Dr. Craig Smith, chair of the Theology and Ministry Department at Sterling College, continues to explore a Scriptural passage, Matthew 5:43-48, that has been of particular interest to him since he wrote "At the Cross: At the Crossroads," published in 2006 with OMF Lit. He has recently written "Loving Our Enemies: A Divine Task," a shorter piece which is also based on the Matthew 5 passage. This article will appear in the September/October issue of "Preaching" and is one of four articles by Dr. Smith that will be published this year.
Regarding this article, Dr. Smith says, “To love our enemies begins by determining who is our enemy. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn probably was closest to the mark when he said, ‘If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?’ Loving our enemies fulfills God’s Law and is an extension of the command to love our neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In its essence love-our-enemy love is selfless-outward-looking love which seeks the tenuous ground of being on the side of all people. For this reason it is costly,