taking the words of Jesus seriously

I’m not a pacifist—but I do not celebrate the death of another human.

Even Osama bin Laden.

I remember watching the riots and flag burning in parts of the MIddle East that took place after the 9/11 events. I remember feeling angry toward those people celebrating the deaths of my countrymen. I remember feeling anger toward the people that perpetrated the attacks on mothers and fathers and working class people across the country. I couldn’t help but to think, “what is wrong with those people that they really think that God is on their side?” I remember thinking; “They actually think that this is how God demonstrates his favor—by killing the people who don’t fit into our moral, political or religious agendas?”

…and here I sit again.

Watching my Facebook Wall
filling up with American cheers and jeers

“God is on our side!!”
“God’s justice has been done!”

It made me cry a bit.
It makes me angry again.

Watching my Facebook friends, pastors and Christians strike their own chorus of revelry and revenge that somehow God’s will has been done and He has acted for us. He has delivered justice for us. He has delivered revenge for us. He has delivered our enemies to us because He is good and just—and God is on our side.

Of course, the logical flaw is that everyone thinks this.

Also by Jimmy: Love Wins – A New Split in Protestant Evangelicalism

Humans on all sides of the ocean, and throughout all the centuries love it when we can wield God for our agenda. We find ourselves imitating the Middle East crowds who took to the streets on 9/11 shouting that justice has been done to our enemies. We echo the mantra of the Crusaders who shouted, “God Will’s It!” as they charged their steeds into blood-soaked battles—so sure of God fighting for them.

We also imitate the first century Jews who 2, 000 years ago swarmed the Jerusalem city gates and shouted “Hosanna”, on this just recently passed Good Friday, because they were so overjoyed that Jesus would finally conquer the godless Romans for them—proving that they, were indeed, most favored by God.

We still want Jesus to conquer our Romans for us don’t we?
Jesus still weeps at our short sightedness.

I wonder if God fights for us now against our enemies? I wonder if God fought for those men who captured those planes and so assuredly carried out the will of God on 9/11?

Whose bullets carry the blessings of God?
Whose death does God cheer?

A wise man once turned the religious and social world upside down when He said: “love your enemies.” Will I be brave enough to follow in His Way?

If this same wise man actually struggled and broke the cycle of death then God forgive me when I participate in the ancient lineage of the crowds who cheer not for the love of Jesus—but cheer the idea that Jesus fights for my revenge at the great cost of others. God forgive me when I cheer the death of my enemies and thereby perpetuate the cycle of death—the very thing Jesus came to abolish.

God forgive me when I find myself:

Amongst the crowd and at the gates
Cheering while Jesus weeps.

Jimmy Spencer Jr (@jimmyspencerjr) is the founder and CEO of Love Without Agenda. He’s just a good guy trying to change the world—and himself—one act of love at a time.

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