Thursday, May 20, 2010

love one another

1 John 3:11-15 (ESV)
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. [13] Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. [14] We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. [15] Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

“Do not be surprised that the world hates you.” Yet, how often are we surprised by this? Why should we be shocked that the world and the media make fun of Christianity? Why should we be shocked that the world hates us? We are not of the world but in it. I don’t think illegal immigrants are all that shocked by the hatred and vitriol they are met with in this country. They don’t like it and that is understandable. But I don’t think they are all that surprised by it. The same happens in their own countries. We perhaps don’t need to like and love being mocked and persecuted. Though I have to say, often I see the mocking of the media, and have to laugh at myself and the church, because their mocking often has a point. Yes, sometimes it does us well to see us as they see us. We don’t need to be offended every time someone mocks Christianity. We have every right to challenge them on the basis of the truth of scripture, the truth of the death and resurrection. But we probably don’t need to be offended and shocked, that often does nothing more than perpetuate the stereo type that is being mocked. Rather than lash out with self-righteous vitriol, we should react in love. And reacting in love does not mean rolling over and not standing, but not being shocked and offended. Shock is the world’s weapon. It hopes to shock, because that means you are taken off guard and fall all the easier. But why should we be shocked that the world that crucified our Lord, would also crucify us? And yet we love, because we abide in love, because we abide in Him who is love.

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