by John D. Guandolo
“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…” Jesus of Nazareth
As a combat veteran who has worked with, counseled, and helped heal hundreds of combat veterans, the concept of “Love thy Enemy” is a tough one for many vets to swallow.
It is difficult for warriors to grasp the idea that even as you squeeze the trigger to destroy the enemy, they are not called to hate the enemy, but to take those actions out of love for the innocent.
There are individuals in the world who oppose the good, and promote evil.
Loving those who oppose everything that is good does not mean appeasing enemies of liberty, just like loving your children does not mean allowing them to do whatever they want.
America’s Founding Fathers built a law and government on the foundation of “the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God” which was legally defined at the time in Blackstone’s Commentaries as “the will of God” and “Holy Scripture,” respectively.
In Holy Scripture, Jesus commands the faithful to love their enemies (Matthew 5:43).
This week, Holy Week, the Christian Church celebrates the life, torture, death, and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
At this time I feel compelled to share a couple short stories I hope will inspire people to battle the enemy in defense of the innocent and liberty, while at the same time love the enemy.
The two are not mutually exclusive.
Several years ago, I was invited to attend the Middle East Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. This event takes place the day before the National Prayer Breakfast and in the same room.
The only thing I thought about this event prior to attending was that it was attended by a number of suit-wearing jihadis and a lot of naive Christians. However, the gentleman who invited me is a good man and encouraged me to keep an open mind and let God guide the morning.
At my table, I had some amazing conversations and interactions with Christians and muslims alike. The difference between me and almost all of the other Christians in the room was that I understand Islamic doctrine and the obligation of muslims to lie to non-muslims if it advances Islam.
Islam’s barbaric sharia enslaves muslims, so it is difficult to listen to “Christians” who claim Islam is “just a one-off of Christianity.”
“One God Three Abrahamic Faiths” we are told.
As I looked across the table, I saw a familiar face. The man sitting across from me was a Hamas leader from Texas.
True to my word, I let God guide the morning.
I felt as if I was supposed to pray for and over this Hamas leader. So I began praying for him knowing that God was asking me to pray over him before I left the event. When he got up at the end of the breakfast and headed straight towards the door, I followed him with no understanding of what I was supposed to do.
But God did.
In the end, I met him, spoke with him, and he not only gave me permission to pray over him, he thanked me and hugged me afterwards for it.
It was surreal and amazing at the same time.
In 2017, I was at an “interfaith” gathering at a Christian organization in Virginia. While there, I spotted one of the most senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders in North America. I approached him, spoke with him, and ended up praying over him.
He too thanked me and hugged me afterwards.
After he left, a “Christian” woman chastised me and said, “We don’t evangelize to muslims here.” I asked her if she thought that leaving someone in slavery was truly loving. She did not understand, so I gave her a ten second lesson on Islam.
I then asked her if she knew the man I just prayed over was a jihadi, no less dangerous than Osama bin Laden, but in a suit.
She was clueless.
Jesus taught his disciples to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents. He never taught us to be morons.
Speaking truth boldly in love always offends those who do not have the truth. We are called to set people free and share the truth with them.
Christians are called to be liberators. There are no timeouts, pauses, or cessations to that mission.
As we enter the Easter Triduum, UTT encourages American citizens to be willing to do whatever is necessary to defend themselves, their families, and their communities as the enemies of liberty advance their efforts. UTT trains citizens to identify hostile communist and jihadi networks and operate against them to disrupt and dismantle them.
It’s what we do.
At the same time, we are called to love and pray for our enemies, that they might have their eyes open, see the truth, and radically change their lives.
We can battle the enemy without hating them. In fact, we are called to lovingly bring truth to them to give them the opportunity to be set free.
It is Easter, and it is for all of God’s children. We are God’s hands and feet. Let’s start acting like it.