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Earlier today I was glancing through the newspaper and saw this blurb:

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Defending his brand of world politics, President Barack Obama said Sunday that he “strengthens our hand” by reaching out to enemies of the United States and making sure that the nation is a leader, not a lecturer, of democracy.

Source

Now no one would accuse me of being an Obama fan, and most definitely I don’t like the policies of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or Cuba’s Fidel Castro. I have spoken out against leftist dictators and power grabbers in the past. Just not my cup of tea.

And I don’t care for Obama’s stances on most issues. I hate it because I really want to like his policies, but cannot really find them compatible with the way I was taught. (My history, economics and government teacher was my favorite, and he influenced me too much it seems!)

That said, I read the above-mentioned paragraph from the article and considered things differently based on a better understanding I have gained in recent months from talking with others outside of the United States. Additionally and more importantly, I have been rereading the Bible and have been reminded time and again of how Jesus lived. It’s not exactly the same as most so-called Christians live today. Let’s see how He told us to treat our enemies.

Matthew 5

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

And now see here… this is Joel Rosenberg. A forty-something man who grew up with an Orthodox Jewish father who later accepted Jesus. He considers himself an evangelical Christian and has a strong support of Israel. I keep tabs on his blog and was amazed in early April when I read this concerning North Korea’s plans to test a missile.

The danger, experts say, is that the missile could reach Alaska or Hawaii. It’s not clear if it could reach Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego or another Pacific coast American city. But the missile’s very existence poses a real threat to U.S. national security. What if it is carrying a nuclear warhead? What if the “test” is actually designed to launch an attack that could blindside us? We shouldn’t be taking any chances. We should take out the missile and its launch pad immediately and send a crystal clear message to Pyongyang — and, by extension, to Tehran and other rogue nations — that serious threats to our security will be dealt with firmly and decisively. Some might say that taking pre-emptive military action against an enemy that endangers you is overreacting. But wouldn’t it have been better if the U.S. had taken decisive pre-emptive action against al Qaeda before 9/11? (emphasis mine)

He wants us to go into another country and take out their missile? Are our troops not already stretched thin enough? Do we really need to start another war? Do we need to be involved in another global police mission? North Korea is a godless, cruel nation, but why this approach? I don’t understand this fear-mongering mentality! Mr. Rosenberg, is not God capable of caring for the world on His own? Does He really need America’s help in policing the world and making sure everyone behaves? Yes, I realize you think this will keep America safe and maybe I am wrong, but still. I am just tired of this hardliner evangelical stance on our enemies. So what’s wrong with talking to them? Read again what Jesus said about our enemies.

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. ”

So my question is this: are we Americans first or Christ followers? And if you say, “definitely Jesus is first in my life” then prove it! Start loving your enemies and praying for them. Why do sanctions, violence and retaliation have to always be our options? Why this “you’re either with us or against us” approach to our enemies? I don’t see the “let’s bomb ’em to protect our interests” plan promoted by the One Who came to serve others and redeem mankind. And that includes His enemies.

Let’s seek to imitate our Savior — pursue peace, love and serve others, stand up for the oppressed.

Let your light shine in this world so that others will see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (see Mt. 5:16)

Are our lights shining? Does the world see the good that we do in the name of Christ or do they say “Oh, those are the Christians! See how tough they are on their enemies?”

Sadly, this is the mentality many of them have. We are not accurately representing our Lord. We call ourselves Christians when we are nothing like Jesus Christ.

By the way, we overcome evil with GOOD! (Romans 12:21)

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