I needed my movie fix. I needed to give my brain a break. So what did I just happen to watch? Every movie I knew of that pertained to the Holocaust. I sat and watched the "The Pianist", "Uprising", "A Courageous Heart" and "Defiance". Each one an amazing true story all revolving around the same area - the Warsaw ghetto where the Nazis enclosed over 400,000 Jewish people. Then systematically exterminated them. I watched these movies in between studying love neighbor/love enemy. Can you imagine that? I didn't pre plan it. I didn't sit down and think "I am going to study love of enemy, so maybe as part of the research I should watch some movies about human atrocities" - and yet here I was watching them - as a break from study!
I got angry, I wept, at one stage I read of a horrific man in Treblinka (a Nazi death camp) that posed as a Doctor, they called him 'Doctor Death'. As tears streamed down my face after reading of what he had done to children, I said to him - "may you burn in Hell!" . God sat back and listened intently to my heart. I would then return to reading about 'Love even your enemy'. I said to God - How? How can what I am seeing here be forgiven?
As I watched the Jewish uprising and saw a small band fight to the death against the Nazis I again said to God "I would have fought alongside them God.... I am sorry". As an ex soldier (which I am) the option to take up arms in such a situation is certainly a consideration, even now as a Pastor.
And yet God was trying to show me another way...
I read Martin Luther King's novel Strength to Love. I admire Christians that live the faith. They are few and testify to Christ's words Himself... "Few find the narrow path". When you read of David Livingston, William Carey, Francis of Assisi, Hudson Taylor, Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King, something is different about the caliber of these people.
Not only did they read and write about the faith - they lived it. They actually lived and experienced it. My admiration for such people far surpasses the learned theologian that experiences their faith only through study. Without the practice, theology is mere philosophy. And has nothing to qualify its findings other than the fallible human brain confined in a seminary.
King's words spoke powerfully to me, the man that would be martyred in peaceful protest against violent rebuke encapsulated Christ's message -
"Jesus eloquently affirmed from the cross a higher law. He knew that the old eye-for-an-eye philosophy would leave everyone blind. He did not seek to overcome evil with evil. He overcame evil with good. Although crucified by hate, he responded with aggressive love". (Martin Luther King).