May 24 – Manchester: We Are Fighting The Wrong War

 

One day Recab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, went to Ishbosheth’s house around noon as he was taking his midday rest. The doorkeeper, who had been sifting wheat, became drowsy and fell asleep. So Recab and Baanah slipped past her. They went into the house and found Ishbosheth sleeping on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head. (2 Samuel 4:5-7)

Read: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23, John 13:31-14:14, Psalm 119:17-32, Proverbs 15:31-32

Relate: I first heard of Ariana Grande a couple years ago when I saw her singing some Christmas song on youtube. While I love her voice and think it was an excellent rendition, I can’t really say I have become a fan. If you asked, I couldn’t name any songs she sings. No, I am not the right demographic for that. I’m a guy a few decades too old to be considered more than a casual admirer of her beautiful voice.

That is what makes what happened in Manchester so especially horrible. The evil perpetuated by a radicalized Manchester native specifically targeted a crowd that would be full of teen and preteen girls just coming out of what was probably a fairly innocent concert. From the little I know Grande is no Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, or Nicki Minaj. Salman Abedi was born and raised in Manchester. He wasn’t a refugee or an immigrant (although his parents were) so he most likely knew exactly who he was hitting. The sad thing is, in some warped twisted way, he most likely thought he was being a hero.

React: Recab and Baanah also thought they were being heroes. They slid past a sleeping guard and took the head from a sleeping king. They then escaped to the other side and delivered this head to an enemy king. In some warped, twisted way they thought they were being heroes. They actually believed they were fighting against evil and would be rewarded. The same lie is perpetuated in holy books, mosques, on the internet, and from politicians, news outlets, and drill sergeants in boot camps today. Although thousands of years have passed since David’s time we still seem to fall for the same fallacy that swords and guns and bombs can solve the problems we seem to have with our enemies. Most of the time we don’t even realize who our enemies are. Our enemy isn’t a specific people group or culture. They aren’t individuals from any specific geographical location. Again, Salman Abedi had been born and raised right there in Manchester.

Our enemy isn’t a people but rather an idea. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. We wage war but not against other humans. No. We fight against ideas and ways of thinking that set themselves against Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) The kind of war we are in will not be won by guns and bombs. It cannot be won through laws and bans. As long as we fight with weapons like these, more Manchesters are bound to happen. The way we win this war is through love and truth and kindness and generosity. Killing off one potential Salman Abedi will only raise up three others somewhere else. Keeping him out of our communities will only create others like him from already within. No, the way to stop more men like him is to love them into the kingdom before they have a chance to become radicalized.

Respond:

Dear God,
In the face of such a horrible tragedy as we have just experienced, it can be so hard to love. It is so much easier to look at the evil committed by one and come to hate others that speak and believe as he did. But if we do that, then we are losing the war. Help me to love my enemies. Help me to remember that it is Your kindness that leads to repentance, and help me to be a channel through which You can manifest that kindness. Help me to have a deep love for others even as I more and more despise the way of thinking that has enslaved them. Help me to wage this war with love.
Amen

 

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42 thoughts on “May 24 – Manchester: We Are Fighting The Wrong War

  1. Pingback: May 24 – Manchester: We Are Fighting The Wrong War | jennessjordan

  2. On a personal level, we are called to love our enemies. But on a national level, God placed government in place to punish evil and reward good. Read Romans 13:1-7. And since our governments are fecklessly inviting Muslims into our land, we’re not being protected from wickedness. Therefore we need to urge the government to investigate mosques and social media posts of those who espouse jihad while reaching out to those misled people with the gospel.

    • And this is exactly the wrong war I am talking about. We wage war against the idea, not the people. We cannot win over an enemy if we constantly close our doors to him and ignore the real needs he has.

      • But as the previous comment was attempting to point out, it is not a secular government’s role (unless you want to have one that’s not secular) to win over an enemy by lovingly inviting them across your border. The Church of God is in a spiritual war with eternal consequences, but temporal governments are not the Church; they carry the sword, not us.

  3. I guess the way Jesus waged war in his day. My love cannot surpass his. They killed him. Forgive my skepticism. Jesus did say to love our enemies – I think that would result in a lot more prayer for them. I see Katy Perry today says also that we should just unite and love each other. We have to be careful what we unite with. Prayer? Yes. I agree that our enemy is an idea, not people, but people carry out that idea. I always enjoy your blog. Love your prayers.

    • There is a difference between uniting with and engaging with. Jesus loved by going. He left heaven and came and lived among us, yet he remained sinless. He engaged his world, He didn’t necessarily unite with it. I can have a Muslim family over for dinner without being Muslim. In fact, I have twice in the past week. There is no question in their mind that I am a Christian. We are not the same. There is also, hopefully if I have done my part well, no question that I love them.

  4. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    Let the mind of Christ our Lord
    1 Corinthians 2:14,15
    The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
    The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

  5. We do need to love everyone enough to be kind where kindness can do a work in someone’s heart, to be generous where there is true need, and to say no to those that take advantage of civility for an evil end.

  6. Absolutely man. It is a war of ideas. In fact, radical Islamists lie and exploit this same Christian principle of loving the enemies. Their days are counted as too many folks are already seeing their strategy.

  7. Amen. The weapons of Christ are truth and peace, and people like this bomber are criminals, not true believers in any religion.

    • Actually, the sad thing is, he was a true believer in the wrong religion. Those who follow the Quran and imitate the lifestyle of Muhammad best tend to be the worst among humanity. When 85 of the 114 Surah’s talk about how much God hates… when the book multiple times claims that God is the best of liars… when the model each Muslim is to follow is someone like Muhammad… things like Manchester are guaranteed to continue.

  8. The school yard bully thinks he can push anyone and anybody around and will continue to do so until someone stands up to him letting him know that his bullying won’t be tolerated. Does that change his ideology? Most likely not. However, he won’t be so quick to bully when he knows that the consequences will be swift and painful.

    • Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi both stole from Jesus’ sermon on the mount playbook to teach us a different, much better way to deal with bullies.

      • That was meant to be utilized on an individual basis and not for a nation bent on exterminating all who don’t see things as they do.

        • Individual basis? Tell that to the British Empire and India. Tell that to the Jim Crow South and the intransigent American government who refused to grow.

        • Titus 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work. As Christians we are commanded to be subject, good or bad, to rulers and authorities, We are also commanded to pray for leaders.Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior
          Jim Crow laws in the United States and the British Empire controlling India as it once did had to do with government, oppressive as it was, the commands do not change. Terrorists, on the other hand, are not part of any government that we are to be subject to.

  9. What a gracious post, and so well written.
    I am still having trouble with Brexiters and Trumpeteers, and just don’t know if I’ll ever be the same.

    See Jonah 4:1-11

    Thanks for this today.

  10. Thanks, Beejai. Thoughtful and measured in your response, and filled with grace and wisdom. I agree wholeheartedly with you. Both Jesus’ theology and ethics were peaceful ones – teaching us to turn the other cheek (which is not a weak response but a creatively loving and assertive one), and even forgiving the very people who crucified him. The only way to break a cycle of violence, a theology of violence, is to forgive. That’s what Jesus showed us. And if we, who call ourselves by His name, cannot carry the cross of adopting His ethics and theology, I think we are to be pitied. Only love defeats hatred. Not violence. Not ever. Thank you for being bold enough to preach peace.

  11. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    Why then does the ruler, i.e., the governing authorities, bear the sword? Why are wrongdoers told to fear?

  12. Valid, thought-provoking post, and I agree with you on some level. However, even God sent His people to destroy nations that were seeped in sin and slaughter. Islam is not a religion of peace. Their “bible” teaches them to kill us. You can’t love someone into the kingdom when they are standing with a knife waiting to cut your head off. Yes, the idea needs to change – but that means the entire religion needs to be abolished. It teaches that beating women is okay; women and dogs are fit only to eat off the ground; it’s okay to rape children; all other followers of all other religions must be killed. This is not something that can be worked on or loved into changing – it’s spawn from the pit of hell. Evil is real and alive in this world and so is satan who came to kill, steal and destroy. Sometimes he puts on church clothes to accomplish his evil agenda.

    • That is where I believe that there needs to be a distinction made between the believer as an individual where he/she is told to turn the other cheek, love one’s enemies, and pray for those persecuting them, and the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from those desiring to harm them whether foreign or domestic.

  13. Manchester is now waking up to the most difficult of dawn’s. It’s hard to believe what has happened in the Manchester Arena but this was an Evil act! I hope you like this comment!
    #WELOVEMCR
    #DOITFORMCR
    #WEAREMANCUNIONS

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