Over the past year a lot of my beliefs have changed. I went from being a Soldier in the U.S. Army to a Pacifist. I went from having a nationalistic, American-worshiping, “us vs them” mentality, to accepting and loving neighbor whatever their nationality. I went from trying to live by the way of religion with its rules and regulations as a way to be close to God, to fully embracing the law of love. Very often I have been asked: “Why?”, “What caused these changes?”.
My answer: I began to understand that LOVE IS EVERYTHING!
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Col 3:14)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)
This is my command, that you love one another.” (John 15:12)
Above all desirable attributes or traits, mindsets or dispositions, we are called to put on love. I’m not talking about the good-feeling, warm and fuzzy, smoochy-smoochy, sexual love. As we can see above, the Scripture defines love as Jesus laying down his life for us, his enemies, and the ones nailing him on the cross. We are called to this kind of love. Jesus taught us to “love our enemies” and to “do good to those that hurt you”. He said that all of God’s law could be summed up by loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. If I must be willing to lay down my life for enemies, then I can’t kill them. If I love everyone, then supporting one government over another, one race, tribe, or people group over another is not possible. If I love everyone then I cannot support war and the death of others. If I take Jesus at his word–that following God is as simple as loving God and others–then religion (a system of rules, regulations, and rituals for getting right with God) is another thing I cannot support. Love is the one all-encompassing command. Get it right and everything else will fall into place. Get it wrong and nothing else you do matters.
For in Christ Jesus…the only thing that counts is faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6)
Matt Young is a U.S. Soldier turned pacifist. An Anabaptist, non-violent, lover of God and people, Matt is a follower of Jesus Christ. He is married to his beautiful wife, best friend, and mother of their newborn son, praying that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven”. You can contact and follow him on Twitter and on his blog, The Rejected Path.
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