Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Who's my neighbor?

To keep us safe from threats of enemies near and far is the rationale behind the commissioning of more aircraft carriers and submarines, building more sophisticated jet fighters, refurbishing more nuclear bombs, and selling billions of dollars of armaments to desperately poor countries. Many wealthy people make a lot of money warning us of our enemies or potential enemies.

To promote fear of the other nations increases exponentially the possibility of future conflicts with them. Our fears give birth to suspicion and distrust, which we are told requires the stockpiling of more arms to defend the country against would-be attackers. Meanwhile, our response to protect ourselves with more and more powerful arms is regarded as evidence of our hostile intent against them. Time and again we have seen this played out on the world’s scene, and it is regularly the content of the evening news.—America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, pages 86–87

<idle musing>
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God....
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:3–9, 43–48 NIV

But, we all know that those words aren't meant for us, right? We have an obligation to live in fear, right? Right?

And Jesus says, 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" Matt 7:21–23

But that sounds so unfair! You mean I can't do it my way?! Come on! I'm an American! I can do what I want, when I want, and in the way I want! And nobody can tell me otherwise or I'll blow them apart! (In the name of Christ, of course!).

I don't think that attitude is from Christ...
</idle musing>

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