Why do good people suffer?

14 05 2014

Why do good people suffer?

A “Daily Encounter” reader shared how she heard a religious leader state that, “Christian women don’t have miscarriages.”
I remember hearing a college professor saying that Christians should never be depressed. And still others teach that every Christian should be healed.
Statements like these are totally false and can make some people feel very inferior, that they lack faith, that they’re not good enough for God to care about them, and can cause them to become very discouraged.
God used Paul to heal people, but God didn’t heal Paul. Paul didn’t say what his problem was, but he prayed three times and the answer he received from God was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Jesus raised Jarius’ daughter from the dead, but John the Baptist lost his head — and stayed dead!
The reality of life is that we live in a broken world, and everybody, at some time or another, is going to suffer either from loss, a broken relationship, physical suffering,
sickness, mental breakdown, etc., etc. And being a Christian isn’t going to save us from human problems.
True, some people suffer through foolish actions or irresponsible behavior, some suffer because of neglect, but many suffer just because suffering is a part of the human condition. And some people suffer because God allows them to be tested such as Job, who suffered from terrible boils and the loss of all of his children and said, “When he [God] has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, NIV).
And God allows some people to suffer so that “the work of God might be displayed in their life.”
Take the blind man in the Bible for example. The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:2-3, NIV).
The important thing to remember, regardless of the cause of our suffering, God wants to use our problems to help us grow and become stronger, more sensitive and healthier Christians. On the other hand, Satan wants to use our problems make us bitter and to destroy us. Then faced with trials, with God’s help we can become better, or we can just become bitter.
And that choice is ours.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, when trials come to me, help me always to remember that you want to use these to help me grow and to become a better person, also that you will be glorified. With your help I choose to become a better person. Gratefully in Jesus’ name. Amen.”





Live Together Before Marriage Get Divorced After Marriage: Strange World By Janet Smith

3 10 2013

 Live Together Before Marriage Get Divorced After Marriage: Strange World By Janet Smithcohabitation and divorce2

We live in a strange world in which people live together before marriage and get divorced after marriage. There is a much higher divorce rate for those who cohabit. The figures just go up and up. About 65 percent of those who cohabit before marriage get divorced. About 50 percent of the rest of the people do, but since more and more couples cohabit, the divorce rate is just going to just keep climbing and climbing.

As a matter of fact I think some people get divorced before they get married; that is, some people have two or three extended cohabitations, get “divorced” from them, and then they get married.

I feel I must apologize to those in this room who are younger than I. I often feel that my generation — I am 55 — owes anybody younger than we are a big apology. They call my father’s generation “the great generation”, they lived through a depression; they worked very hard. My parents are of that generation: they have been married 58 years. It’s just incredible. I think a good name for my generation would be “the stupid generation.” Whereas, my parent’s home is very well ordered, if you looked into my refrigerator, you wouldn’t know when I last did anything in that refrigerator. It’s a kind of scary place. I find it hard to pay my bills on time. I find it hard to get the oil changed in my car. I have a hard time doing what my parents do with great ease. In fact, my whole generation is pretty much always stressed out. We were exceptionally stupid in our youth. We were the generation that started the whole drug and sexual revolution. We went off to college and experimented with drugs. We thought that that’s what college is all about. We’ve got to smoke marijuana, if not take a little bit of cocaine and LSD. Yeah, well, why not? That’s what you do when you got to college. And certainly have sex. Our poor parents, they had to get married to get sex. They had to rush into marriage. We thought they probably married some totally unsuitable person so they could have sex. I remember hearing people say, “You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, so surely you wouldn’t get married without having a test drive. And you wouldn’t buy a car without taking several for a test drive. So certainly you would do that in respect to marriage. You’ve got to find what model you like.” We thought that way. That’s my generation.

My generation went down a lot of dead ends and fell into huge potholes and we’re having a hard time climbing out. I want to save other people from going down those same dead ends and falling into those same potholes. If you don’t know exactly what you think would be the right direction, at least look at what we did and do something different. It doesn’t much matter what it is, just do something different.

Divorce Rates

I would like now to make a case that contraception is a factor leading to the increase in divorce. In the 1960s, 1 out of 4 marriages in the United States ended in divorce. Compared to the rest of the world and the US itself for most of its existence, that is a very high rate of divorce. At the turn of the century in the United States well under 10 percent of marriages ended in divorce. The divorce rate had been climbing up all century — contraceptive use had been increasing all that time as well. Again, in 1960 the divorce rate was 1 out of 4 marriages. By the mid 1970s 1 out of 2 marriages ended in divorce. It has stayed right about there.

Why did the divorce rate double between the 1960s and the 1970s? That’s a social revolution of unprecedented proportions. Never in the history of mankind has the divorce rate doubled in a short 10 to 15 year period. Why did it? Robert Michael, an economist from the University of Chicago, studied this phenomenon. As an economist he was interested because divorce, just like unwed pregnancy, is terrible for the economy. For some extended period of time people who are in divorced households often live on about half the income they had prior to the divorce. As an economist Professor Michael finds financial explanations most persuasive for explaining the increase in the incidence of divorce. He says that he has the data to show that couples who have a baby in the first two years of marriage and another one in the next two years — two babies in the first four years of marriage — have marriages that will last a lot longer than those who don’t. He explains that women who have babies early in the marriage become financially dependent upon their husbands. Even if things are going badly in the marriage, they’re going to stick it out and work at the marriage because a woman with babies at home needs the support of her husband. Now women are delaying childbearing until four or five years into the marriage. By that time a woman is established in her own career. She’s financially independent and so if the marriage goes badly and there are no children, she can kick her husband out. Even if they do eventually have children, she’s established herself in a career and she can take care of the children.

I suspect there is great deal of truth in Professor Michael’s explanations but I would like to suggest a few others. I think that when people have babies, they become much better people. In another talk I claim that the purpose of children is to make adults out of their parents. In fact, a person married to a parent is married to a better person. Being a parent nearly forces the parents to acquire certain virtues. Parents must become more disciplined, more charitable, more responsible, more hard-working. It’s hard work to get up in the middle of the night to take care of someone who’s crying and to change diapers and to plan for college and all the rest. That’s hard work. Both spouses take life more seriously. It’s as natural as can be.

One of my favorite people on the face of the earth is the first time father. I have had the great privilege and pleasure of seeing several of my male friends shortly after their first baby was born. Within about three sentences they all say the same thing. They float about 2 or 3 feet off the ground, they’re kind of dazed and they say: “Everything is different now.” And they mean it. Yesterday they didn’t care how good the school system is, who the chief of police is, whether the playgrounds are safe. Now that they have a baby, they do. They want to make this world safe for their children.

Robert Michael also says that adultery has skyrocketed since contraception has come on the scene. Can anybody figure out why that might be the case? If 80 percent of women are using some form of contraception, that makes a lot of women and a lot of men think that there is no problem with having sex with someone who is married to someone else. Many people had multiple sexual partners before they married. They don’t see any particular reason to stop after they get married. Because, you see, sex was no big deal before they got married. There’s no particular reason to think that it’s a big deal after marriage. Before marriage, sex was not an expression of lifetime love. Sex was not exclusive before marriage. It was just a fun thing to do with another person. How, when you get married, do you all of a sudden turn sexual intercourse into something that is profound, something that is a deep, intimate, exclusive expression of love for one person? How to do that 180-degree turn?

That’s why I want to talk about natural sex — which is not what people in our culture are having. The pattern in marriage in our culture is this: people have generally three sexual partners or more before they get married. Most people have sex in high school. If not in high school, certainly before they leave college. Maybe by the time they leave college, they are on their second or third partner. They split up with their current partner because there’s no real relationship there. Now they are out in the real world and it’s hard to find somebody. They start dating, pretty quickly they have sex, if not right away, eventually. Before long they are spending all their time at his place or hers. So they move in with each other. Why pay rent on two places? After a period of time people are saying: “When are the two of you going to get married?” The couple looks at each other and say: “Why don’t we get married? The sex is pretty good; we don’t fight that much; and who wants to start all over again?” That’s what I call “sliding into marriage.”

Currently people have had several sexual partners before marriage: some of those break-ups were accompanied with some degree of heartbreak, probably much confusion, perhaps some regret and guilt. Nearly everyone brings some sexual “baggage” in a marriage. Nearly all of the sexual intercourse they have ever had and will ever have is contracepted sexual intercourse. They contracepted before marriage and after marriage. Within marriage, they stop for a short period of time to conceive a child and then contracept again. Then they stop for a short period of time to conceive child number two. Then they get sterilized and then they get divorced. That’s the pattern in our culture, over and over again. People have had a very short period of time, if any, of what I want to call natural sex. They have never had a prolonged period of sex with someone whom they deeply love, to whom they have made a lifetime commitment, and with whom they are open to having children. Most of their sex life is contracepted, some of it in an uncertain relationship.

After one of my talks a man came up to me and said you missed a step in that little story you told. He said after the vasectomy or tubal ligation, one or other of the spouses often engages in an adulterous affair. He said he saw it at his place of work all the time. Man after man came in after he had a vasectomy and before long he was having an affair and before long he was divorced.

What you need to know is that couples using natural family planning almost never divorce. This is the biggest selling point of natural family planning when I’m talking to college students. The fact is, young people hate divorce. Either they’ve grown up in divorced households and they know the pain of divorce very personally or their friends have. Even if a couple has been married for 25 or 30 years and they think they are never going to get divorced, their kids don’t think that. The kids know someone else at school who went home and dad was packing up or mom was gone and they think it could happen to anybody. And so they’re living in this very fragile world. “Yeah, I don’t think Mom and Dad are going to get divorced, but Kevin didn’t think his mom and dad were going to get divorced either and they did.”

There is also an amazing difference for couples who don’t have sex before marriage. People who don’t have sex before marriage have an immensely lower divorce rate. Abstaining before marriage is one of the surest predictors of not getting a divorce. There is a study that shows that of people who were born between 1933 and 1943, 83 percent of the males were virgins when they got married and 93 percent of the females were virgins when they got married. And every decade thereafter it goes down about 10 to 15 percent of those who were virgins when they got married. Staying a virgin until marriage is one of the surest predictors of a long lasting marriage. Is that bizarre? Why would it be bizarre? You’ve waited for this one person. You probably chose this person fairly carefully. You said I’m saving myself for marriage, so I’m not just going to slide into marriage. I’m going to be very careful about this relationship. I am going to get to know someone slowly, let someone get to know me. The sex isn’t going to be at the beginning of the relationship; the sex is going to be at the beginning of the marriage. We’ve got a lot to know about each other before we can even begin to think about making that commitment.

Contraception’s Bad Consequences

What are the bad consequences of contraception?

It facilitates sex outside of marriage.

It increases the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.

It leads to unwanted pregnancy and single parenthood.

It causes and leads to abortion.

It contributes to divorce and it contributes to social chaos.

Does anybody think there might be a reason to rethink our enthusiasm for contraception?

 





How to Hurt a Spouse

7 08 2013

A Divorce Consoler's Advice on How to hurt a Spouse

A lady sought advice from a Marriage counselor. ‘I hate my husband. He’s making my life miserable. I want a divorce and I want to make things as tough as possible for him.’ The counselor advised, ‘Begin by showering him with compliments, indulge him in every whim. Then when he realizes how much he needs you and wants you, start your divorce proceedings.
‘Six months later, the counselor met the woman and asked, ‘When are you going to file your divorce papers? “Are you out of your mind?’ replied the woman indignantly, ‘We’re divinely happy





Reasons not to Divorce when Love is gone? By C.S Lewis

4 08 2013

reason not to divorceThe Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism—for that is what the words “one flesh” means, like when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined.

The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union.

The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

As a consequence, Christianity teaches that marriage is for life. There is, of course, a difference here between different Churches: some do not admit divorce at all; some allow it reluctantly in very special cases. It is a great pity that Christians should disagree about such a question; but for an ordinary layman the thing to notice is that Churches all agree with one another about marriage a great deal more than any of them agrees with the outside world. I mean, they all regard divorce as something like cutting up a living body, as a kind of surgical operation.

Some of them think the operation so violent that it cannot be done at all; others admit it as a desperate remedy in extreme cases. They are all agreed that it is more like having both your legs cut off than it is like dissolving a business partnership or even deserting a regiment What they all disagree with is the modern view that it is a simple readjustment of partners, to be made whenever people feel they are no longer in love with one another, or when either of them falls in love with someone else.

Before we consider this modern view in its relation to chastity, we must not forget to consider it in relation to another virtue, namely justice. Justice, as I said before, includes the keeping of promises.

Now everyone who has been married in a church has made a public, solemn promise to stick to his (or her) partner till death. The duty of keeping that promise has no special connection with sexual morality: it is in the same position as any other promise. If, as modern people are always telling us, the sexual impulse is just like all our other impulses, then it ought to be treated like all our other impulses; and as their indulgence is controlled by our promises, so should its be. If, as I think, it is not like all our other impulses, but is morbidly inflamed, then we should be especially careful not to let it lead us into dishonesty.

To this someone may reply that he regarded the promise made in church as a mere formality and never intended to keep it. Whom, then, was he trying to deceive when he made it? God? That was really very unwise. Himself? That was not very much wiser. The bride, or bridegroom, or the “in-laws”? That was treacherous. Most often, I think, the couple (or one of them) hoped to deceive the public. They wanted the respectability that is attached to marriage without intending to pay the price: that is, they were imposters, they cheated.

If they are still contented cheats, I have nothing to say to them: who would urge the high and hard duty of chastity on people who have not yet wished to be merely honest? If they have now come to their senses and want to be honest, their promise, already made, constrains them. And this, you will see, comes under the heading of justice, not that of chastity. If people do not believe in permanent marriage, it is perhaps better that they should live together unmarried than that they should make vows they do not mean to keep.

It is true that by living together without marriage they will be guilty (in Christian eyes) of fornication. But one fault is not mended by adding another: unchastity is not improved by adding perjury.
The idea that “being in love” is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made. The curious thing is that lovers themselves, while they remain really in love, know this better than those who talk about love. As Chesterton pointed out, those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy.

The promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits one to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry. But what, it may be asked, is the use of keeping two people together if they are no longer in love? There are several sound, social reasons; to provide a home for their children, to protect the woman (who has probably sacrificed or damaged her own career by getting married) from being dropped whenever the man is tired of her.
C.S Lewis





Murdered Girl’s Body Remains In-corrupt 1500 yrs After: Story Of Cecilia

25 07 2013

In the city of Rome, in the year 200, a beautiful girl whose name was Cecilia was given in marriage to a young man called Valerian by her parents. On the night of their marriage, she said to her husband, “I will tell you a secret. Will you swear not to reveal it to anyone?”
“I swear I will not reveal it to anyone. On my honor!” her husband replied.
“I have an angel who watches over me and will not allow anyone to touch me,” she said.
“Where is this Angel?” he asked, “I would like to see him.”
“You can only see him if you become a Christian,” she replied.
“Then I wish to become Christian.”
She then sent him receive the Christian faith from a priest and when he returned home, on entering her room, he saw her praying in her chamber, and an angel by her side holding two crowns of roses.
The Angel placed the crown on the head of Cecilia and her husband saying: “Keep these crowns with a clean body, for I have brought them to you from Paradise, and they shall never fade, nor wither, nor lose their savor, nor be seen but by those of pure heart. Cecilia preached had converted many to the Christian faith. But one day, she was arrested, and condemned to death because Christianity was illegal in Rome at that time. An executioner sent to cut off her head struck her neck three times, but was not able to sever the head from her neck. He left her bleeding, lying on the floor unable to move. Crowds came to her, and collected her blood with napkins and sponges, whilst she preached to them or prayed. After three days she died and was buried.
Seven centuries later, when her tomb was opened in Rome, the body of the Cecilia, was found perfect and incorrupt draped in expensive gold brocade and with the cloths soaked in her blood at her feet.cecilia 2

Above is the sculptor of Cecilia  by renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno who swore that he has recorded the body as he saw it when the tomb was opened in 1599. The statue depicts the three axe strokes described in the 5th-century account of her martyrdom. It also is meant to underscore the incorruptibility of her cadaver (an attribute of some saints), which miraculously still had congealed blood after centuries





My family bullied me to kill my son: Sierra Champion story

20 06 2013

They wanted me to kill my son

Sierra Champion son

Here is a story of a mother who defends her son’s right to life against the advice of  friends and relatives. I am sure that her son, whenever he gets to know will never forget how he owes his mother his life, literally

Sierra Champion: The day I “outed” myself to my ultra-liberal family, I was terrified. These are the people who basically tried to bully me into aborting my son (aka, their grandson) back in 2011. Lord knows I love them, but I was seriously considering taking this to the grave.

You’ve got to understand that I’ve always been the person in my family to keep my opinions to myself. Thank goodness I didn’t do that when I found out I was pregnant at 17 years old.

They tried to get me to kill my sonSierra and her husband.

I can date back several family issues that came up where I would nod my head and go to my room to keep from saying what I thought. By that time, my thoughts sounded like screams, and my ears would burn.

It’s very interesting to me that I’ve done this, because my parents have always encouraged my brother and me to speak our minds. And to be fair, sometimes I did. I was in the GSA in high school. I helped lead a peace rally. But should I go against my family’s beliefs?

I know this spiritual transformation I’ve been going through might look completely foreign to members of my family, but really it shouldn’t. They drove me to church, dropped me off, and then picked me up. I loved church. I’ve always loved God. I’ve always loved the messages of Jesus Christ.

Now, at 19, I am taking these things more seriously and trying to live like a Christian in every aspect of my life. I’ve noticed the gifts God has given me that I’ve stuffed down for so long. I have a voice. I’ve always used this voice in music, and my parents were always blown away by my sometimes very dark, deep lyrics.

At some point, your ears are burning too much that you just POP! Well, now I use my voice.

They like to think this is an “early 20s phase” and that I believe that abortion is wrong only because I’m a Christian. Oh, also something about me living in Texas.

Sorry to break the news, folks. I’m pro-life for many, many reasons. Yes, I do believe that the Bible is clear about this issue. But for me, I just have a hard time ignoring the scientific facts. I have a hard time believing that the testimonies of people who have worked in the abortion industry are “fake.” I know that those pictures of aborted children aren’t Photoshopped. I know countless women who regret their abortions. My mother-in-law hung out with Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. Norma, who helped make abortion legal, is now pro-life!

I mean, come on, guys. I have yet to meet someone who has made the switch from pro-life to pro-choice and has medical evidence to back up his or her claim.

I know you think that it’s rude to be in people’s business, because everyone had his or her private reasons for aborting his or her child. I get it. But with that same logic, if I see a little girl being punched by a guy on the street, I shouldn’t call 911 or somehow intervene. I mean, he must have his own private reason for abusing her, right?

You’ve taught me to stand up for injustice. Equality for all. Well, this is exactly what I’m doing! This is global genocide! I haven’t even covered half of the horrible things about the abortion industry.

As I told my parents I was pro-life, I realized that I’m done trying to not step on toes. Every day children are dying from legal and illegal abortions in countries all over the world. I’m a Christian pro-life warrior, which means I reach out with love and knowledge to people.

And I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have a young mom deliver her child and thank me for giving the message of life. So if you are reading this and have a similar situation, come out! Be proud to be on the side of life! Don’t be afraid to talk to women and men about this very final choice they are making. We are spreading the message of life, and it’s working!

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

P.S. If anyone is offended by my using the term “outing” because you think it only applies to LGBTQ, you might want to remember that “outing” yourself means embracing your identity. =)
LiveAction.





Forgive a killer ? Impossible!

12 06 2013

Forgive a killer ? Impossible!

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive. John Gualbert belonged to a rich and noble family. In his boyhood he was brought up in piety, but when he grew up, the attractions of the world deceived him, and he plunged headlong into the life of pleasure it offered him. He even began to think that dissipation and a life of pleasure were privileges that belonged to the position in life in which he was born. It happened that his oldest brother, Hugh, had been killed in a quarrel with a gentleman of that country. John formed the resolution of avenging his death by taking away the life of the man who had slain him.
One Good Friday, as he was coming from the country into Florence, he met his brother s murderer in a narrow defile, from which there was no possibility of escaping. In a moment his sword was in his hand, and, full of anger and the desire of revenge, he rushed forward to plunge it into the breast of his enemy. But the man, without attempting to escape, cast himself at his feet, and, stretching out his arms in the form of a cross, cried out : ” I conjure you by the passion and death of Jesus Christ, Who on the cross forgave His murderers, and prayed for them, do not kill me.”
John, remembering that that very day was the anniversary of Our Saviour s death, at once drew back. He threw away his sword, and, stretching out his hand to his enemy, said to him in a tone of sweetness : ” I will not refuse you what you have asked me in the name of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Not only do I grant you your life, but I also give you my friendship. Pray to God to pardon me.

“This story makes me sick,” some say when they hear this story. Some ask me, “I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?”

So do I. I wonder very much. Just as when Christianity tells me that I must not deny my religion even to save myself from death by torture, I wonder very much what I should do when it came to the point. I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.” There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly dear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it. What are we to do?
It is going to be hard enough, anyway, but I think there are two things we can do to make it easier. When you start mathematics you do not begin with the calculus; you begin with simple addition. In the same way, if we really want (but all depends on really wanting) to learn how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo. One might start with forgiving one’s husband or wife, or parents or children, or the nearest N.C.O., for something they have done or said in the last week. That will probably keep us busy for the moment. And secondly, we might try to understand exactly what loving your neighbour as yourself means. I have to love him as I love myself. Well, how exactly do I love myself?
Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of fondness or affection for myself, and 1 do not even always enjoy my own society. So apparently “Love your neighbour” does not mean “feel fond of him” or “find him attractive.” I ought to have seen that before, because, of course, you cannot feel fond of a person by trying. Do 1 think well of myself, think myself a nice chap? Well, I am afraid I sometimes do (and those are, no doubt, my worst moments) but that is not why I love myself. In fact it, is the other way round: my self-love makes me think myself nice, but thinking myself nice is not why I love myself. So loving my enemies does not apparently mean thinking them nice either. That is an enormous relief.
For a good many people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain that they are. Go a step further. In my most clear-sighted moments not only do I not think myself a nice man, but I know that I am a very nasty one. I can look at some of the things I have done with horror and loathing. So apparently I am allowed to loathe and hate some of the things my enemies do. Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.
For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.
Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again.
The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, “Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,” or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker.
If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything—God and our friends and ourselves included—as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.
Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment—even to death. If one had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I still think so now that we are at peace.
It is no good quoting “Thou shalt not kill.” There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. When soldiers came to St. John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that they ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when He met a Roman sergeant-major—what they called a centurion. The idea of the knight—the Christian in arms for the defence of a good cause—is one of the great Christian ideas. War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken.
What I cannot understand is this sort of semipacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage— a kind of gaity and wholeheartedness.
I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the first world war, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.
I imagine somebody will say, “Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?” All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating.
We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one’s own back, must be simply killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more. That is not how things happen. I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head.
It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves— to wish that he were not bad. to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, jot feeling fond of him nor saving he is nice when he is not.

I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself, God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out on our own case to show us how it works.
We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco. …C.S Lewis








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