Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Pray For Those Whom You Disagree

Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:44 to pray for our enemies.  He said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Adam Clarke offers sound advice about this when he writes,

This is another exquisitely reasonable precept. I cannot change that wicked man’s heart; and while it is unchanged he will continue to harass me: God alone can change it: then I must implore him to do that which will at once secure the poor man’s salvation, and contribute so much to my own peace.

We Christians have not always obeyed this verse very well.  Like other humans, we can want revenge or to gloat over the fall of our enemies.  We enjoy watching people fail.  We enjoy it when we see people fall into sin.  This should not be but it is the truth.

Church History is also full of the evils we have done toward others.  Whether it be Martin Luther’s hatred for the Jews and his call to attack them or John Calvin’s treatment of the heretic Michael Servetus, we have a history of persecution.  During the Reformation, the reformers often called for the persecution of the Anabaptists.  Arminius was more charitable toward the Anabaptists though he disagreed with them.

After the infamous Synod of Dort, the victorious Calvinists took to persecuting Arminians.  Arminian pastors were forbidden from preaching, their churches were either burned or closed, and one Arminian at the Synod of Dort lost his head for his faith.  The persecution was intense against the Arminians.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Pentecostals faced persecution from other Christians.  Baptists and even Holiness churches persecuted the Pentecostals.  In the South, the KKK tormented the Pentecostals and burned their churches.  Men such as G. Campbell Morgan called the Pentecostal movement, “the vomit of Satan.”

Again, we have not done a good job in history of living out Matthew 5:44.

My first advice in living out Matthew 5:44 is to pray for those whom you disagree.  How often do you pray for those whom you dislike because of their beliefs?  How often do you pray for Muslims or for Hindus to be saved?  Do you pray for the Islamic terrorists to come to faith in Christ?  Do you pray, like Paul in Romans 10:1, for the Jew to be saved?  Do you pray for all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-6)?  Do you cry out for the glory of God to be revealed through those whom you disagree such as other disciples but different from you theologically?  For example, I disagree with Calvinism but this does not keep me from praying for and loving Calvinists.  I pray often for open air preachers I know who are Reformed in their theology and perhaps would not even sit at a table with me for my Arminianism but I pray for them and ask our Father to use them for His glory.

The sad history of the Church has seen too much violence toward those whom we disagree.  We need a time of peace and a time where we show the world the truth of John 13:34-35.  I am not saying that we lay down our theology for some sort of fake love.  I am saying that we need to pray for those whom we believe are damned or simply whom we disagree.  We are quick to write a blog post on a brother or sister but are we so quick to pray for them?   We cast judgment on people all the time but are we praying and interceding for them to know the truth of God?  We say we believe in a God who hears and answers prayer.  Then show it.  Pray for those whom you disagree and ask the Lord to transform their heart (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/03/2013 at 10:50 PM

One Response

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  1. You’ve given good examples of the intolerance often shown by Christians to those with different beliefs and good advice for us to try to follow. A good message!

    Bob Hunter

    11/04/2013 at 12:46 AM


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