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“Love your enemies.”—MATTHEW 5:44.
Throughout the United States and other countries, hatred and animosity between race and ethnic groups (Caucasians, Blacks, and Latinos), as well as worldview ideologies (Black Lives Matters, Antifa, Leftist Marxism), not to mention political ideologies (conservatism vs liberalism and capitalism vs socialism), and religious beliefs (Christianity vs Atheism). Over the last two months in the United States, the groups, Black Lives Matters, Antifa, Leftist Marxists, and anarchists have burned down churches, slaughtered elderly people, assaulted persons because of their skin color, killed police officers, burned down hundreds of business, taken over parts of cities, and much more, causing hundreds of billions of dollars. Hatred for different races, Judeo-Christian values, worldviews has been brewing embers for decades, with an occasional fire. The cycle of hate has now burned out of control ever more quickly here in 2020, fed by ignorance, prejudice, and propaganda. All of this during a worldwide pandemic. While some leaders are groping for solutions, the more radical elements are taking advantage of the worldwide distress over COVID 19.
The best solution to all of this strife has been with us for 2,000 years, namely, “Love your enemies.” That advice is not only the best answer to the rising problem of hate and prejudice but the only practical solution! Yes, the skeptical attitude is that ‘living one’s enemies’ is idealistic and impossible. What we fail to realize is, hatred is a learned behavior, so the idea that one can unlearn it is not unreasonable. Those three words by Jesus Christ are the only hope for humanity. If applied, it is reasonable to put aside even long-standing hatred. Jesus expected that his listeners would love persons who had caused them tremendous hurt and pain by subjecting them to oppressive taxes, manipulative political policies, abuse, and treating them unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
The Meaning of “Love” Here In Matthew 5:44
When Jesus used the common Greek word for “love” (agape), he was not referring to the deep affection that one might have with close friends. It can have the meaning of “great affection for” but also loyalty towards, being motivated or governed by principle. This kind of love is our being concern for others, regardless of the way that they have formerly treated us, or how others of the past have treated our ancestors.
Agape love can, therefore, transform personal hostilities, malice, and animosities. Jesus himself showed such love when he could have actually destroyed the Roman soldiers who aided in his execution. Rather, he prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”—Luke 23:34.
Many countries have allowed their education system to be governed in the same way as the United States. For a generation, the vast majority of our educators from the grade schools to the colleges and universities have been teaching the children to hate American values, capitalism, Judeo-Christian values, conservativism, and have been feeding the children misinformation and propaganda. All of this with powerful race-baiters stirring the flames of many decades past and even centuries ago, as though it was still what we have today. Embedded in the American government and big business is socialistic desires even though this governmental philosophy has destroyed one county after another. Therefore, is it realistic to believe that these elements in the United States will welcome Jesus’ teachings fully and overnight with far-reaching success and we will all love one another? No, for the Bible itself shows that the “evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13) Nevertheless, we as individuals can have an impact on the cycle of hate by becoming thoroughly educated through a study of the Bible and to be well informed about the current affairs. We can learn to resist the superabundance of hate whirling around us. What can we do on a grander scale?
1 Timothy 2:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, [why?] that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Certainly, logic dictates that if we are urged to pray for a politician; then, we can clearly act on behalf of our prayer by voting for that politician. Why do we pray and vote for politicians? We vote for politicians that have a track record of passing legislation that will protect religious freedoms while we lead a peaceful and quiet life carrying out the great commission that Jesus gave us. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20, Acts 1:8) We cannot make large changes by ourselves but elected officials can. Paul did not say that we were to pray for Christian political leaders because there were none at that time. We are to vote for whatever the leader is, who will give us freedom of religion, a strong military force to protect us, a capitalistic government, conservative judges, and an economy that will allow us to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” as we await the return of Jesus Christ.
Tearing Down Ethnic and Racial Barriers by Letting Go of the Past
Can we aid in tearing down the walls of hate that separate us? How do we unradicalize the generation of young ones that now hold to the humanistic worldview, the socialistic form of government, and who is trying to divide us within? We do it, one person, at a time as individuals, and elect officials that can corrected our education system for the next generation. “And above all these things put on love, which is a perfect bond of union.” (Col. 3:14) We also need to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Pet 3:15) First, we need to be well informed about what is going on in the world and our communities and have an accurate knowledge of God’s Word. Then, we need to let our “speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person.”—Colossians 4:6.
How do we overcome the life that we may have honest had that involved inhumane treatment from others or even the government? If we become consumed with doing injustice to another or repaying injustices or even perceived injustices, this will begin a cycle or continue a cycle that will never end and we will go to the grave watching our great-grandchildren in the cycle of hatred. Rather, we need to apply and teach “Return evil for evil to no one. Take thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”—Romans 12:17-18.
A World With Less Hatred!
One day when Jesus returns, “He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) Thus, at that time, God himself will break the vicious cycle of hate once and for all. However, right now we need to get a handle on the corrupt worldviews and racial and ethnic divide that that is destroying our peace. Let’s look at the truth.
Is There a Superior Race?
“And he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.”—Acts 17:26.
IMPERFECT HUMAN VIEWPOINT: In the 20oth century racist ideologies have plagued humanity. We lost millions of lives because the Nazis believed that white people were superior to all other races. On the other hand, we have had the Democratic party in America from the middle of the 20oth century into the 21sy century stocking the flames of racism, never allowing the fire to die down. Some within the Democratic Party and the Democratic states and cities that have been run for decades by the liberals have left the black community without school choice (uneducated), locked up black father, drug and crime-infested, public housing, liquor stores on every corner, and plagued with Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. According to Merriam-Webster, eugenics is “the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population’s genetic composition.”
In the words of Margaret Sanger herself, the founder of Planned Parenthood, “The Pivot of Civilization” (1922): “We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.” From “Birth Control and Racial Betterment” (1919): “Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control. Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods.” Margaret Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” (1921): “Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue in the solution of racial, political and social problems.”
THE BIBLE’s VIEWPOINT: Acts 10:34-35 states: “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” The Christian biblical worldview is that no one race is superior to another. Jesus set the criterion for Christians: “you are all brothers.” (Matthew 23:8) He prayed that his followers would be one in the way they think, feel, and believe, “that they may all be one,” and the apostle Paul exhorted, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”.—John 17:20-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Will We Ever See Racial Equality?
“It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it”—Isaiah 2:2.
IMPERFECT HUMAN VIEWPOINT Continuous racial stress has been ginned up by those who build their political careers and line their pockets with money based on racial tensions to suggest that we will never make progress in the race relations. They argue that we will never see racial equality.
THE BIBLE’s VIEWPOINT God will end all racial tension one day and there will be perfect racial equality. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb [Jesus].”
In the meantime, we return to the apostle Paul’s words, “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, [why?] that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) We can make an impact as well-informed individuals and we can pray for and elect rulers that can pass policies that will give us a measure of peace in the meantime.
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