March 2017

For years there’s been a Christian conspiracy theory about the logo for the peace movement. Rumours have alleged that the design is a poke in the eye to Christians. A Christian cross, turned upside down, with broken arms – rejecting the Christian message and its cross as the path to peace. 

Yet the truth is that in 1958 a British designer called Gerald Holtom took two semaphore flag letters, ’N’ and 'D', to signal Nuclear Disarmament. The resulting symbol was then used on flags and placards at an anti nuclear rally.  

And further to the story, Holtom was, in fact, a Christian. Although he’d wanted to use traditional Christian symbols of peace and unity, he knew they’d never be widely accepted. After all, the Japanese had recently suffered a nuclear holocaust at the hands of ‘Christian’ America and the Muslims had long memories of Christian crusades. So the conspiracy is unfounded.  

But, although many Christians have sympathised with the non-violent goals of the modern peace movement, suspicions about other agendas have been well founded. For example, when it took off, it had strong connections to the Sixties counterculture that promoted drug taking and sexual promiscuity as well as the New Age movement that began in the Seventies with its focus on alternative religious philosophies. 

Over the decades, the movement has struggled to survive and know what it stands for. Is it against all wars including defensive ones? And now that traditional energy forms threaten the environment, is it still against nuclear energy? Especially since it doesn’t add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?    

Christianity, meanwhile, continues to be the peace movement that’s clear and relevant to everyone. The Bible promises there will always be wars in this age as well as discord and violence between individuals. But the solution won’t be found by simply trying to be nice to each other. We humans need renovating on the inside and that comes from being back in relationship with God - blessed by His powerful Holy Spirit inside us helping us to live peacefully.  

To achieve this great reconciliation, Jesus went to the cross to pay for our sin so that God might forgive us. This is why the Christian cross is, after all, the supreme and most profoundly important symbol of peace in the world today. It represents real and lasting peace with God both now and forever.

So, will you make peace with God?  Will you join the movement Jesus began that never ends?

For more information or to see how your church can become involved in displaying the posters, visit Outreach Media at www.outreachmedia.org.au.