A Higher Call

by DanWolgemuth on December 1, 2006

Last weekend, as I sat and watched several unfolding news stories, I was drawn to the continual, and in some cases, escalating violence in Iraq. Like you, I viewed the images with disbelief and horror. The pictures included vehicles in the streets that look like automotive skeletons and the people that weep and wail for the lives snuffed out as a result. The rationale for such acts is “sectarian.” In other words, deep seeded religious belief systems that find non-compliant belief systems, and consequently carve a path of collision.

Such commitment to a cause, forced me to ask a question… am I less committed? Is the Christian community generally less brave, less passionate, and less sold-out for the truth it embraces?

Later… while I was spending time reflecting on the tenants of the faith, as defined in scripture, I discovered the answer. Simply, being sold out for the Christian faith takes me/us to a radically different destination. It’s a place that is no less demanding.

Jesus said:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… ~ Matthew 5:43, 44

The intersection of belief systems for Christians takes us to a place of love not violence. It compels us to intercede not retaliate. The motivation is not tolerance, but compassion. The reference point for this behavior is not weakness, but rather a common need for grace and mercy.

Christianity needs no car-bombs to defend it. In fact, the very tools of the faith dismantle hatred. The followers of Christ demonstrate ultimate courage by resisting the urge to lash out, not because they can’t, but because
they won’t.

And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” ~ Matthew 21:51-53

There is no terror in love. It defuses what hatred ignites.

A higher standard. Confident in truth, compassionate in defense.

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