Blessed Are the Persecuted

According to The Washington Post, there’s a church that put up a sign saying, “WE ARE HEAVILY ARMED — ANY ATTEMPT WILL BE DEALT WITH DEADLY FORCE — YES WE ARE A CHURCH AND WE WILL PROTECT OUR PEOPLE.”

I’d like to just take a moment to remind us all that our savior was one who put body parts back on people and that he never took any off (Lk 22:51); that when his disciples used violence, he yelled at them, saying “No more of this!” (Lk 22:51); that when his disciples wanted to call supernatural fire down on people, he rebuked them—some manuscripts even adding, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy people’s lives but to save them” (Lk 9:51-56); that he laid down his life on his own accord (Jn 10:18); that he showed us that we are to give grace, not death sentences (Jn 8:3-11) and that people worthy of death sentences are able to get into Heaven (Lk 23:39-43); that though he could have called down an army of angels, he didn’t (Mt 26:53); that the disciples, renewed in strength after the resurrection, rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Ac 5:41). The list goes on.

The kingdom of this earth permits you a gun to kill others in certain circumstances—Jesus does not. When you accepted his salvation, you accepted his politics and his politics teach that death is not the end, that God and Heaven are of supreme worth and that nothing should stop us from getting to him—not hands, not feet, not eyes—nothing (Mk 10:42-50). It’s his life that is of supreme worth and we give our life back to him in worship.

No one should ever walk into a church and shoot at Christians, but Jesus never taught us that shooting back was an option. Instead, we are to turn the other cheek (Mt 5:39) and love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5:44). And you cannot love a person with a shotgun to the face.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:9-10)

 

Photo Credit: NeONBRAND

For deeper insight, I suggest reading, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God.

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