Alternate title, read like a grumbling Homer Simpson: “Stupid John MacArthur sermons making me feel guilty about not loving my stupid enemies.”
Seriously, I just listened to a series by MacArthur about loving our enemies (I’m 4 months behind on Podcasts, for you MacArthur fans wondering if you missed something). He made some powerful points about how loving the seemingly un-lovable and those hostile to us helps them see God, because that is exactly what God did for us. We’re saved by his grace and not because we had anything to offer him or did anything for which He owes us. We rebelled against him as enemies, yet He loved us and saved us.
Putting that into practice in the blog world is a challenge. While my SuperFans (TM) are a regular fixture on my iPhone prayer list app, I don’t think that engaging them personally is productive. I prefer to pray that while they are going through the Bible to abuse it to support their false teachings that God will open their eyes to the truth of his word. True biblical love is having a person’s long-term best interests at heart. Their ultimate good rests in being reconciled to the one true God.
As Jesus pointed out, it is easy to love those who are good to us. It takes more effort to love those who can do nothing for us, but it isn’t nearly as hard to do as loving my enemies. Once I focus on people in, say, prison ministry, I find it easy to love them. Then again, I wasn’t their victim. That is when things get tough: Loving those who seek the worst for you.
It is also hard with pro-legalized abortionists — especially those claiming the name of Christ — because it isn’t just their hatred of you that you are dealing with but your desire to protect the victims of their satanic ideology.
The same thing goes with pro-gay theologians, who claim the name of Christ while teaching falsehoods about him and advancing policies that will be very harmful to children.
I try to remember what one preacher said when asked why he didn’t lash out at some gay activists who burst into his church in protest and threw condoms at the pulpit: “I don’t get mad if a blind person steps on my foot.”
Our enemies are just doing what is in their job description. I’ve been convicted and reminded that loving them — in the biblical sense — is in our job description. Praying for them and not reacting in the same manner they use is a start.
Yes, it is hard to love our enemies, but I often think of a woman in Kenya who is one of the most amazing Christians I’ve ever met. Her husband went nuts and hacked her with a machete, cutting off her hands and almost cutting off one of her legs. He left her for dead, but she survived and was helped at the hospital we support there. She instantly forgave him because Jesus said to. If she can forgive something that severe . . .