I recently watched a pastor of a mega church on television (which I don’t do on a regular basis) and was amazed at his message.
He started off speaking of all the parts of our culture that Christians do not agree with.
- He spoke about the damage pornography does to our society. (I said Amen!)
- He spoke about the many lives that have been killed through abortion. (I said Amen!)
- He spoke about the anti-Christian attitude in Hollywood portraying Christians as idiots or bigots or worse. (I said Amen!)
- He spoke about the terror from Islamic extremists. (I said Amen!)
But then he lost me!
He said our duty as Christians is to “identify these people and RUN THEM OUT OF HERE!”
Now I am not sure what he meant about “running them out of here.” Maybe he just meant we need to stand up for our beliefs and not let them scare us from speaking out.
If so, I say Amen!
But the body language and the attitude he displayed when making that statement I found so offensive and so not like Jesus Christ.
Later that week I went to a conference where I heard a different viewpoint on our response to those who take a stand against our Christians beliefs.
It was a Voice of the Martyrs conference where I heard stories of Christians being persecuted around the world.
I saw pictures of young men badly beaten for refusing to deny Christ.
I saw pictures of churches destroyed by bombs or fire.
Then I listened to their response to how they treated their enemies.
Over and over those who had been persecuted asked that we not only pray for them, but pray for those who persecuted them.
Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs said:
“It was in prison that we found the hope of salvation for the Communists. It was there that we developed a sense of responsibility toward them. It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them.”
“I have seen Christians in Communist prisons with fifty pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold–and praying with fervor for the Communists. This is humanly inexplicable! It is the love of Christ, which was poured out in our hearts.”
Martin Luther King, Jr said it so well:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
But the best voice of all for loving your enemies is Jesus Christ who said:
Maybe if we prayed more for those who take a stand against Christian principles their hearts would be changed.
Will you join me in praying for those who you disagree with?