Hard words. Hard thoughts. Hard choices.
I have been wrestling with the complexity of modern life. Balance is hard, isn’t it?
Terrorism wants people to be afraid. I am not afraid. God is with us.
Terrorism is designed to divide us into “us and them.” I will not participate in biases or broad-brush people into groups based on religion or nationality. We are all broken. We are all in need of a grace-filled God.
I do not believe in vengeance. I pray for those who hate us, that God might change people’s hearts. I desire peace with all men and women, and will sacrifice my comfort to do the right thing — like supporting the victimized, the refugee, and the displaced. I believe that our most powerful weapons in life are prayer and love. Right or wrong, this my choice as a Christian.
AT THE SAME TIME…
I will take a stand against evil, and for good. Without losing my desire for them to be redeemed, I will work against all who act in hateful ways. Sadly, today this includes radical Islam. Its encouragement to war, judgment, violence, and death is nothing less than evil. Listen and look. Evil oozes from this radicalized ISIS branch of Islam, and they roll innocent heads with a prideful smile. Islam requires a new reformation, just like Christianity and Judaism have had. I will stand against all who call for jihad and the death of those not like them, both politically and personally. I will speak for a clear, balanced, punitive response against their declaration of war, even this asymmetrical kind. I will fight evil, seeking the least damage to all in pursuit of peace.
AT THE SAME TIME…
“Grace and truth must work together. I do not believe in vengeance. I pray for those who hate us, that God might change their hearts. I desire peace with all men and women, and will sacrifice my comfort to do the right thing — like supporting the victimized and displaced. I believe that our most powerful weapons are prayer and love.
Romans 12:21 commands this tension, with both firm resistance and godly action: “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Right or wrong, this my choice as a Christian.
Thank you Brad.
The road is straight and narrow. We’re called to both love our neighbor and tell the truth. The truth is I will pray for the radical Muslim to change, and I will send his soul to perdition if he threatens my wife, my children, my community, or my nation with violence.
And pray. That’s the hard part.
Thank you for this balanced post in these titter-tottering times. Grace and truth; prayer and love, Well said.
Well put and it is a challenge for us all, we should try to make a difference beginning with prayer!
Thank you Brad. Well said.
Thank you, Brad. It is good to read your perspective. How difficult this is.