Loving your enemy


#1

Been thinking about this: Based on the scripture Matthew 5:43-48, how do I love, say for instance, Syrian refugees, who bring rape and destruction in their paths. How do you love someone, an enemy, who is intent on destroying your children, culture, YOU, your country. Is that what that means?

Teaching about Love for Enemies[SUP]43 [/SUP]“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[SUP][a][/SUP] and hate your enemy.

[SUP]44 [/SUP]But I say, love your enemies![SUP][b][/SUP] Pray for those who persecute you!

[SUP]45 [/SUP]In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

[SUP]46 [/SUP]If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. [SUP]

47 [/SUP]If you are kind only to your friends,[SUP][c][/SUP] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. [SUP]

48 [/SUP]But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.


#2

It is one to wrestle with, to be sure; I certainly do. One of the things that occurs to me is the title of the James Dobson book: Sometimes Love Has to be Tough. But I really don’t know. Praying and listening for God to teach us is the only thing I know; and it’s a work in progress for me.


#3

I think God would have no problem with us confining them to their own countries seeing as they have no concept of how to behave in a civilized fashion.

They shouldn’t be allowed into western nations based on what they’re doing.


#4

Jesus would certainly welcome the Syrian refugees and he’d probably win some converts too. Jesus’ priorities were always on the spiritual, not the physical. So if some believers lose their Earthly lives in order to reach the souls of non-believers, then it was worth it.

Keep in mind, Jesus was literally crucified. And early Christians were slaughter by the thousands.

That’s pretty much where his philosophy gets you. It’s a nice ideal, but not one that will give you any kind of safety.

You basically get to pick between being smart and being nice to literally everyone. Jesus picked the later, and so did early Christians. If you’re good with matching their fate, go for it.

I’d propose that an earlier Joshua had the better game plan.


#5

When it comes to safety of citizens, a public official has the responsibility to place the safety of his countrymen before that of others. That is not to say said official should just turn them away but help them a much as you are able without endangering your countrymen both physically, socially or economically. Loving your enemy does not mean opening your home to them and ignoring any danger they may present.


#6

Solomon conscripted foreigners to work in his building programs…not for just a year either…for longer than that. Maybe up to 8 years…I can’t remember the specifics at this moment.


#7

Love is acting in the best interest of the one who is “Loved”.

Is it in the best interest of a Terrorist to allow them ample opportunities to slaughter the people they hate or is it in the Terrorists best interest to minimize their ability to express these evil impulses?

The only way this appears to be confusing is if a definition for “Love” is used that does not fit scripture very well, for instance "Love is taking actions that always please the one who is loved" or "Love can only be identified by how happy the loved person is after your say or do something that effects them"

Scripture says raising a child without discipline is “Hating” the child while a “Loving” parent will chastise the child for doing wrong, Scripture flatly declares that God disciplines his own because that is what all loving Fathers do as well.

Love is not a “feeling” of endearment or admiration for anyone, it also has nothing to do with whether a person is likable or insufferable; there is no command to feign an attraction or approval of anyone.

I am sure the money changers who got their butts kicked and their wares thrown all over the Temple did not “feel” very positive feelings at the time Jesus was publicly humiliating them, but they were better for having endured his discipline and experiencing shame appropriate to their actions.

Jesus loved them whether they loved his expression of that love or not.

Stopping evil that when practiced destroys the innocent and mocks the very existence of Justice is “in the best interest” of the one who commits the evil and all those who are victimized by their evil as well; there is no violation of the command to “Love your enemy” in such pursuits.

The violation would be possible only after the one bent on evil was stopped from doing his deed.

If the attitude toward the now captured and/or neutralized Terrorist is such that they do not deserve to hear the good news that there is a God who has made a way for their complete forgiveness, if we cannot view them as merely one more sinner in need of a Savior like everyone else, if we do not have the capacity to imagine the family of God with them as a member; it is then that we violate the command to “Love our enemy”.

Love is not a hindrance to Justice or Faith, it only hinders our ability to preserve resentment.