Verbum et Ecclesia
versão On-line ISSN 1609-9982
COOKE, Terence. The pastor as model for peaceful existence. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.32, n.2, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1609-9982. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102.ve.v32i2.500.
Many people are disillusioned in the democratic South Africa. That is because they went out from the assumption that with the dawn of democracy, violence would disappear. Unfortunately this did not happen. As with most things in life it is not an either … or, but a both … and scenario. In fact, violence is part of the democratic system. Real peace between men and powers can only be the peace of God, the peace which alone heals all disorder. The peace of the world is at best peaceful coexistence, not peace. In South Africa we have a negotiated agreement to peaceful coexistence, and sometimes, for example, after the miracle of the 1994 election and the euphoria of the World Cups of 1995, 2007 and 2010, we may even think we have achieved real peace. It is indeed in these times of euphoria that the people of South Africa may be tempted to lower our aim and settle for second best thinking that we have arrived. Model is used not in the sense of the pastor being an example of a peaceful existence to be followed. It is rather used in the sense that a pastor in his or her professional capacity has the knowledge of the meaning of the term 'peaceful existence' and also the hermeneutic competency to apply that knowledge in concrete situations. This opens the exiting possibility that pastors can become travel companions on the road to real peace. The different aspects of being a pastor, office bearer, professional and person, each contribute to the pastor being a model for peace. It must be emphasised that the different aspects always work together as a unity and the strength of the pastor as a model for a peaceful existence is in the simultaneous application of these aspects in the context in which the pastor lives.