Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 07:11 PM EDT
This is going to be controversial. I’m going to say something about Hamas, ISIS, terrorism, and Israel—and you may not like it. I don’t know if I like it. But since when do we not declare a truth just because we don’t like it?
Once, when I was working in TV ministry in Mongolia, I was talking with a group of donors, telling them about the successes we were seeing in our TV ministry. At the end of my comments an elderly man named, Richard came up to me and said, “I fought in the Korean War. My regiment fought against a Mongolian regiment that was sided with the North Koreans.” He began to weep and said, “You have turned my enemy into my brother.”
There is a people group today that as Americans, we look at and say, “That is the enemy.” Who are these people? Middle East Muslims. Because of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the threats of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and more, we look at that area of the world, or that people group and we say, “That’s the enemy.” We see them not only as our enemies, but even as enemies of God as they seek to intentionally harm and kill God’s people (as we have seen happening recently in Iraq). Yet, as individual Christians we must keep in mind that their judgment lies not with us, but with God. It is our job to “love our enemies.” Remember the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5 which essentially says that while we were still God’s enemies, Christ died for us. Did you catch that? We were God’s enemies. Yet, he died for us anyway. We were his enemies in no less way as many in the Muslim world are today. God loves the Muslim world to no greater or less degree than he loves us, than he loves you. As Christians, it is our role to help turn our enemies, even God’s enemies, into God’s friends—even the ones bent on our destruction.
This can be a hard teaching to accept. It’s one thing to say that we love our enemies. It’s another thing to actually do it in a day-to-day, practical way. If the ISIS terrorist stood before you, ready to slit your throat, how would you express God’s love to him when he is an enemy seeking to destroy you at that very moment? Instead, should you hate him? It seems that we can have both emotions. To further complicate the matter, let’s compare these statements from the Bible: