Thursday, April 23, 2015
You can't be serious! Christians have to love Isis?
Questions have arisen and push back has occurred in response to my statement that followers of Jesus should love our enemies, even Isis. Let me state that my love towards Isis, our enemy, is not to be mistaken with approval or naive wishful hope that if we just think positively, everything will turn out okay. My heart is inextricably riveted to the promotion of justice and the protection of the innocent. Though I set my mind many years ago to "study war no more" in my personal vocational pursuits, I did not adopt the philosophy of pacifism. I believe that the Scriptures teach that governments field armies and law enforcers for the purpose of protecting nations from evil doers, with the justified use of deadly force when called for. I still posses a warrior's heart and a military mind, yet those characteristics have been willing submitted to the call of the ministry and constrained by the love of Jesus Christ. He calls me to hate the sin but not the sinner. He also has given me the freedom to be angry at evil yet not to sin in my anger. That freedom demands that I use all the holy resources at my disposal to combat evil, which means I must resist personal hatred towards people and yet with unfettered energy direct holy anger against the deeds of evil doers, calling those who are authorized to awaken from their slumber and to do their duty to put down those who would prey on the innocent. It is a challenging balance and a taxing burden. But in the words of the old hymn, "I can hear my Savior calling, "Take thy cross and follow me." For me, that cross involves preaching, teaching and advocacy against evil, rousing those with other callings which include the implementation of deadly force, to take their positions as those called to wield the sword. I respect those who voice the difficulty of this position. Nevertheless, all followers of Christ must count the costs of discipleship and maintain the standard of having earnest Jesus-like love for our enemies. Even as the sword is wielded in opposing their aggression we must pray for their change of heart, their turning from evil and their adoption of the salvation that cleanses the heart and changes the direction of lives. This is our standard. This is our call!