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Tom Fox was found dead in a Baghdad suburb a few days ago. He was one of four Christian Peace Makers Team members kidnapped three months ago. His voluntary role in Iraq was to act in liaison between detainees and their families and to escort medicines to clinics. He was always aware that such involvement could end in his death. It is most pertinent that his death occurred as many of us around the world were preparing to speak on the set gospel text, Mark 8:31-38, where Jesus says, “Whoever would gain their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake and the gospel’s, will find it.”

Tom Fox wrote in his web log in October 2004:

If I am not to fight or flee in the face of armed aggression, be it the overt aggression of the army or the subversive
aggression of the terrorist, then what am I to do? “Stand firm against evil” (Matthew 5:39, translated by Walter Wink)
seems to be the guidance of Jesus and Gandhi in order to stay connected with God. Here in Iraq I struggle with that second form of aggression. I have visual references and written models of CPTers standing firm against the overt
aggression of an army, be it regular or paramilitary. But how do you stand firm against a car-bomber or a kidnapper? Clearly the soldier disconnected from God needs to have me fight. Just as clearly the terrorist disconnected from God needs to have me flee. Both are willing to kill me using
different means to achieve he same end–that end being to increase the parasitic power of Satan within God’s good
creation. It seems easier somehow to confront anger
within my heart than it is to confront fear. But if Jesus and
Gandhi are right then I am not to give in to either. I am to
stand firm against the kidnapper as I am to stand firm against the soldier. Does that mean I walk into a raging battle to confront the soldiers? Does that mean I walk the streets of Baghdad with a sign saying “American for the Taking?” No
to both counts. But if Jesus and Gandhi are right, then I am asked to risk my life, and if I lose it to be as forgiving
as they were when murdered by the forces of Satan.
Standing firm is a struggle, but I’m willing to keep working at it.

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