Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Turning the Other Cheek

For the last couple of days I have been musing on what I believe (and do not believe) in my spiritual life. I am a Christian. That much is certain. I was raised as a Southern Baptist, but I find some of the teachings (or lack thereof) there to be not my own belief. Much of it is what I believe is trivial, piddly stuff. (not that trivial piddly stuff hasn't created schisms among denominations in the past) There are things I believe that are much more in line with other Christian denominations and even Judaism. I try to use the Bible as the final authority on what to believe and what not to believe.

I am having one bit of trouble just now. If you have an opinion, please share it intelligently and without vitriol. Be prepared to back it up with scripture references, or well, you are just spouting off then, aren't you...

Anyway, here goes...

How does one justify Jesus' teaching of "turn the other cheek" with the (one's own, that it, MY own) belief that there are some things which must be fought for?

Now, there was the rage at the temple...Is "fighting back" to be reserved for blasphemy?
What about self defense? Self defense seems contrary to turning the other cheek. Does that mean we have to take abuse?
What about defending the week and abused others? Must we stand by and watch others being hurt, telling them to "turn the other cheek"?

The Old Testament is pretty full of people standing up for God and for themselves (and not), but as a Christian, how do I fit the teachings of Christ on the matter into my own beliefs. Are there other teachings of Christ that have bearing? I am not a scripture scholar (maybe I should have been. It would serve me better than having to read Homer repeatedly as a Classics major.) What does Paul have to say?

I will do some of my own research, but part of that is to consult trusted sources. You might as well be one of those until you prove otherwise.

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