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Am I My Brother's Killer?
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I was reading an article earlier about whether Christians really love each other. It was short and easily read at a glance, as is the fashion today. It also made some good points. We are to follow Jesus' example, said the writer.
Jesus came to proclaim His Father's message, not His own opinions. Jesus didn't gossip. Yes, He condemned the Pharisees for their self-righteousness, but hardly anyone else for anything at all. Yes, we can be right, but we should also mind how we live out our rightness; otherwise, we may end up holding the wrong end of the right stick.
I liked it very much, but was probably left feeling dissatisfied because of something the article completely failed to mention. As I write these words, my earthly government is preparing to drop bombs on a bunch of murderous strangers somewhere in that far, far away land called “Foreign”. These particular foreigners must be especially noxious because they have brutalized or even killed my fellow Christians. It says so in the mass media; loudly, repeatedly, and on the hour.
What should I say and do about this? Should I show how much I love my brothers and sisters by cheering on the bombings? Should I show how much God loves the haters by opposing it, and perhaps allowing the Holy Spirit to use the blood of my fellow believers to draw some of them into the Kingdom? Isn't the blood of the martyrs meant to be the seed of the Church? What would Jesus have said about it to me, to you, and to this latest group of butchers?
While Jesus has words of hope, blessing, power, and comfort for those who are martyred or who suffer for the sake of the gospel, He would have told the rest of us without exception the same thing: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3.2). Which probably leaves us Christians saying “Yes Lord, but...”.
We were doing so well until we got to the third word, weren't we? Us? Repent? Well, we did entertain some dark thoughts about that miserable work “colleague”, and we know we don't get on as well as we might with some of the family, but... could we be missing something?
If you surf the more informative bits of the web, you'll soon discover that many of the world's most anti-Christian regimes and militias are backed by our own, duly elected lawmakers. They use our tax system to train people to cheerfully kill, torture, exile, or imprison our fellow Christians, our forever family.
In fact, our earthly leaders have used our tax monies to arm and train the very people they're now looking to bomb, the very ones who've reportedly beheaded and crucified our fellow Christians. How can we keep silent a minute longer about such a monstrous abuse of our trust and our money?
If we really love our Christian brothers and sisters; if the things of God and of eternity really matter more than the things of this world; if it's a sin to kill, torture, or otherwise persecute Christians for their faith; and if our governments really are meant to serve us... why are we still so quiet about it?
How many more have to suffer and die for bearing the name of Jesus before we urge our own leaders to stop bankrolling their murderers? It's one thing to love your enemies; it's quite another to silently let your earthly rulers sponsor your brother's enemy to kill him. So, what shall we eat next? Crow or camel?
© 2014 by Christopher Bevis. A Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England, a Christian for many years, and an avid reader for even longer, Christopher is a UK-based writer who has long-standing friends and contacts in the USA. He'd love to write articles like this for a living. He can be contacted for matters relating to Christian writing via the Faithwriters.com website.
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