If you polled a random passerbyer on the street here in Oregon about what they associate with Christianity and its adherents, I’d expect you’d get a lot of responses about all the causes we’re against quite vocally.
Right now we’ve got a few more controversies where we haven’t, in general, taken the best route. Examples that come to mind include the Mosque near Ground Zero, the Burn-A-Koran Day, and the recent outburst against Stephan Hawking.
I’m not going to spend any time punching holes in each of the ways Christians have poorly handed all those situations.
All I want to say is – love your enemies.
And to me – loving your enemies means, well loving them, and not fighting against them. It’s the opposite, you see. You have someone you’re opposed to, and well, that typically leads to a fight. Jesus didn’t prefer that system, and instead told us to love them.
It may mean not engaging in arguments with them (especially if you don’t know how to argue well), even though we’re right and the other side is so misled. Because Christians tell the truth, yes, but the truth is in our love, not our ability to shut others down in debate.
So yeah, Stephan Hawking may have now said the universe could have began existing without God. Yeah we can debate him and argue, but I really do think our love is far more compelling than whatever set of words we string together. Let’s be honest, we’re probably not going to convince Stephan to believe in God – for a variety of reasons – and treating him like an enemy only drives him further away.
But what could bring him to our odd little fold? If the people around him loved him – because that’s something that pierces more than words. We want to stand up for what is true and defend it, but love is not merely a part of that, it is the whole.
Coming up next, in anticipation of that aforementioned Koran burning happening on September 11, this Saturday: how in this instance loving our enemies, in fact, means loving Terry Jones and Dove World Outreach Center.