This week I want to talk about a sniper making the worlds longest distance shot, a murderous God, abortion and a harsh scripture. I am thinking or typing our loud today, so please bare with me.
We are all comfortable saying that what happened in the name of God during the medieval crusades was terrible! The murder of other cultures and religions in order to purify our world and take their land. We chalk that up to history. Today we go to Europe and check out some cool suits and weapons from days gone by, but it is detached from our current world. On the flip side we go and inspect Nazi concentration camps and remind ourselves of what others have done to us. We agree that this type of action and senseless murder should never happen again.
Theologically we are even beginning to re-filter the Old Testament through the lens of love and not from the lens of a murderous God, hell bent on vengeance or punishment. Greg Boyd and Brian Zahand have been rocking this idea for a while now and changing the world of Christian thought. To that I say, thank you. @greg_boyd @brianzahnd
This week the news was filled with rejoicing and celebration over the longest kill made in military combat by a sniper. Sounds pretty cool, very manly and all that. But at the end of the day there is tension with this story. We are no longer talking about a historical event that we can analyze from a text book, we are looking at real time activity. Twitter exploded with the news that we did something better than our enemy. This created tension for me, big tension. Tension, I didn’t understand at first. I didn’t read the news with national pride, I read something cringe worthy. It created an odd anduncomfortable sadness in my emotions.
Here is the tension, just so we are on the same page. When Jesus said “love your enemy”, did He mean just the guy who cuts you off on your way to work? Maybe He was only talking about your rival at work. Maybe we could even stretch it to a political statement about red vs blue, or green vs greener. Or just maybe, he was referring to our enemies through out the entire existence of who we are. Then how the sam hill does love look like blowing up our enemy? How is this turning the other cheek? Even typing this I feel somehow naive to a bigger planet.
Canadian Christianity speaks loudly about abortion, we know that the death of an innocent child is heart breaking and horrible. It should never have to happen! Should we not be as outraged for ALL loss of life? This train of thought has been leading me towards more concepts of pacifism. I am not 100% there yet, but Jesus is working on my heart.
I have friends in the police service. Men who are are spirit filled and love Jesus. Over the years they have expressed the same tensions to me in different words. There is a difference between peace keeping and going out and causing intentional pain. I could never say that there are no justified situations where the protection of the innocent requires drastic measures. I don’t know the situation of this particular long distance shot. I don’t know if he was sitting eating his lunch, or in the middle of committing a war crime. I claim no intelligence to this situation. I am speaking to the celebratory nature we are creating from the loss of a life.
Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.
So to make this even harder to handle, Jesus tells us that we are to go above and beyond or we are no better than those without Him. It really brings the narrow road we are called to into perspective. (Matthew 7:14)
The long and short of this is, I need to do better at loving people. We cop out quickly by saying “we should just start with people near us and work our way up”. That is a great way to do nothing, because we (and I) seldom progress from there. Easy is safe. We are all trying to be better people in our home towns, but as Christians what about racism and global retaliation. I know this doesn’t sound much like the traditional Christian way to think this through, but maybe we have been cherry picking scriptures and ignoring the subtleties of what should be our Christian foundation. A foundation of love and faith.
I will be there first to say that there are some small holes in my thoughts. I will even be the same guy to say that this in no way represents anything other than personal struggles and opinions. One day, we will get to ask Jesus to be clear on this stuff, I can’t wait! It is hard to try and understand what He speaks to me sometimes. But until then thanks for reading and figuring out this thing called faith with me!