the KJV was translated. These needs brought us the new versions, and though a few may have questionable principles of translation, most are solid, reliable efforts of putting the Word of God into language of people around the world, not only in English, but in many languages.
    If we prefer one version and pine for a return to it because of our convenience, we demonstrate little concern for the souls of the lost and the edification of the body of Christ. Let us therefore rejoice and be glad that God has made his Word available today to peoples of all classes and educational levels, in order that they may read and understand and come to a knowledge of he who reveals his plan of salvation and plain and simple will for all to follow.

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