On this day before the anniversary of one of the most horrible and appalling days in my country’s history. My heart is angry and broken that we who are called to love one another, can spew such hatred on those we choose to call enemy. In a recent response to inappropriate jokes made by one who professes to follow Christ – in fact even makes his living through ministry – I wrote the following words (I’ve added to it some for this blog as I’ve pondered more on the subject.) For this attitude of love and forgiveness I have been labeled a “burka wearing bleeding heart liberal” by this group of people….I label I wear with pride.
My Christ was slaughtered for those who would seek to slaughter me. I choose to carry His message of Hope and Love to them with as much compassion and honor as I can. While I love and respect our soldiers and those that fight daily for my freedom – I do believe that the war we now fight is misguided and without the purpose that it originally was said to hold. I also have issue with those who choose to mock our “enemy”…especially when this mocking is done more towards a people group – stereotyping because of a faith, creed or color that they might possess.
“Christian” by definition is….a Christ follower….I can find no example of where Christ ever mocked his enemies – even when Satan attacked him while on earth he chose to fight off with the Truth of the Gospel. In fact, He chose to forgive and love his enemies from the cross they put Him on – hanging with all of the weight of his body being pressed onto nails in his feet and hands, beaten and ravaged so badly that his flesh was hanging from his body and his blood was pouring down the cross he was forced to carry. That day – that blood – was shed for every “enemy” I will ever have.
Who He DID choose to condemn as his enemies were the religious leaders of His day who claimed to know it all – yet very much missed the mark of the Truth of the Gospel. Those he called out as “hypocrites and a brood of vipers”. (oh the irony)
I have friends here in Dallas that may very well be the enemy – those others would call terrorist I call friend. I don’t know who the “terrorist” are as they are often in disguise (some even have blond hair and blue eyes and talk with an “American” accent – *gasp)…but I choose to love and give Hope to those that are of the same race and creed as the current enemy of the U.S. In a choice for living in imagined freedom (as none of us are truly free – save in Christ) or dying proclaiming His truth to those who He died to save. I chose dying. I am faced with it daily in the streets of my city and in the ministries that I participate in and support….the back streets of Dallas – round the corner from where I work, live and play – are full of “terrorists”, drug dealers, sex traffickers, gangs, and other violent types. I find in their faces those that Christ died to save. I find that those with a story that but for different circumstances in life might be my own. I refuse to live in the “safety” of the all white good ol’ boy streets, while those who happen to have a different creed or belong to a different race, struggle and perish so close by without hope. I don’t see any examples of “good ol’ boy” living in the Word that I read, or the Christ I choose to follow.
While, yes, I do desire God to “bless the USA” I find no reason that we should be blessed more than other nations and people that He created. There are thousands in underground churches in the Middle East that serve him much more faithfully that I can ever claim to…and thousands more in China, other parts of Asia, Africa and South America that would die if their faith were known…yet they choose to remain faithful – do I deserve to be blessed more than them? In reality, none of us deserve His blessing…we simply have been given it by grace and grace alone purchased in the slaughtering of a sinless Christ. Al Queda, American, African, Chinese, Japanese (I seem to remember they were considered “terrorist” at one time as well), Cuban, Columbian, Mexican and the rest of the population of the world – all bought and paid for by the blood of Christ.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? (JESUS)
Yep he even meant the terrorists. He was slaughtered so that even those that try to slaughter me might have salvation.
So on this day….I will remember….I will not forget. And I will strive to be part of a generation that forgives, loves and spreads Truth. In the hope that one day, I might sit side by side with my enemy and call him brother.