Director Rob Lurie wrote on his Facebook page this week regarding the bombing of the US embassy in Libya , “Once again, religious zeal has resulted in blood and tragedy. This time the mayhem was the result of an idiotic YouTube video.” As Rob indicates, this Embassy bombing was a terrible tragedy.
It’s important at this time to remember what Jesus said. “Put your sword back in its place for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)
As Christians, we must remember the fruit of the Spirit which includes love, peace, patience, gentleness and goodness. The Spirit also teaches us “self-control”. Jesus did not support violence as a solution.
How did Jesus live? He lived in prayer. He knew Scripture well and on several occasions, quoted it. When violence occurred as in the case of Peter attempting to protect him in the Garden, Jesus commanded Peter to “Put your sword away!” (John 18:11)
We as Christians need to live by a different sword.
As Hebrews 4:12 eloquently says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
We need to take hold of the double-edged sword of Scripture.
Recently at a Salvation Army fund-raiser when the Bible was mentioned, there was audible booing. I was surprised. The very name of the not-for-profit organization comes from the New Testament started by Christian men and women.
The Bible is not fashionable today.
People speak of it as if it were arcane.
But the Bible, as John Stott says has a double authorship and should affect the way we read it. “Because it is the word of men, we shall study it like every other book, using our minds, investigating its words and syntax, its historical origins and its literary composition. But because it is also the word of God, we shall study it like no other book, on our knees, humbly, crying out to God for illumination and for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, without whom we can never understand his word.”
The Bible still is the great sword of the new covenant.
The world will always have trouble and violence. And as John Stott says, “Not until Christ comes will swords be beaten into ploughshares….”
But we are called to live by a different sword….