The Advent Project Blog for Today–Christian Gonzalez Ho on Christmas and Loving our Enemies

As a child growing up in church, I found it somewhat embarrassing the way the Old Testament referred to the “enemies” of God. In Exodus, for example, God commands the Israelites to wipe out their enemies, and in the Psalms, David prays that God would “break the teeth in their mouths” (Psalm 58). In a “civilized” society such as ours, I thought it was antiquated at best and barbaric at worst to speak of anyone with such vitriol and rage. But as I grew older and learned about American slavery, the genocide of the native Americans and of human trafficking, I began to understand both the desire and need for retribution.

For a long time in the West, the idea of “enemies” was somewhat theoretical. Enemies were ideologies, dictators in other countries, psychopaths on the loose somewhere “out there.” Now, at the end of 2019, as story after viral story of mass shootings, terrorism, police brutality, and rampant sexual abuse in every societal institution including the Church has shattered our delusions of insulation from evil, and our political discourse has become a battlefield, we in the West must reckon with the terrifying realization that our enemies are not “out there”—they are among us.

Ironically, in this moment, it isn’t the scriptures petitioning the decimation of our enemies that feel archaic and out of touch, but the New Testament’s mandate to love them.

Read it all (You may read more about the author there).


Posted in Christmas, Theology