In his frustration over the government shutdown, a friend on Facebook made a case for Jesus’s support of anarchism. To which I responded with the following:
“Jesus was not calling into question the governmental system. Jesus was calling into question the religious system with radical love. Radical Love can put one in opposition to a governmental system and cost one his or her life as it did for Jesus, as it did and does for martyrs worldwide.
But when Jesus stood before Pilate, he submitted saying, “You would have no power over me if it hadn’t been given to you from above; this is why the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” He could have called down legions of angels to rescue Him and overthrow the government, but he didn’t because it wasn’t the government he was protesting.
Radical Love can cost me my life. Radical Love can cause me to be persecuted “for His name’s sake.”
Loving as Jesus loved, being Light in the darkness, this is the calling. This isn’t to say that I am for this shutdown, on the contrary, I’m as frustrated as anyone. But it is an opportunity for anyone to help those in need because of it.”
This isn’t meant as a political post. Hopefully we can agree that we are living in a time of great turmoil which is painful, disorderly and chaotic; making it all the more reason to consider Radical Love–what it looks like and how it can be demonstrated.
When I read through the gospels and several epistles, I found that much of what Jesus, Paul, Peter and James said can be noted in two words: action and attitude–show mercy, make peace, turn the other cheek, give over and beyond abundance, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, live in harmony, don’t judge, take care of widows and orphans, be compassionate, be humble, be quick to listen-slow to speak-slow to get angry.
In Matthew 7:12 Jesus said, “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teaching of the Torah and the Prophets.”
This is reflected in Hinduism as, “Knowing how painful it is to himself, a person should never do to others what he dislikes when done to him by others.” “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor,” in Judaism. Or in Islam, “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Radical Love eliminates our differences and unites us in our caring for one another.
Radical Love isn’t just random acts of kindness. Radical Love is intentional acts of kindness that ask for nothing in return. St. Francis of Assisi is given credit for saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” My interpretation is, Love Radically, use words as needed.
You may not identify as Christian, you may not identify as believing in God; whatever your belief system, what is the harm in loving Radically?
Even if it isn’t easy or doesn’t change this crazy world, could it not lessen even one human being’s suffering? Could it not bring peace to your heart, mind and soul?
I am not a rose-colored-glasses optimist, but as a child of the 70’s there was a song (by The Seekers) in a Coke commercial that, to this day, I still find heartening and with it I will close.
I’d like to build the world a home, and furnish it with love;
grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves.
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company.
I’d like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand
and hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land.