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What Kind of Love?

joe1I’m always amazed when certain Christians quickly turn a case for the need for self-defense and protection of lives and property into an opportunity for sermonizing glibly about loving our enemies and leaving vengeance to God. Like when whole villages are sacked and hundreds of defenseless people are slaughtered (many of them likely non-Christians) and then you hear some very spiritual friend insisting that our response must be to show the aggressors how much we love them. How differently we seem to interpret the Bible! What kind of love is this, that seems to be far more concerned about ‘loving’ the wicked, than tackling the pains of the afflicted? We see evil and criminality mowing down fellow human beings, and all we want to do is preach love and non-retaliation? What kind of love is this, that seems to feel no real anger and grief as women and children are daggered and ripped open by marauders whose grouses are often not even clear to their victims? Some kind of love indeed that would not stoutly take up the cause of the oppressed (at least with the authorities,) but would rather advocate martyrdom from the comfort of our safe zones! It leaves me wondering for instance what one particular Christian brother of mine would do if passing through his neighborhood he spots a gang of boys raping a girl in a corner. No, I don’t believe he would do anything. He wouldn’t even call the police, or raise an alarm. I imagine he would wait for the rascals to finish and leave, and then he would righteously walk up to the devastated girl and preach ‘forgiveness’ to her. What kind of love holds the lives of the wicked as dearer than those of their victims, and seems to think so very little about justice and mercy? True, my Lord did say we should love our enemies, but when it came to showing that we truly belong to Him, His test was in how we love one another as His followers (John 13:34,35,) and not in how willing we were to yield our necks to the sword of the ungodly! Do we love our brothers enough to risk our necks for them, or do we rather prefer to keep rooting for them from the safety of our distant living rooms, encouraging them to die meekly, assuring them the Lord will intervene in due time, and insisting that the Lord couldn’t possibly choose to intervene through us? As though the God of thunder and brimstone never administered justice through a human warrior or prophet! The way some Christians carry on, you would think that if they ever became president of their nation they would promptly disband the police and the army and stake law and order on Christian love!
But, really, frankly, what kind of love do we bear in our hearts?

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