Religion Magazine

Saints Without Borders

By Ldsapologetics
So every Sunday near July 4th we sing God Bless America and praise our service members and veterans. And it's not that they don't deserve praise, it's that Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love our enemies. How can we kill those we love?
The news is full of stories about people who kill their loved ones. In the act of killing many emotions are in play but I do not believe that love, Christlike love, is one of them.
A patriot loves his homeland, as does a nationalist, but a nationalist also despises the homelands of others. And we have far too many nationalists in 'Murica!
It's odd to see church services where politics and religion blend and leave us feeling that we are justified in killing foreign people's because, thankfully, Jesus said they totally deserved it.
It so strange to talk to those who say "Jesus said to love our enemies but He didn't mean under these circumstances." The idea that there are exceptions to the nonviolent teachings of Jesus is strange to me. This just war theology does not jive with the Gospels or with early Christian history.
Jesus healed one of the Roman soldiers who came to arrest, beat, and Crucify Him. He also prayed earnestly for God to forgive His murderers for they knew not what they did.
And early Christians went to their deaths peaceably in Roman Colloseums and crucifixions to be burned as human torches all because they believed Jesus taught them to love their enemies and that they were forbidden to use violence even to save their lives.
I'm not sure I would meet my end peaceably were I or my family to be threatened with death. But the early Christians clearly believed that they were to be nonviolent and love their enemies even at the cost of their own lives.
We are supposedly a Christian nation, so what would it look like if our nation treated other nations and people as Christ did? If we forgave middle eastern countries as Christ forgave the adulteress? If we welcomed every nation to us and treated them with compassion and understanding as Christ treated all those He met in His life? We might look and behave as a Christian nation rather than just claiming we are.
What would it look like if we treated people in turbans they way we treat friends in church? What would it look like if we were as loving and understanding with Muslims as we are with those we meet in the Temple? What if we were as kind to those who believe in other Gods, or no God at all, as we are to those who believe the same as we do?
What would it look like if we loved neighboring nations, or all nations, as we love our own?
We might be closer to living the teachings of Christ rather than simply professing belief in teachings we only follow when it's convenient for us.
The Gospel is meant to transform us. It transformed a Zealot like Simon into a pacifist. It turned fishermen into prophets. It turned a Jewish tax collector for the Romans into a beloved Saint and lead him into giving his life for the Gospel message.
It turned a simple hand worker who was as poor and illiterate as the rest of His people, who held no public office, who never lead any Kingdom, who never wrote a book, into arguably the most influential man in history.
It wasn't so much the man as it was the message that changed the world. But the life of Christ is what gives His message power. The power is where the authority comes from. We would do better if we relied on truth for authority rather than relying on authority for truth.
But that's for another post.
If we act as saints without borders we treat all people, not just loved ones, as children of God who are worthy of His love. Jesus blessed and healed Romans, Samaritans, and all people based on their inherent worth as children of God. And without respect to their race or nationality, He treated us all as His brothers and sisters. His message was not for only one nation or one people, it was for all of God's children. 
If we were to do the same we would immeasurably improve our world.
I had asked in prayer "Why do you allow such suffering and injustice in the world when you could do so much to prevent or stop it?"
Then I stopped. Because I was afraid God would ask the same question of me.
Saints Without Borders

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