“Jesus said, ‘The first in importance is, “Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.” And here is the second: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” There is no other commandment that ranks with these.’”
- Mark 12:30-31 (MSG)
“Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:11 (MSG)
Verses like the above are but a few of the many examples of Scripture that teach us to love one another and be ambassadors of peace. However, the reason we’re cherry-picking these two in particular is because we want to discuss a growing problem within Christianity: militantism.
The problem with militantism in Christianity
Let’s face it, violence has always been a part of Christianity’s history. Not too long after the ascension of Jesus into heaven, we formed nations under Christian banners that committed countless atrocities and acts of violence and oppression throughout history.
In the modern world, it has felt like a lot of that is behind us, but the past couple of years has shown us that Christianity still has an angry, roaring monster in its heart, and it is rearing its head.
Many Christians in the United States and the rest of the Western world believe it is their responsibility and right to defend their faith and stand against anyone who has a different belief. This is more rooted in fear than strength. They fear that any compromise or common ground can destroy the kingdom of God; yet with a bit of faith, Christians would realize mankind can do nothing to destroy the kingdom of God.
Unfortunately, this is the path many of those who call themselves Christians choose. Ultimately, it ends up chasing more people away from faith than attracting them to it.
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Jesus tells us to love one another like we love ourselves. He tells us to be humble. He tells us that the law and justice are His, not ours. It’s our responsibility to follow in His example and be lights in this world. Leave any notion of justice or righteousness to Jesus Himself.
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