Yesterday news hit the world of the brutal murder of Nicholas Berg. He was slaughtered by Islamic extremists. He was beheaded as retaliation for the heinous acts of soldiers at Abu Ghurayb prision. He was killed by militants in the name of God.
In my previous posts I have shown my disdain and anger at our own atrocities.
This, along with the brutal burning of four contractors earlier, is utterly despicable. Any violence perpertrated in the name of God/Allah is totally oppostite to any faith I can think of.
The actions of both the soldiers and militants bring bring to my mind much bigger qustions. Questions of faith and more importantly faith in action.
Using faith has been an excuse for murder for centuries. Ranging from the crusades to September 11, 2001. The Hebrew Bible is full of wars fought in the name of not only their God, but foreign gods, too. But the Christian New Testament is different.
Tony Campolo was on The O’Franken Factor yesterday and said something that has stuck with me. He brought up the fact that in the Christian New Testament we are commanded to love our enemies.
27″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32″If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Ok. He pointed out that much of the resentment we are facing began the moment we forgot this.
For 11 years we, along with the UN, were guilty of totally denying this passage and central tenant of our faith. Had we followed the prescription above, don’t you think that the people would have more clearly seen that Saddam was the problem? They would have notice that food and medicines were coming from the Infidel. Saddam would have been gone long before these atrocities were a glimmer in anyone’s eye. I think so.
We are a compassionate nation, as show by the outcry against the actions of both the Islamic Extremists and the American Soldiers.
We are a people, Christian or not, who know how to love. It is my prayer that we work to end the cycle of redemptive violence encapsulates our entire world. We are taught as children not to hit. We tell our children that violence is not the answer.
Have you ever seen children playing? The do not know that because their playmate is African America, White, Jewish, Hindu, Christian or Islamic. They see a friend.
How about we live by the examples of our children?
P.S. Please know that this is 1 Christian’s point of view. I know the Hebrew Bible and The Koran also preach non-violence. This is just one of many p.o.v.