I would like to start this blog by first saying that I am not here to fight (ha) about pacifism or any other moral issue. I want to speak to you about my journey over the past year dealing with this issue of how many times I must forgive my neighbor, and what grace and love really felt, looked, and tasted like. And I must say that now I am addicted.
Almost exactly a year ago I started struggling with what loving God and people really meant. It was confusing to me because “I knew everything” the Bible said about these issues, but it seemed there was some disagreement about what love really meant. Some would use the words “just war”. Others would tell me stories of God & Israel slaughtering thousands. I have heard about Martin Luther King Jr and his non-violent protests. And I have heard the “what-if” questions over and over. I want to pass over all of these tough questions and stories and explain myself.
Jesus said this to the Pharisees when tested by them as to which commandment was the greatest.
37 Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I don’t care about your political views towards the Iraq War, gay-marriage, abortion, “Gitmo”, or President Obama. I know two things from what Jesus said to the Pharisees. “Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” means we are to focus on matters of the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of the World. And loving our neighbors (see above ^ for a portion of that list) means we serve our neighbors and not ourselves. This is all about LOVE. Yes, it is very hippyish. I don’t know how we can get around that. But to me, being a Pacifist doesn’t mean I protest wars and smoke pot. It means loving and serving everyone around me, no matter who they are.
So when I think of my life this past year, fighting with myself over issues regarding how far and ridiculous I will go to love somebody, I am definitely struggling. Grace, as Don has taught us a couple series ago, is messy, and sometimes it hurts. But I believe it is the best way to live. I look forward to sharing (and struggling through) my journey with you actionchurch.