Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Something You Might Not Want to Read

 “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Matt 5:44

            For a long time, I struggled with the Old Testament God that would massacre people. I struggled with the God that would tell his people to wipe out another nation. I even struggled with the God giving the command to destroy those who hurt or persecuted the Jews. Part of the Law of the Old Testament states “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise” (Lev 24:20). This God seemed malicious and vengeful.
            Whether if you study religion or minister to a friend, it’s only a matter of time where this topic comes up. I wrestled with it a long time and just recently I have found that even Jesus addressed this same issue. He talks about this law in the Old Testament and says that he is giving a new commandment (talk about an authoritative statement). He says that we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. In that same passage, he mentions loving your enemies. We are not supposed to be vengeful or want harm for another person. We are supposed to bless those who curse us and do good unto those who hate us.
            Osama bin Laden was just recently killed and I was happy that he was no longer a threat; however, I was also sad to see my brothers and sisters in Christ celebrating his death. I am sad when I hear people talk about the terrorists in such rage and anger. I understand where they come from but it breaks my heart to see it. Instead of blowing up our enemies we need to love them. This is a bold statement that Jesus proclaims; however, if you look at history, what does violence accomplish? It brings about more violence. Instead of putting holes in our enemies, why not pray for them? Instead of spreading bullets, why not give out food and education? Instead of destroying buildings why not build schools? We need to change our outlook on the people that hate us. We should not pick up our highly advance weapons; on the contrary, we should pick up God’s word and follow the new commandment that Jesus gave. The Old Testament was for a different era, Jesus gave words for our day and it is something we should follow.
            Many of you might not agree with this and honestly, it is between you and God. I just challenge you to look up what Jesus says about this hate and the idea of war. I have a very hard time imagining Jesus behind a gun laying waste to those that hurt him. I can’t picture him firing a round in the head of Osama bin Laden. Can you? I challenge you to love those that annoy you, love those that make fun of you, and love those that want to destroy the very society you live in