Now let me start by saying that I love Chuck Smith. The guy is a living legend, and example of God's love. For those of you who don't know, Chuck Smith is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa California. He was one of the people that really embraced the Jesus movement, allowed rock music in the church, and by loving and encouraging young people to radical faith wound up overseeing one of the biggest churches in America, as well has inspiring the planting of literally hundreds of other churches. Many of the Calvary affiliated churches now are some of the most recognized churches in the country.
But more than that, Chuck always seemed the voice of God's love and grace. Whenever I listened to him, I felt the love of the Father. Maybe a myth, but I heard that after they installed new carpet in the sanctuary of Calvary Chapel one of the elders put up a sign "no bare feet" in order to protect the carpet. Chuck took the sign down, threw it at the elders and said, I will tear the carpet out before I stop one person from coming in to this church. That seems true to me, as that was the kind of guy I have always thought him to be.
So what made me so mad? Well almost every week day Chuck hosts a show called pastors perspective, which is a call in show where people can ask questions. But last week he had a special guest, one of the generals from Israels army. What we heard for almost an entire hour was pro Israeli propaganda (now I for one actually believe that the Israeli propaganda is probably a slight bit closer to the truth than the palestinian propaganda, but that is besides the point). Now that bugged me, but whatever. When I lost my mind was when Chuck Smith said, "if I was in charge in Israel, for every bomb Hamas sent into Israel, I would send ten missles into gaza targeting their government buildings! its the only thing those people will understand" Now in case you think I might have misunderstood, I didn't, they continued to joke about that with the general saying he wished Chuck was in charge, and all three of the host urging Americans to support Israel and their show of defensive aggression.
Return ten to one, it is the only thing "those people" will understand!!!
What the hell is that? I must admit I started screaming at my radio. Now as a nation, we are just as guilty as Israel, or Hamas for that matter, but a Christian leader saying that!!! How can a follower of Jesus say such things? Jesus, the one we are supposed to be following, the one who's commandments we are supposed to keep said:
"do not return evil for evil, but good for evil"
"If a man strike you on the right cheek, turn to him your left"
"love your enemies and do good to those who hate you"
"those that live by the sword will die by the sword"
"blessed are the merciful"
"blessed are the peace makers"
and I could go on and on. When will we stand up against this completely antichrist teaching of redemptive violence? When will we as the church begin to live out the mandate to be followers of Jesus, willing to die for our love of others, but not to kill for it? When will we realize the truth of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speach that said, "darkness cannot cast out darkness, only light can do that, hate cannot cast out hate, only love can do that"
Chuck, I love you my brother, but boy were you wrong on this one.