Is The Lord’s Prayer Based on 1 Chronicles 29?

Is the Lord’s Prayer based on David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29? It’s hard to miss the similarity of the doxology at the end: “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty…” (1Chron 29:10) and the rest has interesting similarities & parallels. Below is a comparison with common ideas & themes from 1 Chronicles 29 following the Lord’s Prayer with verses noted in parenthesis.

Our father which art in heaven | Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father… (10) …thou art exalted as head above all. (10)

“Our Father” who is above All.

Hallowed be thy name | Blessed be thou, Lord God ; O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. (10) …We…praise thy glorious Name. (13) …thine holy Name cometh of thine hand…(16)

“Thy Name”, like “Our Father” is also holy, blessed, exalted & glorious. His Name is exalted & unlike (holy/hagios) any other name (Philippians 2:9) and comes entirely from Himself.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven | Thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. (12) …all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom… (11)

“Thy Kingdom” will come because God’s reigns over everything. Thine is the Kingdom.

Give us this day our daily bread | all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (14) …Both riches and honor come of Thee…(12)

Everything comes from God from the daily necessity to “riches & honor”.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors | For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers (15)

Debtors & Strangers: This might be the theme that is the most tentative. But remember that God persistently reminds us to treat the stranger as we would want to be treated. Why? Because we are also a stranger. The rationale that one ought treat someone who is in an disadvantaged state  well because they also are or were in that same disadvantaged state. See Exodus 22:21 “You shall not wrong a [debtor/stranger]… for you were [debtors/stranger]…”

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil | (17-19) …Thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness… prepare their heart unto thee… And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes

“Temptation” & “Deliverance”. Temptation is a test. God “tests” the heart. God searches the…heart. (Revelation 2:23).  God tries the reigns & heart.” (Jeremiah 11:20) And God delivers from every test & trouble (Psalm 34:19), that is, “gives…a perfect heart”.

For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever. | Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty… (11) …for ever and ever. (10)

“Thine is the Kingdom” needs no comment as it is essentially identical.

The contextual parallels are also interesting.

  • A Son is looking forward to building the great “Temple of God”
  • A Son establishing the eternal Kingdom of God on earth
  • A Son who would soon sit on the throne
  • A prayer to prepare a People to build God’s Temple & Kingdom

The Apostles Favorite Bible Passage & Ascension Day: Why Have Christians Forgotten Both?

The loss of perception that Jesus (really) is Lord & has all power in heaven and earth now and that this conviction was a supreme, animating force for early Christians and should also be for Christians today is no more apparent than in the loss of the supremacy of the Psalm 110 event in the imagination of the Christian church and the corresponding loss of recognition & observance of Ascension Day.

Today the majority of Christians in the USA celebrate July the 4th but, according to my informal survey in Lancaster Pennsylvania, have no clue when or what Ascension Day even is. We call people who don’t have a basic knowledge about the country they are citizens of irresponsible at best and scandalously ignorant at worst. The Ascension of Christ to rule the world is basic knowledge about the Kingdom of God and I’ll let you draw your conclusions about what this says about Christians of our day.

Many American Christians are quite unaware that the writers of the New Testament had a favorite passage and that it is Psalm 110. Depending on how you figure it ties with references to the 10 Commandments & the Shema (Love God with your all), but by most counts, references & allusions to Psalm 110 far surpasses those other passages. And these references to Psalm 110 are not just incidental comments, but points of high theological significance: A riddle by Jesus that permanently silenced the Jewish rulers, the answer to Pilate’s most important question at Jesus’ trial, the Jewish ruler’s reason for Jesus’ death, the clinching point of Peter’s sermon on Pentecost and more. The scandalous thing is that most Christians haven’t heard about Psalm 110 and even if you tell them the passage they have no idea what it contains. Clearly the NT writers and our emphasis has shifted! Not to keep you in suspense, lets look at Psalm 110:

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool...Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek… –Psalm 110:1,4

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

We won’t take time to explain the whole passage here (even though it is well worth the time) but just want to cover some of the most important ideas:

  • Jesus Has All Power in the World Now
  • Jesus is now King of the World
  • Jesus’ Kingship is Characterized by Peace & Justice

Jesus Has All Power

For the first Christians something shocking had happened to the earth: It had received a new King. The world had a new President. This was staggering news that shook the world. It made the stars of world that then was fall from the sky. The importance & power of Roman emperors who were always headline news were suddenly eclipsed by a blinding light from heaven & a new reality: Jesus of Nazareth had become the supreme ruler of the world. Paul in Philippians 2 talked about this earth shattering fact in this way: “God hath highly exalted Jesus and given him a name which is above every name…which the whole world will worship…”

Jesus Has All Power Now

When is Jesus Lord, when is Jesus King, and when is Jesus all powerful? Now. All Power is given Me in heaven and earth. (Mt 28:18)In Paul’s day already Jesus had been given a name that is above every name. (Ph 2) And Psalm 110 notes this would happen while enemies are still being subdued. Contrary to common conceptions it seems Jesus can have all power while allowing enemies, which demonstrates that Jesus’ power is of a similar nature to God’s power & nature who is all powerful but at the same time allows human choosing.

Jesus Now Has All Power on Earth

Many are fine saying “Jesus is Lord”, and that Jesus has all power in heaven, but get a little uneasy to make the claim which Mt 28:18 does, which is to say Jesus has all power on earth. How we account for Jesus having all power on earth while He is still “conquering”? I think the key is how God & Jesus wield “All Power”. Which brings us to the last point…

Jesus Now Has All Power On Earth…And It Looks Like Justice & Peace

Who is this Melchizedek guy which Jesus’ rule would be “ordered after”? He holds the key to what kind of rule the all power Christ has and which will inevitably conquer the world. He is the king of Peace. He is the one whose name means king of Justice. (Melek=king; tsadeq=justice) He is the priest of the “most High God”. He brings “bread & wine” which is incredibly hard not to associate with the broken body & shed blood of Christ. After Abraham’s communion with the king of Justice & Peace he adamantly refuses to benefit from war in any way. Some writers note that after Abraham’s meeting with the king of Justice & Peace he saves those in the city by pleading with God instead of killing the enemy.

Why have Christians lost an awareness that Jesus is Lord? Perhaps because we have lost the emphasis that is now sitting at the right hand of God and that Jesus is now truly Lord of the World? Perhaps because we are not convinced that Jesus has All Power, That Jesus has all power Now, That Jesus has all power now in heaven & In Earth. And that Jesus’ all power, now, in heaven & earth looks like Melek of Tsadeq & Shalom and that this power is conquering the world even as we speak. And as Psalm 110 describes, Christ will not stop until there is total victory. If we are really convinced of this, taking a special day to commemorate & worship this ascended Lord seems a very appropiate (if strange to our culture) thing to do.

 

 

The Political Threat of Baby Jesus That First Idyllic Christmas

What is often edited out, or, at the least dramatically muted in the telling of the Christmas story is the political threat that baby Jesus, King of the Jews & King of Kings, seemed to pose to the powers that were, that first idyllic Christmas!

A perceived political threat to which the politicians had one unified solution: death…killing babies and grownups who threatened the “security” of the nation. Perhaps the Kings of the Earth overestimated the political threat of the King of Kings? Or were the Kings of the Earth more finely attuned to actual threats to their power?

Is it using too much imagination to see hints of the future in Herod and Pilate? The prior aligning with the tendencies of the Left and latter with the tendencies of the Right? But both unified in wielding the power of Death during the rise and rule of the King of Life who would conquer Death Itself.

Then Herod…was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem… -Matthew 2:16

Matthew 2:16 – Then Herod…was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not

…He [Pilate] delivered Him to be crucified. -Matthew 27:26

Acts 4:26, 27 – The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou has anointed, both Herod, and Pontias Pilate, with Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together….

This Christmas let’s celebrate the Prince of Peace and Life. Let’s remember its the King of Kings who “so loved the World”, which included the babies and grownups who threaten the peaceful status quo. Let’s remember that what we do to the least of our fellow humans, we are doing to Jesus Himself. And let us, like the King of the Jews, not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with Good.

http://biblehub.com/matthew/2-16.htm
http://biblehub.com/matthew/2-18.htm
http://biblehub.com/acts/4-26.htm

What Is The Basis for Justice for God’s People?

Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Isaiah 1:15-20 is an incredible passage that graphically underlines what God sees as the fundamental basis for justice: love & taking up the cause of the oppressed, orphans & widows. (strangers?) justice is the opposite of “hands that kill”, it is hands who take up the cause of “the other” & “the stranger”. From Genesis to the prophets, to Revelation this is our God. It is Jubilee (freeing the oppressed, wealthy being voluntarily more than fair with poor, etc.) and Sabbath (rest for all, STRANGER included) that was envisioned as bringing lasting peace, justice & liberty throughout the land (quoted on American liberty bell). When Jesus came and stood up in the Temple, He effectively said, “I am instituting the much awaited Jubilee!” Jesus championed a new Kingdom based on Jubilee, and rejected violence as the needed foundation for justice and concretely rejected violent revolution (Peter) and death for breaking the law (woman caught in adultery/John 8:4). James is in perfect harmony with the the God of the OT, the prophets and spirit of Jesus when he says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
Some versions of “justice” might be blind, but not God’s version.

An Anabaptist’s Thoughts on David Wood vs Shabir Ally Debate: “Is the Bible a Book of Peace?”

I found this debate fascinating from a Mennonite/Anabaptist-Christian perspective and glad to see Christians defending that the Bible calls for peace. As I was listening to the debate I wrote down some random thoughts, and after talking to a friend about the debate who wanted to see my scribbling’s, I decided to post them. Below is an outline of the debate and some commentary. Enjoy.

—David Wood’s Opening Statement—

David Wood’s opening statement is very powerful. It is powerful precisely because it emphasizes Jesus’ call to peace and does not attempt to justify violence of any sort. Wood gives his personal testimony of overcoming his own violent tendencies (2:14). He notes that apostles Peter, John & Paul were all also changed from having a willingness to be violent in the name nationalism or religion to calling for love to all men. (7:32)  Wood notes that “Jesus emphasized love as a core Christian virtue”, “violence leads to violence and causes a cycle of violence” (10:27), “when you see what God did there is no room for hating other people”, “the impact of Jesus on Stephen is that he did not want to see guilty people punished” (12:00), “Christians voluntarily give up their liberty to love others”, (12:40), and “for three centuries they never fought back…and shed no blood but their own” (13:25). Wood notes that the Bible has caused Christians to be involved in loving their fellowmen in innovative ways for their times: Ended gladiatorial games, condemned infanticide, help needy people, took care of orphans, built first hospitals, and created hospitals for the mentally ill. Wood wraps up with “Violence came to an end with the Gospel” (19:29) and a summarizing statement he used various times throughout the debate: “the final marching orders of the Bible are “love everyone”…and “live in peace with everyone“. (19:39).

If I was to summarize Wood’s points on why the Bible is a book of peace:

  1. Wood’s personal life testimony
  2. Historical life testimonies of apostles & many Christians since
  3. Jesus communicated love & peace as core virtue
  4. Christian influence on Roman society & acts of charity

I would note that as a nonresistant Mennonite Christian I could agree with nearly everything Wood said in his open statement as there was little mention of exceptions for justifying violence for the Christian.

—Shabir Ally’s Opening Statement—

Shabir Ally starts by noting he has 4 criteria for determining if a book is peaceful:

  1. How does the book present its hero’s? (21:35)
  2. Does the book command people to live in peace? (22:19)
  3. Does the book put together a legal system that allows people to live in peace? (22:42)
  4. Does the book outline a just war theory? (23:06)

I think Ally’s criteria are valid.

Criteria 1: He gives several points to attempt to argue his criteria 1, that the Bible presents it’s hero’s as violent: the NT in Hebrews 11 presents violent conquerors as hero’s (28:20): Samson killing Philistines, David killing 200 Philistines for their foreskins &Samuel tell Saul to kill all the Amalekites.

Criteria 2: Ally immediately grants that the Bible passes his criteria 2 & that the Bible commands people to live in peace.

Criteria 3: Ally argues that the Bible creates no “universal system to live in peace” (36:51) in our day because 1) Christians do not clearly envision the church as an alternative social order to modern nation-states, but envision their social order & vision of war & peace guided by nation-states in which they live [This is implied, then stated by Wood, then added as an argument by Ally in a response] (xx:xx) 2) the Bible gives title deed of land to Israel and Palestinians may not live there & Israeli’s coercively take Palestinian land (36:40) and 3) NT reaffirms the Biblical title deed to the land of Palestine (37:44).

Criteria 4: On just war, Ally argues that  1) the Bible “affirms genocide over & over” (38:00) and 2) the Bible does not lay out a rationale for just war.

Next Ally gives a rebuttal of Wood’s summarizing statement that “the final marching orders of the Bible are ‘love everyone'” by arguing 1) The final picture in Revelation is that when Jesus returns He will be violent (39:10), 2) In Isaiah 63 God is shown with bloody garments from dead enemies & in the end Jesus will be like this (39:40), and 3) In Psalm 110 Jesus will have his feet on His slain enemies (40:20)

Ally’s final summarizing statement is “The Bible is both a book of love and a book of war and dreadful violence.” (40:40) and one can pick and choose between love and violence.

—Wood’s Response—

Critieria 1 (hero representation) Response: Wood spends most of his time arguing that in the OT “hagiographic hyperbole” (49:43) was being used and that genocide was not being carried out. I think Wood does a persuasive job of arguing this, but the challenge is that in Wood’s success he seems to prove Ally’s point that the Bible is presenting a people that brag & boast about their violence.

Criteria 2 (peace command) Response: Heb 12:14 commands to “pursue peace with all men”. Success.

Criteria 3 (universal system of peace) Response: 1) Wood agrees that “Christianity is not about creating a legal system”. (50:30This seems to indicate Wood is granting Ally is correct that Bible does not create a universal system for creating peace. But then he notes 2) “Love your neighbor as yourself will work regardless of government” (50:30). 3) Next Wood seems to agree with Ally that the Bible doesn’t have a peaceful resolution to land dispute and attempts to resolve this by saying Koran also supports this non peaceful solution.  Arguing that the Bible does not give a peaceful solution by saying some other book agrees with a non peaceful solution is not an argument for the Bible being a book of peace, but just that everyone is agreeing peace is not needed in this scenario.

Criteria 4 (just war) Response: 1) Wood argues the Bible gave rise to just war theory, although he acknowledges Cicero came up with just war theory before Christians. (51:50) An objection to this response might be: If Cicero was Roman, why do the Romans not get credit for just war theory? 2) The way Wood says the Bible gave rise to just war theory is that “Christians needed to run Roman Empire and …wanted to reconcile Romans 13 curbing evil with loving neighbor and enemy”. Some questions that might weaken this response:  Did Christians “need to run the Roman Empire”? Does the “reconciling” above change Jesus’ call to “love everyone” into something more like “love some”? Does it change/modify Jesus’ “final marching orders”? This argument could make it appear that “love everyone” was not a final marching, but just an unequivocal marching order until “needing to run the Roman Empire”, and after that “love All” became “love your neighbor & fight your enemy”. 3) Romans 13 plus Acts 25, you have just war theory right there. (1:23:13)

Wood does not deal with Ally’s comments about how Revelation seems to end Bible violently.

Some of my conclusions:

Criteria 1/Hero Representation-Failed: I think that this debate is a bit awkward because the question should probably be “Does Jesus Create of People of Peace?”. Is the OT violent? Yes. As Wood argues persuasively to salvage the OT from genocide he clearly demonstrates that the OT warriors boasted about their violence. He may have delivered them from genocide, but not a lot of violence.  What could be an alternative approach to this challenge? 1) The Jewish self understanding was that they needed to look to God to defend them and God minimized the escalation of violence by calling His people to not multiply military machinery like “chariots & horses”. The Jewish self understanding was that faith in God, not a strong military was what preserved them. This is demonstrated by battles clearly unwinnable by traditional armies. (Jericho, Midianites, Red Sea, etc) 2) Wood could have noted that Jesus himself noted that “you used to be commanded to love your neighbors and hate your enemies but I say unto you something new… love.” When God came to earth, His conquering was done using love.

Criteria 2/Peace Command-Succeeded: This was never much of a point in the debate but it was well demonstrated in Wood’s opening.

Criteria 3/Universal system for peace-Not a Strong Response: Wood started out great, saying that Jesus calls Christians to love ALL. That sounds like a “universal system of peace” to me, but unfortunately in Wood’s subsequent responses he whittles away at the idea of a “universal system for peace” and the “ALL”. Wood himself seems to not envision that Jesus organized a people into a new social order, a kingdom of peace, but rather that Christian’s defer to governments they live in on the matter of which enemies are loved or fought and killed. but, he adds, personally “loving all”. He further weakens the “universal system for peace” by defending that the Bible (& thus Jesus?) supports taking Palestinian land and/or the right to defend it by violent means if necessary. Ally rightly calls out that if the Bible says this, then it does not have a solution for peace today. Finally, since Wood feels compelled to support just war theory he needs to support sometimes having enemies that you violently resist, which seems to take the sharp edge on his point that Jesus’ final word is to love everyone. Wood seems to be (once again) inadvertently making one of Shabir Ally’s main points: That the Bible supports both violence AND peace. What might be an alternative response to the challenge that the Bible creates a “universal system for peace”? Intriguingly Wood gave a powerful argument for Christianity as a “universal system for peace” when he noted that “for three centuries they [Christians] never fought back…and shed no blood but their own” (13:25). When early Christians did not envision themselves as needing to run the Roman Empire they envisioned and were a people who embodied a way of life that was a “universal system for peace”. During this period no Christian violently defended their property rights which would answer Ally’s question about land & peace. In short, Christians viewed themselves as a people & kingdom organized in a totally new way, that is, solely around love and peace and a willingness to die as a martyr rather than kill those who would wrong them. This was in sharp contrast to every empire that has existed.

Criteria 4/Just War-Not a Strong Response: I think Ally is correct that the Bible supports holy war (violent holy war in the OT) but does not build a case for just war theory in the OT or NT. Wood himself notes that just war theory was an idea borrowed from prior Greek/Roman thinkers like Cicero. (51:50). In the NT Jesus builds a case for love that seemed to leave the early church under the impression there was no need for justifying war of any sort, which is exactly how the church lived for several centuries, according to Wood. (13:25). It seems that the way an early Christian might have answered criteria 4 & 5 is that Christians (that is those that live like Christ) are a people who have faith that love, peace and blessing enemies is the #1 “weapon” in overcoming the world and a people so ordered clearly have a system that if adopted by all will bring peace and have no need of justifying war.

Point that Revelation ends the Bible in violence: -MORE COMING-

Point that peace and violence are found in the Bible: In short, many Christian have a view that seems to validates this perception.  -MORE COMING-

IMHO, the discussions on the Koran do not seem to be relevant to this debate, both when Ally and Wood bring it up. (they may be relevant to the larger Christian/Muslim discussion, but they should not be needed to prove the Bible is a book of peace)

Yes, the Bible is a book of Peace! Sadly too often we have interpreted it into a book of violence because our faith in the overcoming power of the Cross of the slain Lamb has wavered. It is hard to have one hand on a weapon to kill our enemies while witnessing to the power of Cross to overcome our enemies with love. But the Christian church’s failings do not change that God is, as the Apostle Paul repeatedly reminded us, a “God of Peace”. A God who came to bring not only bring peace “in hearts”, but peace among those who are not reconciled to one another, that is, peace “on earth”! Let us have faith and let us have hope! The Slain Lamb has conquered! Let us follow Him!

Anabaptist Ideas Are Not Wrong They Just Have a Wrong Relationship With What They Believe?

Mennonites and unacculturated Anabaptists are a people criticized for not knowing the reasons for their beliefs, knowing the reason & keeping it to themselves, or for being knowledgeable and defending the reasons for their beliefs.

unacculturated Anabaptists are a people criticized for not knowing the reasons for their beliefs, knowing the reason & keeping it to themselves, or for being knowledgeable and defending the reasons for their beliefs.

They are criticized for ignorance, quietism or sectarianism which seems cover every possible relationship one might have to beliefs. The fact that all three positions are a problem seems an indicator that the only way to escape this quandry of stupidity, self-interest or dogmatic pride is to join the critics perspective at which point the new beliefs & practices presumably become simple faithful obedience, strong and quiet faith or a powerful and excellent apologetic.

Since one can always be criticized for their relationship to their beliefs (and perhaps even rightly in many instances) a more fruitful way to move forward might be to discuss the beliefs themselves and if they are valid and conform to Jesus’ example.

Is the Christian Question “What is torture?” or “What is Love?”

I’ve read the recently released “Study of CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program” report. [1] It surely cannot but make any Christian who accepts that these deeds are done in their name look at themselves and say “Who are we?” Are we truly as committed to “the means justifies the end” as we thought or does the image we see in the mirror that is produced by this formula shock us into reconsideration?

If we take some seriously we almost get the idea the most important question the image in the mirror raises is “What is torture?” This question neatly preserves “the means justifies the end”. But if we take Jesus seriously the question for the Christian is not “What is torture?” but “What is Love?” “What is Love?”, taken seriously, does not neatly preserve our previous ways of being.

Eric Metaxas, in a Breakpoint article [2], puts his finger on the right question by asking “Who are we?” but does not go so far as to ask “What is Love?”. I find it interesting that he quotes as the authority on why torture is wrong: Pope John Paul II and his encyclical “The Splendor of Truth”. I couldn’t agree with Metaxas (& Pope John Paul II) more that torture is “intrinsically evil” A question though is why do we look to Pope John Paul II, Rick Warren & others for input on how we should treat our enemies, but not Jesus Himself?

Jesus, in His best “selling” Sermon (which has incidentally been on the world “times” top 10 list for about 2000 years) said: “…I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” [3] Jesus goes on to say “What you do to the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me” [4] Are “the least of these my brethren” only starving children in other lands?

Why do we need to invoke 2nd party authorities to tell us “The use of physical and psychological violence to extract information ‘is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity'”?

I get the distinct idea Jesus is not only clearly against torture, but goes much further. Why do we need to invoke 2nd party authorities to tell us “The use of physical and psychological violence to extract information ‘is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity'”? Why can the Christian not rest firmly on the Ethic of Christ Himself? Would it require a too radical break with systems that depend on what Christ forbids?

Is it perhaps because Christ demands too much? Is Christ’s great Love going just a little too far? In asking us not only to not torture but to Love, to bless, to do good and pray…is Jesus’ Love asking too much? Is it because if we would take Jesus’ ethics seriously the ramifications are too radical? Is it because our current and ongoing ethics would fall under condemnation and “be slain” when clearly exposed to “the Sword proceeding out of His mouth”?

The questions are eternally valid: “Who are we?” “What is Love?”
[1] Study of CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf
[2] http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/26559
[3] Matthew 5:34-48: http://biblehub.com/matthew/5-44.htm
[4] Matthew 24:40 http://biblehub.com/matthew/25-40.htm