- I know one day we will all give God a full and committed “yes” when asked to let Him love others through us. That’s all his asking us: to let Him love us (clean our life’s history of pain, attachments, judgments, etc,.) and love others through us. And when I assert this, I’m not implying that one day you’ll believe what I believe or you’ll be a Christian. You’ll say “yes” in the language of love, which is the one language He speaks and He’ll listen regardless of the belief system you claim to follow. -
Someone recommended me to watch a movie called "The Machine Gun Preacher" to witness what Jesus could do in one man's life. I haven't watched it yet but I googled it to find the trailer and reviews. This particular review caught my attention because of its concerns on the effects of the movie on foreign policy issues. Specific statements kept me reading:
"Regardless of whether or not his claims are spurious, he is being cheered, financed and encouraged by an ever-growing base of support. Most of these people claim to be evangelical Christians but I am not sure Jesus would have encouraged re-paying evil with evil…The train of thought must go something like this: “Well, we would never allow that in the US, but this is AFRICA and we don’t have to follow the rules because we are Americans and God gave us a vision to help these poor African kids. People need to see love and stuff and we will give them both.”
Is this our new view of how our foreign policy should be enacted? Is it ok to think that “at least he is doing something?” and it is ok because he believes God approves? I would vehemently oppose such statements.
Can you imagine if a Mexican crossed the border in to the States and decided that he would go after criminals indiscriminately with neither the support of the US law enforcement agencies nor the judicial system? In fact, looking at the comments on his blog, it would seem that people are encouraging people like Sam Childers simply because he feels God wants him to. Is that not the very definition religious radicalism? Indoctrination? Fanaticism?"
It moved me to write a comment and this was my message:
I haven’t watched the movie yet. And as a Christian I agree with some (if not most) of your arguments. I honestly don’t think God calls people to kill in his name, I don’t believe in violence to solve violence and I agree that in the context of policies and politics of this conflict, what he says he’s doing might not necessarily be too helpful. However, as a Christian, I believe one finds God deep within, and the truest act of love when you encounter a “criminal” or whatever the label we put on these people, is to love yourself and forgive yourself for all the pain and anger you feel when you see them. Of course this is easier said than done and I’m not claiming that I do it, although I do have the experience of having forgiven my dad’s killers and never wished for them to even be in jail. The feeling of this forgiveness, although it has just happened once directly to me, is still liberating in many ways. In the spiritual dimension of this issue, I would believe that Sam is in a journey where he’s pouring as much love as he thinks he has on to these children. If there is a message from God to him, it was this. I think the message was “let me love these children through you” and Sam said “Yes…ok” not knowing what that implies to his spiritual journey.
Sam’s background or life’s history is not a happy nor a peaceful one. He only knows the ways of violence, judgement and prejudice, and so do many of us. And because of that, the task is double. For Sam to let God love these children through him, he must learn to love himself, he must let God love him and clean him from his own baggage of violence, judgement, attention and approval seeking. Clearly he’s not quite there yet. So what is happening here is that Sam said to God “Yes, but we’ll do it my way”. Which is what many of us do as the comments supporting him show us. By taking this position, he accepted the task to love these children, but didn’t take the challenge to love himself and drop his cross. He is loving them his way, not God’s way. As a consequence, his actions are “faulty”. And I don’t think that is necessarily wrong or a bad thing. He is showing us what happens when we say “yes” to God partially. It is the world we have here today.
Do I have any evidence of this?? Other than what God tells me, no. So I can’t show you any tangible facts to back my arguments. That is often the case with God’s matters. Only hope and faith in Life moves me to write this today. I know one day we will all give God a full and committed “yes” when asked to let Him love others through us. That’s all his asking us: to let Him love us (clean our life’s history of pain, attachments, judgments, etc,.) and love others through us. And when I assert this, I’m not implying that one day you’ll believe what I believe or you’ll be a Christian. You’ll say “yes” in the language of love, which is the one language He speaks and He’ll listen regardless of the belief system you claim to follow.
I suppose there is a lot missing. Maybe reading Childer's book would give me a better insight into his life than watching the movie. The big lesson for me is what came up as I was writing the comment: Every attempt we make at helping others and solving the problems of the world, are an attempt to say "yes" to God's request. Just that we want to do it our way. To say yes completely committed, we also must say yes to God making a cleanse in our own lives. We must first accept His offering to love us. When we let that happen, we fill ourselves with love and then we can go and share that love with others.I noticed you are very strict with punctuation, grammar and spelling. Please accept my apologies in advance. English is not my first language. I did my best.