Saturday, January 11, 2020

About that "turn the other cheek" thing

I'm writing this because a couple of people on Facebook truly managed to push me over the edge today, I don't mind people disagreeing with me, but I cannot handle being continuously provoked.

When it gets to the point where I ask nicely for you to back off, I MEAN, BACK OFF - especially if you're a repeat offender who likes to return to my wall to provoke me again and again! Today, the only way to get rid of those two guys was to block them, because it was the ONLY way to get them to shut up. I only have two cheeks to turn, and after that, all bets are off, because I “tell it like it is.”

While Scripture commands us to do everything in our power to maintain shalom, there are provisions for self-defense. Torah instructs the strong to protect the weak, Deut 22:27. Ya'akov teaches to "stand firm" against Satan, James 4:7. Paul teaches to stand against the strategies of the Accuser in Ephesians 6:11; neither does he mince words in Acts 13:10.

Isaiah 14:15 states that haSatan will be brought down to hell and a slaughter is prepared for his children (verse 21). Rev 20:10 promises a date for Satan in the lake of fire, in the meantime we are to recognize that our battles are not against flesh and blood, and to act accordingly.

We must remember that Y'shua taught his followers to make sacrifices for the Kingdom and to "take up their cross" and follow him. Many Christians take these ideas literally, knowing what he did on the stake; and, at certain times of the year, they parade large wooden crosses through the streets of their cities.

While Y'shua predicted hardships for his followers, he also told them to rejoice when it happened - but this didn't mean he wanted them to roll over and play dead. Clearly he intended his followers to live! .

Y'shua calls his followers to be beyond reproach so that false accusations against them will not have a negative impact. He knows that "they will lay hands on you and persecute you" on account of his name's sake (Luke 21:12) and he tells us: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18-25) Nevertheless, the fact remains that Y'shua always expects the best possible efforts from his followers, and this is where "turning the other cheek" really comes into play.

Keefa (Peter) was rebuked for cutting off the ear of a member of the arresting party. Y'shua felt so strongly about this being wrong that he restored the stricken man's ear. Why? Because he didn't want to escalate the situation and risk the safety of his own disciples.

Y'shua wanted the assaulter to have an opportunity to re-think his actions. Oftentimes assaults are made during momentary acts of emotion. For these reasons, Y'shua says turn your left cheek, and then see if your attacker is running on their emotions. Most people, if given a moment to think about what they are doing, would probably not resort to violence.

However, even if someone did, the act would indicate the intent and be so blatant that it would virtually guarantee either arrest and/or conviction of assault. Either way, this would again serve as an opportunity for both parties to make one final attempt toward reconciliation before escalating the matter further and winding up in court.

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