Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Follow Closer

If you hate Muslims,
if you fear immigrants,
if you despise refugees,
if you want to kill your enemies,
if you think violence cures violence,
please don't tell people you follow Jesus.
Because that's not "Following Jesus"

You can't say, "I follow the Prince of Peace" while saluting the flag of a conquering nation, or while cheering for war, or by calling for vengeance or while dismissing the words of that same Prince who disarmed Peter saying "Put away your sword. Those who live by violence will die by violence", and who said "Love your enemies", and who said "If my Kingdom were of this world, my disciples would fight," and who said,"Blessed are the peacemakers" and who told us that those who seek to call down fire on their enemies "do not know what spirit they are of", and who gave us "the ministry of reconciliation."

Either Jesus was a fool who taught nonsensical ideals that cannot work in this world, or he was the Son of God who came to teach us another way to think and live; who gave us a new blueprint to follow, and who ended his sermon on loving our enemies by asking, "why do you call me 'Lord, lord' and don't do what I say?"

Your New Testament was written by a violent man who went from house to house killing and persecuting Christians on behalf of the religious elite and with the blessing of the Empire until Jesus transformed him into an Apostle who taught the Gospel of peace until he was put to death by that same Empire.

You want blood? You want vengeance for the evils done? Jesus says, "Here, take my blood, shed by that same empire of violence and retribution you salute and pledge allegiance to. Here, drink my blood until it transforms your heart into one like mine which cries out, "Father, forgive those who do violence, for they know not what they do!"

We cannot kill our way to peace. Someone has to welcome the enemy and return love for hate. Someone has to lay down their weapon first and be the one who is willing to die- but not kill - to make this world a better place.

We have forgotten our heritage. We have ignored three hundred years of Christ-following martyrs who put the teachings of Jesus into practice, and who valiantly loved and served and blessed the Romans who put them to death.

We now longer resist the Empire, we now embrace that same spirit of Empire which killed them, and Paul, and the other Apostles, and even our own Lord, Jesus.

"Come out of Her, my people," Jesus says. Stop fornicating with the Empire of violence and retribution.

"You know not the Spirit you are of."


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