Generally most of us would agree that it is better to love than hate. Christ – throughout all His ministry – taught us about loving each other and doing so not because we like the other person, but because our Father loves us all. He loves good people and bad people and downright evil people. God would have forgiven even Hitler – not to mention those serving him – had he honestly repented of what he had done. God sent Christ to save all of us, not just the good people. Christ even told the pharisees as much:
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Sure, not everyone believes in God – to their loss – but it seems almost universal that we believe in loving each other. That is, if they are good enough or worthy enough or some other artificial and false limitation we as humans impose on our love. That is why, in our limited strength, we cannot love someone as we are called to show. We need God’s strength to love like that because only God can love like that (and to be clear, this has nothing to do with romantic love in the least, that sort of love is a different topic).
It sickens me to see the same people who claim to be able to love others call for the death of a 97-year old Nazi. Yes, that was the sentence that was meted out, and the consequences of his actions are real – in this world and the next if he hasn’t repented and made Christ his Lord and Savior. Yes, there are consequences in this life, but the man is already living out his last days without us lifting a finger. If he had any sort of attack of conscience, he’s had his life since WWII to remember all that he did. All that he was responsible for. That’s far worse than anything I could have imagined (and I used to think up of some sick and twisted ways of tormenting people).
It sickens me to hear people demand the death of a boy – and that is what he is by how he acted out – for what happened in Aurora, CO. Yes, a terrible tragedy happened there but the bigger tragedy would be us to move in a manner that would deny him the opportunity to repent and be saved. Not only would we kill his body, but we would be condemning his soul to an eternity in hell. I’m unwilling to be part of that. We are called to be a light to the world, to be the salt of this world. I’m no different then the secular humanist, or the abortionist, or other non-believer if I too were to hold such unforgiveness in my heart. God has forgiven us of much, how can we deny forgiveness for little?
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”