Monday, November 19, 2012

Love Your Enemies?


It sounds so simple and so simplistic and even so naïve. Because it is so remarkable and so fanatical, we assume it must be diluted and made to be observed in certain circumstances and ignored when it doesn’t make any sense. There are times when this teaching is illogical and seems to surrender to evil, when in fact it is those very circumstances where this teaching shines the brightest. But what if it costs us our lives? And therein lies the root problem, we desire to live and preserve our lives at the expense of living His.

But how can we love through violence? How can we love when we see people as enemies and not as living objects of redemption? I realize this teaching is way too radical for a Christian faith which has become predictable and nicely woven into an earthly culture. And the most amazing thing has happened. We have taken the Scriptures and made pretty little lines of flowery doctrines, stepped back, and admired our handiwork. In effect we have marketed the Scriptures to ourselves, and whatever teaching is uncomfortable, inconvenient, or costly we have whittled it into round pegs that fit into the round holes of our culture.

But so many of the teachings of Jesus cannot fit into the culture at all. And that is by design. His words confront the culture and are so revolutionary that we must either alter our thoughts and lives or alter His teachings. But like an innocuous Hallmark Card we have taken the “love your enemies” phrase and juxtaposed it upon certain quaint experiences in our cute little lives. We must forgive the one who cut in line before us. We must forgive that man who was unkind to our child. But let us be honest here. We do not even love our friends, much less our enemies. The word love has been so diluted and made so sensual that it carries no spiritual weight at all.

Come on, Jesus, let’s be real here. Surely you cannot expect us love those who hate us and are trying to kill us. I mean we live in the real world here. There comes a time when we must fight fire with fire. There will be time for hearing about loving our enemies in church, but when the circumstances demand it we must take up arms and fight alongside those who do not know You. That seems like the only way to preserve our way of life here on earth. We would rather not do it, but we must. It is the way of the jungle. Kill or be killed.

Below I have linked to two videos about a Palestinian man who is a Christian and is attempting to follow the teachings of Jesus. If you need your doctrinal fix as is usually described as doctrine, then you may look elsewhere. These kinds of teachings are not included in a western statement of faith, and they are not part of any cardinal doctrine list. What you will hear is raw obedience to a teaching that comes from Jesus under the most trying of circumstances. Open your ears and your heart and see what the Spirit is saying to this humble and unassuming man who claims to follow Jesus.


Have you listened? Have you heard? Can you see?
How far have we strayed from what Jesus said?
Let us all repent and take a first step toward His life.
What the world sees now in the western church is nothing more than a normal western lifestyle with a few religious words sprinkled in for effect.
Help us, Jesus, to follow You whatever the cost.

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