Monday, February 25, 2013

Love your enemies. Pray for them. Seriously.

Our sermon at church this past Sunday was good, real good.

I really encourage everyone to listen to it. Especially if you're trying to figure out what I mean by a lot of the terms I use and where I'm getting it from.

Basically, we're talking about Anabaptism in a refreshing way and I feel right at home and want to jump up and down and scream FINALLY, YES this is the Church I always dreamed of, but never heard about. I realize that I'm not the only one in history who has rejected the major political 'accomplishments' (UGH) of the 'Church' at large (which include but are not limited to conquering, killing and exploiting in the name of Jesus..not my Jesus, thank you very much).

You can find links to the sermons and more information here. The specific sermon I'm writing about now is the second sermon in the Kindred series. I'll post a direct link once it's up.

During this sermon, Greg (our speaking pastor) mentioned a really nasty cycle of destruction he got into with some other respectable Christ followers, and how through this encounter he felt God telling him to love those who were, really nastily, attacking him.

Love your enemies. Pray for them. Seriously.

As he was telling his story, and how it's transformed him to be praying for his 'enemy', something clicked for me.

You see, simultaneously Gregs sermon this day was also about how Jesus came to free us from the bondage of the Law (the Old Testament). He was talking about how the Old Testament says that you pay an eye for an eye when someone wrongs you, but that Christ tells us to turn the other cheek.

Then I started thinking.

Its widely said and accepted in Christianity that God loves everyone equally, and that nothing you DO can cause him to love you more or less. It's also widely accepted that Gods grace is open and available to everyone, all that accept it, if they only DO accept it, and that we know this both because of and through Jesus Christ.

If you accept this, it means you choose to love God and follow Him, and in doing so you will slowly be molded to look like him by bearing the fruit of His work  (Jesus is a part of God).

So if Jesus came to free us from the law of "an eye for an eye", but we are only free if we accept this, and the only way we can know we have accepted this is if we look like Jesus...we gotta try to look like Jesus.

And what about those who don't accept it?

Well, they aren't free from the law. Not because God doesn't want them to be, but because they haven't chosen to be.

So then I got this image.

What if you're a christian and your enemy is not. Now imagine your enemy is brutally torturing you and killing you and your family and the ones you love right in front of you. Jesus says you are called to pray for them, to turn the other cheek.

But this won't be for our own salvation. We're already saved.

Maybe it's for their salvation.

Maybe, since they are still 'under the law' because they haven't accepted the atonement of the law (Christ), and haven't chosen to be free of the one who upholds the law (Satan), they have the consequence of the full-weight of the law coming for them. An eye for an eye, or a daughter for a daughter a torture for  torture.

But the law can only be pressed against them if the persecuter wants to press charges.

You, the one being tortured, are the persecutor.

What if instead of saying "YEAH, Kill em, make them suffer just as I suffered! WORSE!

Your prayers set them free?

That's evangelism. That's saving someone. 

 I mean, really.

Now, flash to Calvary. 

What did Jesus do?


He prayed that those who were persecuting him would be forgiven, not that he would be avenged.

So. . .

Yes, he set us free.

"Those whom the Son sets free are truly Free!"

And we, as Christians, have the ability to set the rest of the world free.

If only we would believe.

Love your enemies. Pray for them. Seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment