The Real Enemy

photo credit: CBS

photo credit: CBS

We received a letter from one of our supporters that we thought was worth sharing, but we’ve left out the name of the author and other details for reasons that will become obvious as you read on. We hope this will both challenge and bless you. 

I have been a Woodland Hills Podrishioner for several years and a follower of ReKnew since it was launched. I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated the focus on the cross and on Jesus being the absolute center.

Over the past year or so, I have become more and more convinced as well of the centrality of pacifism to Jesus’ message.

The contrast between the message of the cross and mentality of the church in America hit me very hard last week.

I am employed at the Los Angeles International Airport. As I am sure you are aware, on Friday, November 1st we had a senseless shooting in one of our terminals which resulted in the death of a TSA agent and the wounding of several other agents and passengers. I spent the better part of two days assisting in the efforts to patch bullet holes, clean up “bio-fluids and solids”, replace carpet, etc. trying to make the terminal look as if nothing had happened. Something I never would have dreamed I would be doing at LAX.

Walking through the terminal with our police and with the FBI was a sobering experience. Seeing the aftermath of this senseless act of violence affected my spirit deeply. When I arrived at the location where the “shooter” was “brought down” by our police I was overwhelmed with a sense of compassion for this individual who was obviously deeply troubled. I had a clear vision of this young man as a victim of our real enemy.

Listening to our law enforcement staff describe the events of the day, and listening to them comment that the only thing they felt they did wrong was in not “terminating” the shooter broke my heart. I went home Saturday physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.

However, what has really broken my heart is when I went to church on Sunday, I heard the same exact comments. I wanted to cry. In fact, in our home life group Sunday night I did cry.

A couple of years ago I would have probably made the same comments. Now, thanks in big part to ReKnew, my theology has changed significantly. I was able to engage my home life group in a serious discussion of the appropriate response to violence and Jesus’ mandate to love our enemies. Several in our group were deeply affected by the discussion and the lack of contrast between the world’s reaction and their own. A seed was planted that I trust will continue to grow. This is indeed a mustard seed revolution.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your ministry. Keep presenting the truth of the gospel and contending for the kingdom.