History shows us that the 1960s were a tumultuous and divisive decade marked by the civil rights movement, antiwar protests, and political assassinations. This difficult time inspired many song writers to produce songs about peace. Today, we are facing similar unrest and upheaval. Inspired by these old songs, I am inviting you to join me by taking part in my Peace Train – Harmony Challenge. Our world needs more peace and harmony. Help me make this challenge go viral!
Is peace possible? Is it possible for people to live in harmony? I hope so. That is why I am issuing this Peace Train – Harmony Challenge.
I believe that much of the unrest in our world today can be attributed to the nonstop bombardment of contentious, libelous, slanderous, hate-filled speech that is spewed forth daily on both social and mainstream media. Calumny is a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something. Most of the comments posted on social media today fit this description. Unfortunately, too many of us have made divisive posts ourselves.
Opposing countries and opposing political parties have always been using disparaging and contentious rhetoric. What bothers me more, however, is when Christians engage in this activity. Not only can we not have civil conversations about politics, but we can’t have them about religion either.
There was a time that these inflammatory diatribes were found in the rants between opposing religion’s ideologies. Over time, as Christianity fractured, these divisive attacks made their way into the debates between denominations. Now, sadly, it seems to be the norm even within each denomination as the hard right and hard left factions of each denomination can’t wait to tell the other side that they are going to hell. Has divisive hate speech and calumny become the norm of civilization? If so, then perhaps we are no longer civilized. This must STOP. You and I can help to bring about the change.
Jesus came into our world as the Prince of Peace. As a follower of Jesus, will you help me usher in a 30-day period of peace? Will you join in me in my challenge?
The following 60’s and 70’s songs inspired my thoughts today. The 1967 song One Tin Soldier by the group The Original Cast speaks directly to the topic of religious conflict. Here are some of the lyrics.
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of Heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowin’
Come the judgement day
On the bloody mornin’ after
One tin soldier rides away
Songwriters: Dennis Earle Lambert / Brian Potter
One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
In 1967, the Youngbloods sang the song, Get Together, which included these lyrics:
Come on people now
Smile on your brother,
everybody get together,
Try to love one another
Songwriters: Chester Powers / Chester William Jr. Powers
Get Together lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
In 1971, the music group, The New Seekers, gave us the hit song, We’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, which included these popular lyrics:
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
Songwriters: William M Backer / Roger F. Cook / Roquel Davis / Roger Greenaway
I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
In that same year Cat Stevens gave us the song Peace Train. It included these lyrics:
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come
Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Songwriters: Yusuf Islam
Peace Train lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Racial tensions seem to be at a boiling point again in the United States, yet back in 1972 the group Three Dog Night popularized the song Black and White which had these lyrics:
The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn to read and write
The child is black
The child is white
Together they grow to see the light
Songwriters: Earl Robinson / David Arkin
Black & White lyrics © Music Sales Corporation
In 1982 Ebony and Ivory was number-one single for Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Their song had these lyrics:
Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?
Songwriters: Paul Mccartney
Ebony and Ivory lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Condemning others who don’t sing your tune serves no purpose. Harmony does not occur when everyone sings the same note; no, it occurs when each person sings their own note in a beautifully sung melody. We don’t all have to agree, but there is no need to be disagreeable either.
Inspired by these songs, here is my challenge. For a period of 30 days, starting on July 15th and ending on August 15th will you commit to the following?
- You will not post any divisive words on social media.
- You will not speak words of division in any social gatherings or among friends.
- You will make an extra effort to share and post words that unite people together and bring peace.
- You will try to perform one act of random kindness each day.
- Simply stated, you will make no divisive comments for 30 days
Satan is the father of division. Let’s deny him his satisfaction of watching us snipe at one another.
We can do this. Let’s tone down the heat. Let’s lead the way. Commit to passing this challenge along to others by emailing and posting the PEACE TRAIN – HARMONY CHALLENGE everywhere you can. Share this with local and national media outlets. Tell your friends and neighbors. Shout it from the mountain tops.
What might these 30 days of peace look like? Let’s all jump on board the peace train and find out.
Heavenly Father help me to never forget that your Son Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Amen!
A bonus song for peace-Susan Boyle singing Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
Take just a moment to let me know that you are joining the challenge and keep me updated on your progress by commenting below.