There are two Pax that have dominated thought in the West, although both haven’t been equally tried.

Pax Romana, or the Peace of Rome, has been a common feature for most of civilization. This was the peace that brought about prosperity, legal reforms, technology advances, etc. It comes with a price – empire theology. The Pax Romana came about because Rome killed anyone who would stand in its way. For Rome, peace comes by the elimination of ones enemies. Of course the Pax Romana came with other costs too – exploitation of conquered lands and peoples. Oppression and enslavement. Diverting resources and wealth back to Rome and the emperor. That’s all because the Pax Romana wasn’t really for everyone. No, it was designed to primarily benefit one person – the emperor. It was during the Pax Romana that uprisings took place, crucifixion was commonly used, and occupation was at a height. So much for being peaceful.

Pax Christus, or the Peace of Christ, has not been utilized. It has been talked about though. The Peace of Christ comes with a cost too – giving up all the things that empire theology values and embracing the values of Christ. And what are those values – they are expressed in the Sermon on the Mount. They are expressed in Matthew 25. They come down to two basic ideas that are interwoven with each other – love God and love your neighbor. And your neighbor is everyone, including your enemies. We show that we love God by loving all around us and by caring for the poor and outcast.

Pax Romana has been tried many times. It always ends up failing, it’s just a matter of when. Pax Christus hasn’t ever been tried. Maybe we are afraid to try it because it might work.