Yesterday I wrote on "whats the point in praying?" and got a pretty good response. I am planning to write all next week on prayer. But until then it's back to some love, justice, and even a little hell on the side.
I often wonder How it is that we, as Christians, can ignore much of Jesus' teaching on loving others, especially our enemies? And I am, of course, guilty of this as well.
We want the bad people (The "other" is always worse than we are) to get what they deserve, and this is natural in some ways I think. We naturally want justice to be served. But I am always amazed when Christians support and/or especially rejoice over the death of anyone, and I often find it hard to understand how one can justify such rejoicing with the teachings of Jesus.
I think one reason many Christians find it easy to justify and rejoice when an enemy is brought to "Justice" through means such as the death penalty or being killed in battle, or whatever other means... is because they view God's justice and judgment as retributive and ultimately vengeful.
Not trying to get on a "Hell" kick again (or am I?), but I have been trying to understand why people who take Jesus so seriously most of the time, often can ignore the whole "loving your enemies/non-violent way" Jesus clearly teaches. I am not merely talking about someone who struggles to love their enemies, we all do, but am referring more to those who flat out can justify wishing violence or harm on someone else .
I think it's because ultimately many Christians don't think Jesus is serious when he said things such as "love and forgive your enemies", and its because they don't believe that God ultimately practices what God preaches.
Over and over Jesus COMMANDS us to forgive our enemies, but most believe that in the end God is not going to do the same thing,...and actions speak louder than words. And if our God is retributive and tortures enemies, then we can/should do the same.
If God's justice is retributive then that allows us to be retributive as well. It allows us to support the death penalty, it allows us to actually wish our enemies harm, especially in the end.
I just recently saw a tweet by a well known pastor that read...
"there is a special place in hell for those who are out to destroy the church. They will get theirs..."
"They will get theirs"? There is a sense of excitement in that little tweet that I just can't reconcile with the words and actions of Jesus.
This is why I think our view on Heaven, Hell and the after life is important, because it reveals how we ultimately view God and determines how we treat others here and now.