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Nate Hitchcock

Head Pastor, Ascension Presbyterian Church..Nate recently moved up to the North Seattle area and became the head pastor of Ascension Presbyterian Church in Edmonds, WA.  Before making the move he was a pastor for seven years in San Diego, CA.  Upon being asked if he would be available for interview Nate replied, “Sure, I could do that for you, but I’m not sure I’ll have anything different to say than what the Bible says.”  This proved true in the following interview, where Nate demonstrates his commitment to preaching the genuine, lasting peace we see in Christ’s example.

Interview by Austin Vander Wel
23 March, 2012

I don’t think someone can have complete peace with themselves or others apart from God, since sin has marred our ability to dwell in peace with Him.
    I see peace in terms of personal relationship, since we were created by a relational God and are surrounded by interaction.  The whole of our story is the working out of restoring peace.  The complete restoration of true peace would be proven through a perfectly unified community.  Although the natural human reaction we all possess leans towards revenge, we know in our hearts that this does not work to restore community, and thus does not bring peace.  At the end of the day, we know peace has been won when we see that the heart of man has been changed fundamentally through the gospel.
    I believe that God has used people like Gandhi.  However, it is one thing to be “spiritual,” and another to know the whole truth, that is, the truth given to us by Jesus Christ.  Jesus sets the perfect example of peace through throwing out his privileges and entitlements and dedicating his life to service reserved for the lowest of the low.  
    There is a zeal for truth—and that is to be commended—but at the same time it is easy to point out misplaced zeal.  Misplaced zeal can be observed throughout history, and since followers of Jesus have never followed perfectly, it just reinforces our need for this peace, which is to be reconciled to God through Jesus and then follow the example of Christ.
    Peace between governments is possible without Christ’s influence because of a mutual understanding that we are relational beings and it is oftentimes more beneficial for us to be at peace with each other than not.  Similarly, forms of emotional and social peace may be experienced without following Christ’s example because of Common Grace.  Common Grace is reflected in Matthew 5:45b where Jesus states, “He [God] causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.”  This addresses that good things can come to “bad” people, and vice versa, but the lasting, meaningful peace for which Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead is only found through him.     Ultimately, any discussion of peace that leaves Christ out is inadequate…but I would say that about anything.
    In the end we cannot convince someone who has received political, emotional, and social peace that they need a lasting, spiritual peace with Jesus because they do not understand that real peace must, in its essence, be spiritual.  Only God can convince people of the need for this peace.  Peace is a very hard word to describe.  However, it is not until the Holy Spirit removes the scales from our eyes that we can see the peace preached by Jesus through his words as well as his actions.

Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”