Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 30, 2006

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

The Lord was a revolutionary only He didn’t train an armed militia and He didn’t carry a gun. He was straightforward in His teaching and He called hypocrites “hypocrites.” But He didn’t physically fight. He strongly suggested that fighting does not win wars, that hate does not accomplish anything, but that loving those who hate you will stop the cycle of violence. But what did the Lord know? He ended up on a cross!

Ever since sin came into this world, the world has been filled with hate and violence. God destroyed the earth with a flood because of the violence and bloodshed on the earth in the days before the flood. Cain, the first born of Adam and Eve killed his brother Abel. Jacob and his descendents have been fighting Esau and his descendents throughout history as have the descendents of Isaac and Ishmael. All of these were brothers who should have loved each other. But those who are not related also feel free to dehumanize those that are not like them into the enemy and kill them.

No wonder the Lord started over and made a new creation through the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are born again by trusting in the Lord Jesus as the sacrifice that satisfied God on our behalf, we are supposed to become Christ-like. That means that instead of fighting, we turn the other cheek when someone smites us. In other words, we do not defend ourselves during an attack and we never have the right to be vindictive or to exact retribution However, turning the other cheek would not require us to knowingly put ourselves in a position where we know we are going go be hurt over and over again. The Lord only allowed Himself to be crucified once.

We are to give to those who ask instead of circling the wagons and protecting our investments. And we are to love our enemies. That does not mean we necessarily like them but we are to show charity toward them. In other words, instead of killing them and destroying them, we are to love them to death. This will break the cycle of violence and allow for peace to be established. I wonder if this really works, I have never seen it carried out.

Nations don’t think they can operate this way and survive. We have a culture built around the patriotism of war and we respect those who give their lives so that we can be free. And if we are going to require young people to fight, we should show respect to them. I am not sure that I have seen this work in the church. I know people who go to law with other Christians over business matters rather than following the Lord’s injunction to give them everything if they sue you to get something.

The Lord says that we win by losing, that we live by dying, that we defend ourselves by loving and not fighting. These are revolutionary thoughts. I wonder what would happen if we decided that the Lord knows best and we actually put these principles into practice.

Bruce Collins



Comment by Leonard

July 31, 2006 @ 8:33 am

Could it not be argued in Matt. 21:12 that Jesus fought with the money changers when He drove them out of the Temple? 🙂


Comment by bruce

July 31, 2006 @ 11:47 am

Yes, there seems to be a place for confrontation on the part of the Lord. Does He give us that right? How would you reconcile what He did in the temple with His command to love your ememies?


Comment by Leonard

July 31, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

The “love your enemies” is part of the Beatitudes. Some of which are difficult to understand unless you believe He is talking about a “perfect world”. Such as, “these are the things we should strive for in a perfect world,” but He knows we are not perfect and do not live in a perfect world so He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, only to strive for perfection. Should we attempt to love our enemies? Yes. The old hate the sin love the sinner thing. Then again are there truley evil people in the world? I believe so. Can I love an evil person? I don’t think so. Does that alone make me a sinner????

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