Thursday, November 27, 2014

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK: STAND FIRM WHEN THREATENED

When the authorities tried to smooth things over and make nice with Paul and Silas for unlawfully beating a Roman citizen, Paul said, "No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out!" Now that was bold. 
I point out this boldness because I find that people carry the "turn the other cheek" statement by Jesus too far and make Christians weak. "Turn the other cheek" doesn't mean you can't defend yourself. What it means is don't cave to threats and intimidation. When the Nazi goons strike one cheek and warn you to shut your mouth about Jesus, you give them the other cheek, and say, "We must obey God rather than men." That's what it means to "turn the other cheek".
Some will say they taught their son to take a beating by the bullies on the playground. Well that's too bad. Is that what you did, dad? Dad, when the carjacker threw you out of the car and was about to drive off, did you tell him, 'Hey, here's my wallet too. I forgive you."? I didn't think so. When the burglar was breaking in to your house, you DID call 911 so guys with guns would come and protect your other cheek, didn't you? The Good Samaritan who jumps into action to help a woman being raped fortunately isn't so confused about Jesus' "turn the other cheek" statement. Imagine how ridiculous it would be to say, "If you are a Christian, you must turn the other cheek." The guy on the doomed flight that said, "let's roll" before attacking the terrorists is a hero and would make a good Christian example of courage. Too many cowards would cower in their seats and hide behind the fiction of "I turned the other cheek." Cowardice is not justified anywhere. There is nothing unchristian about defending your life.
Speak truth to power. Paul and Silas turned the other cheek. The authorities tried to break them, but these Christians turned the other cheek and held their ground. Hold your ground. Talk back to the powers. Speak truth to the bullies. Tell them, "No indeed! Come and humble yourselves before us because you acted unlawfully."
God bless. Dan

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