Love your enemy

I was angry yesterday. I am still angry today. The government of the United States of America was attacked yesterday by terrorists who can’t accept the fact that their chosen candidate lost an election that they have failed to prove in court was fraudulent. I am angry because there are people who claim to be Christians supporting this movement and the violence that it led to. I have been struggling internally a lot recently because of the amount of us versus them talk that has come out of Christians around me. I have had enough. 

As Christians we are not called to only love those who think and act like us and we certainly are not called to violently attack those who disagree with us. We are in fact called to the exact opposite. In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us to love our enemies and those who persecute us. (Side note CHRISTIANS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT BEING PERSECUTED.) But Jesus doesn’t just stop at telling us to do this he then tells us that if we only love those who love us we are no better than the world around us because they do that as well. It is easy to love those who love us. To treat someone who loves you poorly is not only strange its unnatural and dysfunctional. 

Maybe that passage isn’t enough for you. Maybe you need more of Jesus words to convince you well lets jump to another story. In Luke 10 a teacher of the law decided he wanted to test Jesus and try and trap him in something. He asks Jesus what he needs to do in order to gain eternal life. The outcome is Jesus affirms that you must love God and love your neighbors. That wasn’t enough though the teacher of the law decides to try and find a loophole he asks Jesus who his neighbor is. To which Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. For those who don’t know the story here is a basic rundown. A guy is traveling, he gets mugged beat up and left for dead. Two of the religious leaders of Israel see him dying and don’t just pass him they cross to the other side of the road. Then a guy who is this guys enemy comes along sees him and decides to help him. The enemy patches the guy up and takes him to a hotel in town to recuperate. The enemy gives the innkeeper some money and tells the innkeeper that he will be back to pay for anything else needed in order for this guy to get better. 

This is radical. The animosity between these two men would have been palpable but Jesus flips it on its head and the enemy becomes the caretaker. This looks nothing like the way I see many Christians acting right now. 

This makes me more angry than any attempted coup on the United States government. I enjoy living in this country. This country is by no means perfect but it has a lot of potential if we can continue to progress in the areas we have fallen short. However, this country is not my home. The United States does not have my ultimate loyalty. The kingdom of God is my home and does have my loyalty and that means living by the commands of my King. My King demands I love my neighbor and my King defines my neighbor as my enemy. 

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