Saturday, November 26, 2005

Love your enemies


We were talking about Pacifism on Thursday. Its something I've just never really considered. Events like November 11th really make you think about war and killing etc. I guess it makes. If Jesus commands us to love our enemies, then should we be ruling out war? Is there such a thing as a just war? Are there ways around it? I was thinking about World War 2... why did that happen? could it have been prevented? Were we in any way to blame for it..? Like I might have said before, War seems to be a failure to listen to each other. Whilst I admire those who are giving their lives for freedom, whilst I could never ever be disrespectful of what they have brought and bring us.... I wonder if it should ever have come to drastic measures like that in the first place.

We are such a corrupt, and self-righteous race of beings... Lets look at Iraq again - We rant against "Evil people" such as Saddam, but hold on, didn't the western world equip him in the first place?? Isn't it our weapons that he has used? The same with Al-Quaeda... Isn't it ironic that one day we could get bombed by our missiles that actually say "Made in Britain?"

Ok before I start sounding incredibly self-righteous myself, I'll confess to my own failures to meet this command. How many times have I completely disrespected and hated people? How many computer games have I played that involved someone beating up or shooting someone else? How many movies have I seen someone thrust a sword into another person?

Loving one's enemies and having nothing to do with violence is one of the hardest things to do. We are saturated in it. Yet its entirely possible. Jesus did it. I'm sure he can help us to do so too. Will we ever wise up to this?


Catrina bambena said...

hey.... see were doing about just war theory in ethics atm and were talkin about pacifism. See I really thought that Jesus was truly a pacifist but was that the case? Although he never actually hurt someone, did he not use violence in the temple when he turned over the tables?! I dunno just a thought.... is it right to be a pacifist in all situations?! I really did think that was the case until someone brought up the thing about the temple?!I dunno just a few thoughts I thought Id jot down. Totally agree about the whole can war ever be justified and stuff though and Im totally not sayin violence is right but sometimes is it the only way to make things right?!

Craig said...

Hey, thanks for posting. Hmm I can understand the gist of what you're saying.

This certainly puts away all the 'gentle Jesus meek and mild' thoughts.

Jesus' act of turning over the tables in the temple was an act of judgement. The temple was at the centre of Jewish worship. It was meant to be the place where Heaven and Earth met, where God actually Lived and met his children, where sins were forgiven. Yet, we have Jesus doing many things in his own authority, that challenged everything that the temple stood for. He was claiming to forgive sins himself. The temple at that time was also regarded as corrupt and in need of reform. Jesus' was basically saying this: This place has no longer any right to be the home of God. What was going to replace it?
The Very Reverend Tom Wright says this: ' What the temple stood for - the saving presence of Israel's God at the very centre of the world- would be summed up in the violent death, at the hands of pagans, of the young Jew who carried on his shoulders the pain and grief of the whole world. This was how sins would be forgiven. This would be how God would embrace the whole world.'

So I'm sorry for the long answer, but I hope that you get the picture of the uniqueness of Jesus act. This wasn't an act of war against people, but a judgement against all that the temple stood for and what it would mean he would soon need to do.

Jesus says: Love your enemies

God Loving Physio said...

Go Craig!