Show love to ISIS?

24 Apr

Red heart.A Facebook friend posted an article which included the video below, which is a message to ISIS.  Give it a look and see what you think.

How do you feel about that?

We continue our study of Jesus’ Words, Works and Way in the Gospel of Luke this Sunday, and we come to another one of his classic statements “Love your enemies.”  Continuing a teaching we started last week, Jesus once again turns conventional wisdom on its head.  Love your enemies?  That seems wrong.

Love ISIS?  Really?

What about a passage such as Romans 13:1-7?  Check it out and you’ll find a teaching by one of Jesus’ first followers, a guy named Paul, who was writing to Christians living in the capital city of the Empire, the superpower of the day, Rome.  The Emperor and his Roman armies could be pretty brutal, and not too many years after Paul wrote this, Christians would be on the receiving end of persecution from the Emperor.  For a long time, those Christians were living with the same day-to-day reality that Christians in the Middle East today face with ISIS and other groups targeting them.  Specifically look at what Paul says in Romans 13:4:

“But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

Throughout the centuries many governments have used this passage as a basis for what is known as Just War.  Just War theory states that there is a time and place, in order to restrain evil, for one country/group to take military action against another country/group.  There is much debate about what constitutes just war.  I once heard a historian suggest quite seriously, and with scholarly research, that the American Revolution might not have qualified as a just war.  When looking back over history, it seems that sometimes we have done well (defeating Nazi Germany, for example) and other times we have not done so well (Vietnam, possibly?).

What should we Christians do then with “Love your enemies?”  What is an enemy?  Just a foreign nation?  Should we travel in droves to the Middle East and plead with ISIS to stop killing people?  And does “love your enemies” apply, perhaps, in many other ways here at home?  How should we take this teaching from Jesus?

We invite you to join us at Faith Church on Sunday morning, April 26, at 9:30am as we discuss this further!

3 Responses to “Show love to ISIS?”

  1. Kristen (Brandsema) Lowery April 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    For months now, something that one of our church elders (at Millersville Bible Church) said during Sunday School has stuck with me. He challenged us not to look at groups like ISIS as our enemies to be destroyed, but to look at them with sorrow, as people whom Christ loves and died for, who have been so completely blinded by the lies of Satan, the true enemy. He challenged us to pray for their Salvation rather than for their defeat. It sure is hard to hate someone when you are praying for their Salvation

    • joelkime April 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      Agreed. That is a difficult, excellent prayer!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Was Jesus’ teaching too radical? – Luke 6:27-36 | Let's Talk About Sunday - April 30, 2015

    […] Last week I introduced the next section in Jesus’ sermon in Luke 6, the section he starts off famously “Love your enemies.”  Jesus really has some challenging things to say here. Because Jesus’ words are so different from the prevailing truth of most cultures around the world, some people have taken to calling Jesus’ approach, The Upside-Down Kingdom.  From the vantage point of our culture, Jesus seems wrong and thus upside-down. […]

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