(originally posted 11/17/2015 at littlegirlriseup.blogspot.com)
If you want to hear truths that need to be said but no one wants to hear, please feel free to continue reading my blog. It’s sorta my thing. I look back over my life and see how God prepared me to say things that deep down inside, people know is the truth, but no one wants to be the one to say it. Having said that, let me share one of those unpopular truths: Hating Islam accomplishes nothing but division. All the rhetoric about nuking them off the map, dipping bullets in bacon grease, or accusing them of having goats as girlfriends serves Christ in no way, shape or form, whatsoever. As a matter of fact, it is an outright act of disobedience to the tenets of Christianity.
“If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.”
By the very mouth of our Savior and Lord, He says, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt 5:44,45). Brothers and Sisters, we cannot allow the ungodly, misguided and barbaric acts of a nation that walks in darkness to keep us from obeying our Lord and Savior. We cannot allow our disdain for their hatred of Christianity to keep us from sharing the Gospel with them, for they are the very ones who so desperately need it the most. I am not preaching tolerance, I am not preaching unity, I am reminding Christians that Jesus instructed us:
—“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15)
—“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;” (Matt 28:19,20)
One of the countless things that set us apart from the world, that make us a peculiar people of God’s own possession (1 Pet 2:9) is Jesus’ instructions to us, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27,28). Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. However, be intolerant of them by preaching the Gospel to them.
“If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commands
and remain in His love.”
There are many Muslims condemning the acts of terror committed in the name of Islam, but we cannot unite ourselves with them where they are, lost in their false religion. Jesus said He is the only way (John 14:6). Therefore, we must unite THEM with OURSELVES where WE are, having come out of the darkness and into the light of Jesus Christ. Oh sweet brothers and sisters, the temptation to jump on the train of anger and resentment is truly enticing. We are a worldly nation built on chivalry, justice, pride and bravado. Yet Christ calls us to be a spiritual nation, built on humility, mercy, compassion and truth, leaving the justice to God, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.'” (Rom 12:19). This is not to say we are not to defend ourselves, military retaliation based on defense is an unfortunate necessity. However, there is a very fine line between righteous defense and punishing vengeance.
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching.
My Father will love them, and We will come to them
and make Our home with them.'”
The world says to rage against your enemy, but we are not like the world, we are like Jesus. Jesus did not rage against Rome when He came to earth to set the example of the ultimate image of humanity. They spit in His face and He loved them to the end, “Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.'” (Luke 23:34). Those in Islam that rage against Christians and Jews truly do not know what they are doing because they are ignorant of Christ and live in darkness. That is how we must see them, for that is how Christ sees them. Christ looks upon them with a broken heart, full of mercy, longing to bring them into the light. The eyes of Christ see them as a deceived people, in desperate need of the truth. Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:12,13).
This is not a popular message, but it needs to be said. When we are tempted to rise up in anger and judge an entire people for their barbaric behavior, we must choose obedience to our Lord over our emotions. Yes, we must stand our ground, yes, we must defend our ground but we must do so boldly shining the light of Christ into the ever-growing darkness of this present age. We must not fear our enemy, but rather we must fear God enough to obey Him, even when we don’t want to, even when it doesn’t make sense. “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you Whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4,5).
The simple fact of the matter is, hating someone for hating or hurting you won’t bring them to Christ. It’s easy to hate someone for being hateful. The hard thing is to love someone who is unlovable. People come to Christ because they see a peace in us that they don’t have in themselves. People come to Christ because they see a light in us that shines regardless of how great the darkness is around us.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16).
“And let your way of life be beautiful before all children of men, those who speak wicked words of you, that they may see your beautiful works and praise God when He appears.” (1 Pet 2:12)
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:6)