By Jon Kauffman
Jesus said, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27,28.
Recently, in Sunday School class, we studied: Love My Enemies? By George Lyons. Mr. Lyons makes excellent points in his study.
“Jesus claimed that those who observe the Golden rule for selfish reasons get no credit with God. Yet God will “reward” those who love, live, and give – even to enemies – out of sheer generosity. God takes note of those who treat others well, motivated only by love, with no expectation of reciprocity.” Love My Enemies? By George Lyons.
The early church did not take on Rome with violence. “It used subversive and counter cultural ways” to defeat the evil one.
“Luke’s account of Jesus’ trial, notes that He took His own advice. By refusing to retaliate, Jesus and His followers demonstrated the injustice of their enemies. (See 1 Peter 3:9, 15-17) They denied violent aggressors the power to determine their reaction or to turn them into powerless victims. Their unexpected response was not a sign of weakness, but of incredible strength.” Love My Enemies? By George Lyons.
I remember 9/11/2001 very clearly. I was at the Sportsman’s Lodge on the Rainy River near Lake of the Woods, taking an OSHA safety class when I heard about the attack in New York City.
In our Sunday School class, as we studied Jesus’ teaching on love of enemy, I realized that we as a nation did exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught us, both before and after 9/11.
The terrorists were from Saudia Arabia. The United States attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, taking great revenge, killing a million+ people in retaliation for the death of 3,000. And we are still killing. So many of these people killed were innocent; men, women and children. We killed 2 year olds to satisfy our thirst for revenge. Bombs, drones, and missiles maimed and killed. Guns and tanks brought great slaughter.
Why did the terrorists attack? Did we even take that into consideration? In his “Letter to America,” Osama Bin Laden gave a long list of grievances against the United States. His grievances included the 80 years of US military invasions against the Middle East, US support of corrupt leaders in the Middle East, and the theft of oil at very low prices. He mentioned 1-½ million children who had been killed by US and its partners prior to 9/11. Bin Laden also finds the sex trade, drug trade, usurious interest, gambling and immorality of the US very troublesome. He specifically mentioned Bill Clinton’s unpunished, scandalous affairs.
The CIA said 9/11 was blowback from previous US military operations.
Are we fighting people who are fighting “Just War” as they attempt to defend themselves? Perhaps it is time for the United States to pull its troops out of the Middle East.
One of the biggest mistakes of the church was to accept “Just War” theology. Each side feels their side is right and commit atrocities against the other. Then they each feel more justified. Christians from the Holy Roman Empire and Muslims fought each other for hundreds of years, conquering and reconquering land held by the other. The US fought the communists in Korea and Vietnam. Christians deceived by Hitler fought Christians from Russia. The US has been at continuous war in the Middle East for nearly 40 years. Everyone claims their war is just. How can it be?
Copyright © 2017 by Jon Kauffman Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.