The moral rearmament movement

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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Saturday, February 1, 2014


AFTER the Second World War in 1945, I remember that people in Europe started a movement against war and violence in the world. People began to rearm themselves not with arms of war but arms of moral and spiritual values.

People realized that if you want to change the world of war and violence you must begin with yourself. That is how the so-called moral rearmament movement spread around all over Europe and other parts of the world. People were fed up with war.

In the United States a similar movement developed that adopted the form of the so-called Pentecostal movement. This movement is based on the biblical story of the coming down of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth after his resurrection from the death and his ascension into heaven. Those people were inspired by the Holy Spirit and they started to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with courage and determination in all kind of different languages.

From that day on the Christian message began to spread out all over the world. The history of the Jewish people had been a history of war and violence and this is what Christ came to change through his message of peace and love.

That movement is catching on in the States through meetings of different kind of people: meetings of pastors and of women, lawyers and of nurses, mayors, doctors and teachers, etc. When they meet they reflect in silence on the Word of God and then they share with each other their feelings and impressions they got from this reflection.

Here in the Philippines we have our basic Christian communities where people from different walks of life come together to reflect on the Word of God. That is how we can become part of that movement. Reading the Bible and reflecting on it is not as simple as it sounds. You have to make it quiet in yourself and slowly let the Word sink in into your heart.

God speaks to us through our conscience and our spirit. He is the living Spirit who is alive in each one of us as long as we open ourselves up for Him. Everybody can listen to God’s voice every day and then you get your program for the day right. What is important here is not so much the proper doctrine but the proper way of living. Honesty, purity of heart, unselfishness and love are the main pillars of this way of life. The point is to get a new social order and a new spiritual order in our society. The pillars that sustain our personal life we must show these also in our social life: an honest business practice, pure politics, unselfish cooperation and fair competition, a loving relationship between people of all walks of life.

Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit who lived through the two world wars of the 20th century and died in 1955 wrote the following meaningful words: “Someday after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then for the second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered the fire.”

Teilhard believed in the evolution of all mankind toward unity in Christ. He refers here to the event of Pentecost and the power of the Spirit of God that can change the world. We are all called to be instruments in His hands to bring about that change.

*****

[Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 02, 2014.

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