You Have Heard It Said


Was it November, 2015 when Paris erupted in violence because a handful of human beings decided god was on their side and therefore against the people of that great city? Was it April, 2016 when Brussels became a place of death and destruction because the same handful of human beings decided god was on their side? Was it September, 2001 when that same group of human beings decided god was against the United States of America?
A long time ago and yet today, Jesus said that if a violent man comes against you to strike you, do not resist. In fact, offer him a new target — your other cheek. (Other than Jesus, the only person I know who has done this well is Mahatma Ghandi. Martin Luther King is a close second.)
In the light of human beings who hate so much that they are willing to kill themselves to accomplish killing others, how do we reconcile Jesus’ call to not resist this level of evil?
I heard that on the morning after the attacks in Brussels, people were back at work, refusing to be afraid. And I thought of Jesus’ words, “Do not resist an evil man.” Is Jesus asking us to ignore evil and evil people? I’m not certain that’s possible. How do you ignore someone who is trying to kill you and your family? I don’t think Jesus asks us to ignore evil in others. (We are to resist evil in ourselves.) I think Jesus expects us not to resist evil people — not to take up arms against them, not to go to war against the countries they occupy, not to strike back. Does that make sense? Probably not to our limited minds. Would Hitler have gone on killing Jews if people had not resisted him? Would Stalin have decimated his own country if no one had resisted? We certainly believe these outcomes!
What sort of resistance should we offer against such evil?
I don’t know, but I do know that when I heard that the people of Brussels refused to be afraid, I was relieved. To sow fear is the main objective of a handful of human beings who believe god is on their side and against us — the real people of the world.

“Pray For Full Insight” ( Colossians 1: 9 – 10, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“For this reason, ever since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you. We ask God that you may receive from Him all wisdom and spiritual understanding for full insight into His will, so that your manner of life may be worthy of the Lord and entirely pleasing to Him.”

 

How is it we make our lives “worthy of the Lord?” How is it we make ourselves “entirely pleasing to Him?” Through God’s “wisdom;” by receiving from Him “spiritual understanding” and “full insight into His will.”

 

For us to please God, it is not enough to want to do His will. We need to know His will. Some people believe God wants them to murder doctors who perform abortions. They believe this evil act is the will of God. Some people believe God wants them to set bombs to go off in airplanes in the United States of America. They believe this evil act is the will of their god. Some people believe God wants them to wave the American flag and isolate us from the rest of the world — economically, socially, even religiously. They believe this act of fear is the will of God.

 

God’s will never calls us to do an evil deed in His Name. He never calls us to act out of fear, hatred, mistrust or a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. Rather God calls us to love our neighbors and to do good to those who hate us. We are to turn the other cheek when we are struck. To accept and act upon God’s will, we must pray ceaselessly for “full insight” and “spiritual understanding.” God calls us to love our enemy.