WHEN CHRISTIAN LOVE GROWS COLD, EVIL FLOURISHES
May 29, 2009
One of the biggest challenges for Christians today in our cruel and sadistic world is resisting the urge to abandon love for justice. But, love for God and one’s neighbor, being the greatest of the commandments, underscores our call and duty as followers of Jesus Christ to not take vengeance for an injury or injustice inflicted upon us or return evil for evil regardless of the opportunity or circumstance.
It’s one thing to defend – it’s quite another to attack. Knowing and accepting the difference, which is not always easy, especially under the stress of perceived danger or heightened emotion, will affect what we say and do, revealing to those watching, particularly those with spiritual discernment, our motive and agenda, be it agape love or something else – not to mention the legitimacy and priority of our witness for Christ.
The Tennessean's Bob Smietana, recently reported: “A new poll from the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life found that—62 percent of white evangelical Protestants surveyed believe that torture is often or sometimes justified.” He went on to say: “The poll also found that 44 percent of all regular churchgoers — regardless of race or denomination — believe that torture is often or sometimes justified.”
My question for that 62 percent and 44 percent is: How do you torture someone you love? How do you witness to someone you have just “waterboarded” or worse for information they may or may not have? If we truly love our enemies, as Jesus commands us to, and are genuinely interested in their conversion and their understanding of God’s love and forgiveness, is such a thing even possible?
Can Christians have it both ways?
Unfortunately many prominent conservatives have successfully redefined righteousness for the brethren they share political affiliations with, by claiming “enhanced interrogation” techniques like “waterboarding” are not really torture – that such practices are justifiable because of the lives that might be saved.
Shall we save lives at the expense of souls?
Navy SEAL and former Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura, has emphatically stated in numerous on-camera interviews that waterboarding is indeed torture, in spite of what many staunch republicans claim. He should know because he was waterboarded himself as part of his SEAL training.
A former Navy interrogation instructor also came forward on camera to tell a congressional hearing that the technique should not be called “waterboarding” – that “it should be called the drowning torture.” Part of his job, you see, was to teach sailors and marines how to survive it. One does not need to be taught how to survive something that is harmless.
Radio personality, Mancow Muller, used to believe waterboarding wasn’t torture – that is until he was waterboarded himself on camera. After only a few seconds he jumped up and declared it to be “absolutely torture.”
How could Christians in good conscience, support such a thing? Jesus said when iniquity abounds the love of many will turn cold. Frankly, I can’t think of any behavior colder than torture – can you?
If the Pew poll is accurate, it seems to me a great number of professing Christians have either been honestly deceived or taken pragmatism to a brutal new level. The Bible says that men who trust in men – whose confidence is in the flesh and whose hearts have departed from the Lord are cursed.
What about those who resort to torturing suspects to get what they want?
Was Jesus tortured on the cross that we might torture others in His name for a good cause? Is that the gospel we are committed to or could it be our love has just grown cold?
I wonder – would Christians consider it torture if they were rounded up, strapped down, blindfolded and waterboarded until they renounced their faith in Christ?
If it’s not really torture, then I guess we have nothing to worry about, do we?
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:12-13
back torture despite faith, poll says
2. The Ways of Death
3. Jesse Ventura on waterboarding
4. Navy interrogation instructor on waterboarding
5. Mancow Muller gets waterboarded
6. Mancow Muller interviewed after being waterboarded
� 2009 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserve
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�