Hi, Jack, I really ...

Natalie asked:

Hi, Jack,

I really appreciate all the effort put forth in your responses.

I have been struggling with the Christian response to the milatant Muslim.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who use us... and yet it seems like the overall message from my Christian friends and family is that the we Christians should support the violent retaliation of the US against these people.

How best does the Christain respond to this issue in a way which shows the Love of God?

Jack Answered:

If I understand your question correctly, I think we need to distinguish between retaliation and self-defense.

- Retaliation rises from being hurt and desiring to have vengeance, to "get even" (which we can never do!).

I think this is what Jesus was referring to when He spoke of loving enemies, turning the other cheek, not returning evil for evil, and treating others as we would like them to treat us.

- Self-defense is the action which keeps an enemy from destroying us.

Down through history Christian theologians have sought to work out a "just war theory;" when it is justifiable to go to war. Pacifists would say "never"; most Christians support self-defense but use differing criteria to determine when the point of violence has been reached.

The Lord desires for us to love all men and women, regardless of their ideology or religious faith, to desire the best for them, and to treat them justly. Part of this is seeking to help them understand the uniqueness of Jesus, especially His role as Savior.

But at the same time, we recognize the need to protect ourselves from militant Muslims whose avowed aim is to destroy our country or take it over, in any way possible.

May the Lord guide you as you work through this issue for yourself. It would be helpful for you to get to know a Muslim, show him or her kindness, and seek to come to understand their convictions, aspirations, and fears.

I would encourage you not to contradict your Christian friends, especially your parents, but work to understand them, and then in humility express your own understanding, as you meditate on relevant Scriptural passages.

May the Lord guide you step by step.



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