Thursday, October 12, 2006

Covenant Thinking

There are many well intended followers of Christ using Old Testament references to defend their favorable stance on the war in iraq. The references elude to the fact the God himself destroyed cities/people and/or instructed men to do so. What if we think of the Bible not as Old Testament and New Testament writings but as the story of God and his people? In this story there was a covenant between God and his people. Humanity broke that covenant continually and God had a certain way of dealing with those people and situations. This covenant is now an Old Covenant. God established a New Covenant with his people through Jesus Christ: a covenant of unwavering love, forgiveness, peace, non-violence, and radical kindness. God himself revealed through Jesus has never changed, but his covenant has.

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Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."