"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28 It is easy to love when our lives are not negatively or directly involved with whom God is calling us to love. It is easy to love the man that raised us or the hands that clothed us, but what about the man that murdered our children? What about the man that raped our daughters?
The same God that sent David to slay Goliath, said "forgive these men, for they know not what they are doing," when the soldiers nailed Him to a cross. What is true victory found in? Justice or Mercy? Embracing persecution or conquering it? Fighting for freedom or giving your life in the hope that your enemy may discover true freedom?
Perhaps I didn't come back with all of the answers, but I did discover some of the right questions.
For the past three days, I was placed in an artificial environment to be given the opportunity to ask my self these questions. World Awareness-to be made aware of what is going on outside the walls of America's comfort and entitlement. Most men will never even dream of this kind of life. But for some, it is all they know.
For three days I, along with the rest of the Internship, were refugees on the run from a tyrannical government that had just enforced a law of "Peace and Safety," - a title embodying the belief system that all religions lead to heaven in an attempt to bring about a Utopian Society in America. In a government like this, Christians were persecuted for their beliefs because they were viewed as intolerant of other religions, judgmental, and extremists. We spent the entirety of our time running from the government officials in 400 acres of woods, hopping from refugee camp to refugee camp to escape the next invasion. Some of us got the opportunity to be captured and experience life in what they called, "a Re-educational facility" in which half of the prisoners were forced to remain silent in individual shower cells , while the others worked pulling weeds in the labor union.
Suddenly, I was forced to ask myself how I would respond if this were to really happen. The age is coming and the prophesies Biblical. The Anti-Christ will first bring about a sense of false peace and harmony through establishment of a one world religion. Was my role as a Christian to simply persevere the persecution, or was I called to do more? If so, what? Do I conduct jail busts, rescuing my fellow prisoners? Or do I submit to authority, up until the point that it contradicts my faith, and show the love of Christ to the true Prisoners?
We are one Body-but as tension and confusion from the enemy arose, I saw division slip between the cracks of our own flawed belief system and the Body was beginning to split amongst itself. As the church, we have been called to love, not passively or defeatedly, but passionately and victoriously.
1 John 4:4 tells us that the Battle has already been won. So why then do we keep fighting and resisting as if it is still in our hands?
Jesus died for the murderer hanging next to Him. He died for the ones who hung Him, but most importantly, He died for those responsible for putting Him there--us. He lived to love. But mostly, He died for it. Perhaps true justice can only be attained when we have first claimed it for ourselves.