What to do with terrorists (Matt 5.38-39, 43-48)

They say “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” (39) But I say, when you face evil, confront it with the infinitely creative resources of the Triune life. Fight or Flight are not your only options. Don’t take to Fighting. Don’t take to Flight. Instead, take a Stand. Make peace aggressively. For example, let’s say you get bullied on the street. When the bully hits you on the right cheek, he is counting on you to either run away or hit him back. So do something unexpected, like offering him your left cheek, inviting him to hit you again. When you refuse to play the bully’s game, it opens up all kinds of new possibilities, even the possibility of peace and reconciliation. Because of my love for evildoers, I am taking on a cross. Follow me, and I will teach you how to take a punch….

(43) They say “Love your friends and hate your enemies.” (44) But I say love your enemies. Join in the Trinity’s life of outgoing concern and compassion for those people who are out to get you. (45) Living as Papa’s child means sharing in her kindness toward all people, regardless of how they act toward you. Whether you love or hate our Papa, she causes the sun to warm you and the rain to cool you. It is her great joy to do so. Join us in our joy. (46) Even total jerks love the people who are nice to them. (47) If you are opening your life to only a few privileged people who are just like you, then you are missing out on the adventure Papa is unleashing in the world. (48) Papa is giving sonship to all people, extending to everyone the life of perfect love she shares with me and Sarayu. So get on board. Become an active participant in the harmonious perfection of the incarnate Triune life, which is Papa’s gift to all.

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  • Love this paraphrase, especially: “45) Living as Papa’s child means sharing in her kindness toward all people, regardless of how they act toward you.” I like the reminder that we don’t have to treat people as they have treated us (we have other choices), and secondly, that any kindness we show didn’t originate with us; it’s coming from Papa.

  • Thanks Nan! One thing I noticed about this idea is that loving my enemies means they can’t control me. Hating them gives them buttons they can push on me that force me to fight them. Loving them makes me free to behave toward them in a way they have no power to change.