Jason Barr posted some interesting quote lately, from the didache, an old christian book from the same time as the New Testament:
If you love those who hate you, you shall not have enemies. – Didache 1.9
There was some discussion about how this does not apply to the devil, and indeed, I do believe that both the didache and Jesus speak about human enemies, not about the ‘Powers and authorities’ Paul describes.
A person that is against us is not the real enemy, but a human being created in Gods likeness and image. Seeing the person as the enemy is a distraction from the real evil… If s/he is channeling something evil then the evil is first and foremost destroying that hostile person him/herself. So we are to love all humans, and the real enemy is not of flesh and blood, but spiritual… Evil powers are never the friend of our human ‘enemies’, but their enemies as much as they are ours.
Likewise is the idea of non-violent liberation theology, that a real revolution sets both the oppressed AND the oppressor free. This is the real revolution, away from the never-ending spiral of violence… But even we as Christians seem to not be able to believe this… Which brings me to the ending quote:
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried – G. K. Chesterton
what do you think?
ps: coincidently I just read a very good article by Brian Mclaren on the subject of enemy-love: In responding to our enemy imitatively, in catching our enemy’s hostile spirit, we can become an even worse enemy to ourselves. We can do ourselves more damage than the enemy ever could. Recommended reading!