Friday, May 17, 2013

We Are Not Enemies

Bombed-out building in central Kenya

You are not my enemy. I am not your enemy. Not really.

If we view and treat one another as enemies, we are engaged in vain warfare.

If an army starts to shoot at its own, thus waging war within itself, this battle is not only a pseudo-battle, it's going to lead to defeat by the actual enemy. If the actual enemy can get us to destroy ourselves, it has won.

We are not enemies, because we are flesh and blood. If something has flesh and blood it cannot be our enemy.

As Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12 - our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore we are not to struggle against one another.

Yes, it's true that humans can be tempted, deceived, and even used by the dark powers. (see Eph. 2:2; 4:14) But when that happens let’s battle the real enemy, right? As Ben Witherington writes: “It is all too easy to mistake the human vessel of evil for evil itself.” Let's pray that we never make that mistake, for if we do the days of hating and hurting and hiding from one another will have arrived.

 Our struggle is not essentially a human struggle.  

Our struggle is not with human beings, but with evil spiritual forces.

Let us learn about them, wage war with them, and wage peace with one another.