The Terrell family has been, and still is, dealing with the sickness that has been going around Central Wisconsin. Last week it was me. This week it is Pam. Anyhow because of feeling cruddy I have been out of the loop a little bit. So it wasn’t until this weekend that I saw Arthur Brook’s wonderful speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. You can watch it in the video above. I would highly encourage you to watch it.
Jesus told His followers “love (our) enemies and pray for those who persecute (us)” (Matthew 5:44). Such action is subversive to the status quo and counter cultural. If anyone professing to be a follower of Jesus tells you not to love your enemies and not pray for those who persecute you, well, they are teaching the opposite of Jesus., and, therefore, in my humble opinion WRONG. Such a statement (don’t love those who are your enemy) has more in common with Sigmund Freud (it is impossible to love your enemy) and Friedrich Nietzsche (loving your neighbor is actually a form of contempt for them) than it does the way of Christ. Jesus literally prayed for His enemies as they were nailing Him to the cross. He loved the one who was betraying Him. Then He called His followers to behave in the same manner.
Since her beginning the church has faced the temptation to rely on the gods of power rather than the power of God. The gods of power call for us to hate those who are different from us or those with whom we disagree. The power of God calls on those of us who claim Jesus a our Lord to love them. The gods of power demand that we belittle those with whom we disagree. The power of God instructs us to stand up for those with whom we can’t see eye to eye. The gods of power lead us to view our enemies with contempt. The power of God begs us to reject contempt for our enemies.
Anyhow I would encourage you to watch Brook’s speech. I think he did a great job of convey what this looks like in our modern political atmosphere.