Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We still honor Cain

So when Jesus comes along and says to us, “Love your enemy,” we instinctively feel how radical it is. He’s not just giving individuals a personal ethic; he is striking at the very foundation of the world! The world was founded on hating enemies, and now Jesus says, “Don’t do it!” When Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek,” he wasn’t just trying to produce kinder, gentler people; he was trying to refound the world! Instead of retaliatory violence; the world is to be refounded on cosuffering love. Jesus understood that the world had built its societal structures upon shared hatred, scapegoating, and what René Girard calls “sacred violence.” In challenging “sacred violence” (which Israel cherished in their war stories), Jesus was challenging the world at its most basic level. We cherish, honor, and salute sacred violence. We have to! We have a dark instinct that we must honor Cain’s war against Abel—and our own wars upon our hated enemies—or our whole system will fall apart. But Jesus testified against it—that those deeds were evil.— A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace

<idle musing>
Stop! Listen to what he is saying here! This is one of the places where "love not the world" is especially relevant and painful. This is where the fish learns what water is and that, low and behold, it really is wet!

Look at your values. Look at how you view your country. Look at how you view 9/11/2001. Is that the way Christ would have you view them?

If not, repent! And believe the gospel. Gospel—good news! God is calling us to something higher (and more painful!)...we mourn over Abel, but we build memorials to Cain!
</idle musing>

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