While stating or implying that religion is the cause of these and other wars, some liberal professors talk as if atheists would never engage in such evils. Yet, let’s not forget the atrocities of atheistic communism. Stalin was responsible for about 20 million deaths and Mao Zedong’s regime for approximately 70 million. Pol Pot, who led the Communist Party faction known as the Khmer Rouge, killed over 1.5 million of his own Cambodian people.6 Add to these numbers the atrocities committed by Soviet dictators like Lenin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev.
Our world constantly preaches that you can do or be anything you want until it is offended at what you are doing or what you are. Then a switch flips, a mob forms, and the pitchforks are unleashed. Holiness is replaced by autonomy and justice by rage. In the midst of this environment, Scripture calls us to be people of the towel rather than people of the pitchfork. Jesus modeled this for us when he washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17) without exception or expectation. This was not a simple object lesson but an example of perfect service that reflected Jesus’ humility when he came to earth (Philippians 2:1-11). Jesus then asked his disciples to imitate him in washing one another’s feet. People of the towel grasp that Jesus wants us to humbly and lovingly serve others in every human interaction.
I love my wife more now than I ever have in my life. Maybe that’s because we’ve had twenty-seven years to actually practice those vows and learn what it truly means to love someone with all of your heart. Have there been bumps in the road? Absolutely? But we refused to drive the marriage into the ditch. Instead, we stopped, both got out and patched the holes in the road.
There is next to nothing that can be accomplished by anger that can’t better be accomplished by love to a greater purpose. There’s nothing that needs anger to be accomplished that can’t better be accomplished by love with a more lasting impact.
Some people talk about wanting to resolve their conflicts, but more often, they really have a secret, sometimes subconscious agenda to keep the fight going. The trick is figuring out what’s really underneath. Are they all Christianese and just looking to swap big Christian words like knives? Or do they want to model what Jesus said, risk being wronged, and through that, experience just how big God is?
Your greatest test will be how you handle someone who mishandled you.
I don’t think Bible verses were meant to be thrown like grenades at each other. They were meant for us to use to point each other toward love and grace and invite us into something much bigger.
Revival looks like family; family is messy. Generations working together can be tense, and it’s not easy. There might be tension in it, but without tension, you can’t make music because if you take the tension out of guitar strings, the guitar can’t sing.
The world needs to see a church who can keep her love on. It needs to see mature sons and daughter of God, powerful people who know how to walk in freedom, practice intimacy, clean up their messes, and who invite people around them to become powerful and free lovers.