Loving enemies …

Wonder if it is good timing to consider loving our enemies? Last week we witnessed the celebration of a great President. One of his chief accomplishments, according to some, came in the instilling of national pride – people loved to be American again. We spend eight years with a not so great President and we wonder if we are glad to be represented to the world at all. What will make the kind of differences Reagan made with his statement, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

How about love? I heard Jack Caputo describe Jesus as “The Deconstructor.” One of the places to which he referred were Jesus’ statements beginning ,”You have heard it said … but I say to you.” Herein, Jesus “deconstructs” conventional wisdom, popular philosophy and reveals the Kingdom way. A restructuring/reconstruction/reformulation of what it is to be fully human as God intends – we will love the way God loves.

What serves as the most prominent display of this love? Surely we intially consider the death of Jesus, the Christ. Could it be the motivation of love for his enemies drove God to offer his Son? Jesus said, “love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven.”

Could it be the most telling way to demonstrate godly love would come in our love for our enemies? Not tolerance. Not niceness. Not avoidance. Not neglect. But, love.

How would this fit for the follower of Jesus, the Christ when it comes to our national enemies, personal enemies, corporate enemies, relational enemies, denominational enemies (can we really say this?)?

We would be complete, whole, perfect were we to love our enemies. Wouldn’t we?

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

3 comments on “Loving enemies …

  1. says:

    How can we reconcile this statement with issues such as war and capital punisment? It seems difficult.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great dilemma. Jesus does seem to press us beyond the “eye for an eye” in the Sermon on the Mount. I sometimes wonder what role sin plays in war and the execution of God’s judgment. Seems like the Revelation still leaves room for God to use instances of war to execute justice and judgment. I am wrestling with this whole thing. Too bad my days of certainty couldn’t have held up.

  3. says:

    I heard an interesting story about a Union Army chaplain in the Civil War. He was a POW and the other inmates had planned an escape attempt. The only rub was you had to lie to your guard to pull it off. This chaplain ( I wish I could remember his name) refused to lie to aid his escape, so he remained and everyone else left.

    Remarking on this incident years later he stated that he would have killed the guard to aid his escape, but he would never lie to aid it. His reasoning was that he was an agent of his government prosecuting a moral war with God’s blessing, giving him the right to kill an enemy, but not the right to tell a lie. ( or I assume any other thing that would be considered sin)

    This blew me away, I would lie before I would kill but this man would kill first. But I do think war is much easier to justify than capital punishment.

    I think the way the US has prosecuted war this century, we show that after hostilities we do love our enemies, to the extent that we rebuild and aid our former enemies. (Japan, Germany, Iraq) The only time that we haven’t is when we lose or withdraw. (Vietnam) Did we have the right? If not us who in WWII? The most immoral acts of war happen when we do not try to “win” a war.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.