Adam: Dude let me take this in another direction; over the weekend I was reading Mathew 5,6 and 7; Jesus' Sermon on the Mount; and I hit the part about loving your enemies and I suddenly wanted to feel all vindicated... like "that's right we need to love not fight," but then I was given some revelation this morning... we should love our enemies and leave the war stuff the governments.... As Christians we should reach out to those who have been hurt by war, or for that matter bad men like Saddam Hussein. The world is a fallen place and because of that we all have to suffer and to say that we can fix that suffering by causing more suffering is crazy... peace by way of war... you're the Derek Webb fan you know what I am saying there... but I think its interesting how Jesus didn't view the world through a political lens, sure he took on religious leadership but the government he viewed as an institution placed there by God and so he gave it the respect it was due "Give unto Creaser what is Creasers." So I think maybe Christians are looking at this in the wrong way... In Mathew 5 when Jesus speaks about the attributes he wants in his followers he does not say he wants people who strive for justice and equality, he says he wants people who are meek and who want righteousness and peace, he wants people who are willing to suffer and sacrifice in His Name; and I think we lose that when we get wrapped up in government and military affairs... People in Iraq are dieing... at least 75 more were killed in a bomb attack the other day... soldiers from all sides are giving there lives so that there can be peace and I admire that but it doesn't mean I need to support the cause of death... instead I support the cause of Christ... I support those who support the wounded, I support those who support the hungry, I support those who support the homeless, the widowed, sad, broken, and lost. There is an entire country there that has known nothing but pain and suffering for a very long time and I don't think the best way to help them is to send in the army... though sending in the army has made it possible for us to send in the Word of God... we need people who are willing to bare the Cross of Christ to "lay down their lives" for the Iraqi people and I am not saying just going there to give out Bibles or preach the Gospel... I am talking about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuilding schools and hospitals, taking care of the widowed and the fatherless... there is a world there that has known only hate from their leaders and from their religion it is time Christians stood up and showed them what love truly looks like... and maybe it wont do any good... maybe people will try to kill us, maybe people will try to stop us, maybe they will destroy the buildings and burn the food, and kill the women and children, but we are to expect that... Christ told us that would happen, but maybe it is time that Christians, and specifically American Christians, to follow Christ's example and forgo this world with the glory of the next one in mind.
Jeremy: I agree. This goes back to when I use to rant about how Christians shouldn't be a part of the military. Because how on earth could you love your enemy if all you do is train to one day kill them....and then killing them? That doesn't sound anything like love to me. But then I had a long thought out conversation with my fellow brother in Christ who is a US marine (also, an author and strong theologian). He explained it like, how can we love our neighbor if we are willfully ignorant to the fact that evil men (our enemies) are killing people in our own backyard while we are out "loving our enemies"? I think in situations like that, it comes down to choosing the greater love. and no, I don't think we can just sit back and say God is sovereign and will protect who he wants to protect, etc. he made us beings of action, and I think, sometimes the right action is defending the weak against evil men. I think going to Iraq and Afghanistan to love on those people is an awesome idea. Jesus commands us to reach out to the poor and oppressed.
That reminds me of this.....
We usually think of international missions as sending people into the African bush or jungles of South America. however, the facts show that you can travel miles into the jungles of brazil down a remote river and find people doing bible studies in a straw hut, but you can also walk down the streets in the capital of Afghanistan and talk to people who have never hear the name of Jesus. (This comes from a first hand account of the pastor at Rivers Edge church in Lynchburg, VA)
Adam: I am still not seeing it man, but that's okay we don't have to agree on everything, at least we agree on the important issue of loving people. Your comment of about Brazil there brings up an interesting side note... our church has been housing a missionary couple that is leaving this week to go to Brazil... but not go into the jungle but instead is going to one of its metropolitan areas to minister to business men there... because the area is internationally mixed they will dealing with people on their common ground... business... I think that was such an awesome way to reach a community.