• Still pondering the indignation I garner saying,
    1) Comfort the victimized
    then
    2) Convert the victimizers
    Love for enemies IS the Gospel.
  • Are we so worried showing Islam’s brutality we stop figuring how to reach Muslims with Jesus the Savior?
  • All I have to do to destroy someone is delay sharing Law & Gospel until they’re dead in spirit or fact. Always someone more deserving, yes?
  • It is way easier to evangelize housewives than rapists, college students than drug dealers, to plan potluck dinners instead of prison trips.
  • A church lady said once, “Let them clean up their act and then come to church.” But the Gospel IS the cleanser, the Church a washer & drier.
  • We are not called to a life of comfort, but our comforter walks with us in a life of temporary hardship unto eternal glory.
  • And It Is Glorious
  • It seemed impossible to love the terrible, until I realized I was terrible to the Savior who died for me.
  • I suppose people haven’t changed. The church told Padraig my father’s people were inhuman rapists, slavers, idolaters, and murderers.
  • Padraig was forbidden to go evangelize to those scum. Their victims in England & France deserved his ministration far more.
  • Padraig went to his kidnappers instead of the kidnapped. He went to the people who killed the people of his town & preached freedom to slavers
  • Padraig loved his enemies and remembered that the healthy do not need the physician, but the sick. The reavers of Europe heard of Christ.
  • And in Christ the tribe of my father stopped sending pillagers to my mother’s people, and sent missionaries instead. & more.
  • And in Christ my people turned from the darkness of our own evil to the light of Christ.
  • So I will never stop calling for mission to the evil, in the name of the Paschal Victim of our own evil. THAT is the heart of the Gospel.
  • THAT is the love at which the world will wonder, incomprehensible and countercultural love that transforms people, nations, history itself.
  • Moreover, that is the Way of Christ, who died for us while we were his natural enemies, and told us to go and love others the same way.
  • How dare I call for the Gospel to the wicked? [Ask instead] how DARE I defy my Lord and require anything less than the comfort he first showed me?
  • How could I dare to desire a forgiveness less than we have already received, unearned, unsought, undeserved? How could I dare say…
  • “Depart from me, evildoer!” and pray the Lord’s prayer, with the very words of damnation echoing in my heart as I ask forgiveness myself?
  • No. The Gospel of God come down to sinners and enemies for the joy of our return demands I echo in my own most pathetic attempts, to say:
  • My enemy, I love you because Christ first loved me. My injurer, listen to the good news of the Great Physician who can heal us both!
  • My hater, here is the patience and kindness that Christ showed me, his enemy, until I became his immortal friend.
  • Perhaps I am a fool to love my enemies, but I would rather be a fool begging God for their well-being than the worldly wise so focused on…
  • …what has been done to me that I absolve myself of the words of Christ himself.
  • I desperately need mercy, so I will show the mercy I have received, and that mercy says to me, the condemned, “Forgiven, brother, & friend.”
  • How can I know the joy of such love and withhold from the needy such news from above?

Shortly after I posted this rant on Twitter, an excellent fellow @adefeatedvictor referred me to this excellent post by Bonnie Petroshuk “Both the Abused and the Abuser”.  It is worth the read, and they are both worth following!

 

I am going to go into further detail on this in my next post specifically about the relationship between the two, but for here it is enough to say this.

I have never and will never say that the God of All Comfort who abides with us in our every pain in life is not the ultimate trust and hope for victims of others’ sins, be they sexual, verbal, or sins of omission.  God is their ultimate hope and trust.  And I have spoken briefly (because I despise having to speak about it in public) about some things I learned through my own sexual victimization.

But that cannot be the end of the Gospel.  It isn’t enough to be on the side of the weak against the wicked who are strong.  Through the Gospel we are called to share the only power on earth that can make the strong good.  Not only did Jesus know, anticipate, love, and die for those who hurt us just as much as he knew, anticipated, loved, and died for us, but the power of God is the only hope to make the predators into protectors, to make No More Victims more than a pipe dream.  Until we change the wolf, the sheep will never be totally safe, but Jesus is the Good Shepherd for the sheep and the only hope for the wolf as well.

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
-Isaiah 65:25 ESV

 

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