Thursday, October 17, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Matthew 5:38-42(NASB)
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' 39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
I'm still working through the Sermon on the Mount personal ethics and a pro-military stance. This passage would point to a pacifist stance. However, most of this isn't pacifism, it's generosity, a detachment from selfishness. The believer in this passage is to put greed and vengeance behind him and to put other's interest ahead of his own. Jesus is a subset of the same God that ordered the takeover of the promised land and many people wonder how the two ideas can intersect. In Luke 22:36, Jesus told his disciples to carry a sword, possibly to fend off robbers. John the Baptist's message to soldiers was "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages." He didn't tell them to become conscientious objectors and to go AWOL in protest. Self defense appears to be OK, as is being part of an army. However, where your life isn't on the line, selflessness is to be the goal.

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