“(N)owhere in Scripture does Jesus give us permission to solve our problems, respond to aggression or even defend ourselves with violence. In word and in deed, we are often called to fight injustice and violence with words and actions that are distinctly NOT violent, even in self-defense. Turning the other cheek, defending with a swordstoning of the prostitute, etc, Jesus reminds us of other powerful ways to respond to those who would chose to goad us into violent conflict. Yes, we do those things out of self-survival and self-defense, and justified by society or not, viewed through a lens of the Christian faith violence of any kind cannot be justified.” – Bruce Reyes-Chow in his essay, ‘Why This Christian Will Never Own a Gun’

131 Responses to Quote of the Day: Turning the Other Cheek Edition

  1. I can cherry-pick the Bible, too.

    Joel 3:5-15

    For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland. 7 “See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The LORD has spoken.9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!”11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD! 12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. 13 Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow– so great is their wickedness!” 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.15 The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

    Looks pretty violent to me.

  2. I really don’t care if someone else chooses not to own a gun. I do care if they think no one else should either.

    • +1

      He can preach all he wants and hey–if even 0.01% of all the bad guys follow his path then the world will be a better place. Until that number goes to 100%, this Christian is packing heat.

  3. The man is right. Complain if you want, but the teachings of Jesus are fairly uniform on nonviolence at every provocation. The god of the Old Testament is a bit more…..genocidal. But in the actual red words, you’re not going to find any support for doing bad things to others before they do them to you. That said, no christian I know follows so much as a tenth of the Bible, so look at it this way, you won’t be any more of a hypocrite than people who don’t have tassels on the corners of their clothing, or who fail to share all of their income communally with their church.

    • I would never ever ask this man to set aside his beliefs, and make him buy a gun. He is welcome to believe what he wants. I just ask…. no I actually demand that he not impose his belief system on me, as I have not imposed mine on him.

      • He’s not. He’s largely speaking the truth though. If you are a christian, and you want to follow the words of Jesus, there’s nothing to keep you from carrying a gun (“sell your cloak and buy a sword”) but there is a blanket ban on using it, ever (“offer no resistance to evil men, instead turn the other cheek”). You’re free to ignore his religious injunction, because it is a load of crap, but he’s not wrong.

        • In the context of Jesus’ contemporaries, a slap to the face was an insult, not an attack. A person who slaps you does not intend to cause you any real harm, and intends only to injure your pride. I doubt that any person, even today, would consider a slap to the face justification to respond with lethal force.

          “Turn the other cheek” is a lesson in humility, not pacifism. We are not to respond to insults with violence. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t a responsiblity to defend the lives God has given us from violence, and with violence, if necessary.

        • Poor interpretation. The Hebrew bible says not to MURDER, it was translated to King James as KILL….see the difference (soldiers, people protecting, execution for the good of society, etc…). If you saw Hitler reaching for a button that would Nuke New York and you had a gun in your hand and you could stop it, would you not KILL him (knowing it is not MURDER)?

      • Yeah, the OP is not demanding you give up your guns just yet. What he will demand once he feels he and his political allies have the votes to force you to give up your guns as his kind has already done in the UK, Australia, and elsewhere, is altogether a different question.
        Don’t think in static analysis; think of what this guy will be saying when he thinks he can help impose his opinions on all gun owners in the USA.
        Pacifism is merely a cover for cowardice. Jesus said had He not come to die He would call on legions of angels to defend Himself. He is no pacifist. He, as part of the Trinity, ordered the slaughter of the Amalekites, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and yet still loved them as human beings.
        I can love like that, too.

    • The God of the old testament is Jesus. They are one in the same. If you read the new testament, you see Jesus telling the jews in John 8:58- “before Abraham was born, I AM.” When Moses talked with God in the burning bush, he asked “when the people of Israel ask who sent me, who should I tell them sent me. God responded, I am that I am.” God doesn’t change. He’s the same then, now, and forever.

      • You’re telling me you don’t see any difference between the old testament, eye-for-an-eye desert deity and the new testament, i’m-okay-you’re-okay deity?

        • The OT contains examples of God’s mercy and forgiveness just as the NT contains examples of God’s wrath and justice. It is amateurish to see the bible as artificially divided into the violent OT and pacifist NT. (Oh man we are just tearing this board up. Don’t any of you have jobs?)

        • “The OT contains examples of God’s mercy and forgiveness just as the NT contains examples of God’s wrath and justice.”
          ——
          Of course. But there’s nothing amateurish about noticing the marked difference between the slaying of the first-born and “pray for those who persecute you”.

          “Don’t any of you have jobs?”
          ——
          Back at you, mate. You’re here with us.

        • The difference between the God of the OT and the God of the NT is in the target audience and the prevalent culture.

          God did not change, people changed and so the message to mankind changed along with it though all the moral axioms remained the same.

          There is nothing taught in the NT that was not taught in the OT, but the NT does take a more inward directed perspective that does not contradict the OT, as Jesus said not one jot of the OT shall pass away.

          Amateurs and ideologues try to present two different deities in Christianity, the OT tribal God of war vrs the NT God of love and peace.

    • Actually, Jesus drove the money-changers and vendors out of the temple with a whip, and in Luke 22:36 Jesus commands the disciples that if they don’t have a sword they should sell their cloak to buy one.

      Nevermind the whole “coming back to slay his enemies with a sword from his mouth” bit in Revelation.

      I’d say as a Christian the command is pretty clear that we are to stand up for what is right and to protect others. If the best way to do that is by being armed, then that is how we should carry that out.

    • so what do you do with this New Testament COMMAND?
      Luke 22:36 New King James Version (NKJV)
      Then He (Jesus) said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
      Be Prepared!
      Andrew Snyder, amen!

    • Well, if you believe in Jesus and accept the Bible as scripture, you will note He instituted a Church to teach in His stead, to render decisions on earth which He will hold bound in Heaven. That He gave the authority to determine scripture and interpret it as well as teach the whole of the faith.

      2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”65

      2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

      If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66
      2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

      Regardless, there are a lot of folks who invoke Jesus but insist they are the true Pope and only their interpertation of scripture is correct.

  4. I know pastors who understand the bible much better than this clown, who carry a gun every day. They acknowledge that evil exists in this world, and are prepared to defend themselves or others from it if necessary.

    Giving yourself a victim’s mentality sets you up to be a victim.

    • No, you know pastors who know the bible well, but are willing to fudge their reading of it to support a more realistic worldview. It amazes me that people who argue for a clear reading of the 2A suddenly turn into Noam Chomsky when parsing the meaning of “turn the other cheek”. And Jesus said: “You have learnt how it was said: ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I say to you, Offer the wicked man no resistance.” That is pretty clear. I’m not saying you should follow it, it’s obvious horseshit. But if you want to follow the exact words of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, there’s your standard.

      • To turn the other cheek is not to accept meekly whatever is dealt to you. When a master struck a slave it was typically a backhand strike to the right cheek. When equals came to blows it was typically with forehand strikes, which for a right handed person would be to the opponents left (other) cheek. He intended for us to stand for what is right, including defended ourselves and others, and to treat each other as equals, none master over another.

        • Complete and abject scrambling to explain away the clear meaning of Jesus. Whatever helps you sleep mate. By all means keep your guns, and massage your religion to justify whatever you like.

        • @David T

          Excellent.

          @Tarrou

          The Bible is written in simple language, yet is highly complex. Parsing statements out of context does not lead to valid interpretation; the Bible is not the constitution. If you want to call Christians hypocrites for advocating intelligent self defense, I only ask that you offer an intelligent argument for doing so.

        • Tarruou,
          Actually it’s called exegesis. The Bible was written in a different culture with a whole different set of rules. Just taking what has been translated into English at face value for what it means to you is not how the Bible is supposed to work. To really understand it you have to take into consideration the historical and cultural aspects of when and by who it was written and what that meant in their time and culture. Then you can understand what was being said and what actually applies to us today.

          Try to understand what you are talking about before you attack.

      • Well, the Church which declared the Gospel of Matthew to be scripture teaches that self-defense is legitimate. Consistent with what was taught by that Church prior to the declaration of scripture.

  5. before there were “christian values” there was natures way, known as “survival of the fittest” and it is good to find out that useless mouth breathers like the one in this article will get to go meet St. Mike right off the bat when TSHTF.

    If you are not willing to fight for your own life or the lives of your loved ones then just march straight into the walk-in sized ovens at your local FEMA camp and turn yourself into their favorite ash/cement mix.

    With over 800 concentration camps and growing within the US boarders im sure you will be able to find one close to you that can accommodate you and everyone who thinks like you.

    • where are these concentration camps and who’s staffing them. fema draws it’s manpower from state. federal and local government during times of emergency. i know because i was activated into fema during flooding in wva. so, the teachers and janitors and high way workers are going to be feeding people into the ovens? need to step away from alex jones.

  6. In Ezekiel 21 we can read about how god loves him a nice sharp shiny sword.

    Some other scriptures (from the new testiment):

    Mathew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    And there are more, Jesus never forbade us to defend ourselves or those we love with any means possible. Instead, when speaking on the subject, Jesus was the two millennia ago version of a gun advocate.

    • See my above comment, because he did exactly that. The old testament is certainly another beast, but Jesus himself specifically forbade self-defense. You shouldn’t need an atheist to tell you that.

        • Then take scriptural advice from the son of a preacher and missionary, who spent his first sixteen years steeped in theological study and discussion. I’ve read the entire bible nine time, I’ve read Augustine, Luther, Wigglesworth, Freeman, and thousands of others. I’ve taught bible classes, and spoken at dozens of churches. If you think that my decision to use that knowledge to reject the basic religion disqualifies me, then I can only say, read your own bible. The article you link is a morass of poor argument, because it relies on practical injunctions for government, not the clear individual injunctions for christians laid out by Jesus. All of the clear injunctions they quote apply to government, not to individuals, and none of them come from Jesus.

        • “This is why you never take scriptural advice from an atheist.”
          ——
          Right. Because an objective and dispassionate reader could never understand the written word. [/sarc]

        • @ Tarrou,

          nine times, and you’re how old? Either you think you’ve learned it all (a fallacy, as God can reveal something new every day, even out of something you’ve read a million times) or you’ve given up on your roots… unless you’re only, at the oldest, 25 and started reading through the Bible at age 16.

      • “The Old Testament is certainly another beast” then why did Jesus say in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

        • Then tell me about your tassels and hairlocks. The only part of the Old Testament that Jesus claimed to change was animal sacrifice, you are correct. So talk to me about how you mix hyssop and ashes with fresh spring water whenever your wife menstruates. Talk to me about how you strictly keep the Sabbath. Be consistent. If Jesus intended the Old Testament to be followed, then follow it, barring the animal sacrifice. Get you thence to your slave girl, and scourge her for being raped. For so sayeth the Law.

        • Tarrou,
          You may have read all that you claim, but you obviously didn’t care to understand it. It’s not as cut and dry as you make it out to be. Go read Paul’s letters again, specifically Romans, you might find some interesting stuff there.

          I agree Christians don’t follow the Bible as well as they should, including me, but it’s about what a guy named Eugene Peterson (look him up) calls “A long obedience in the same direction”. In other words, sanctification. Not instantaneous, a lifetime process.

      • Yet the scriptures are there, clear as day.

        Also, if he forbade self defense as you attest, why then did he allow his disciples to carry swords as we can read they often did? Either by your assertion he was a very poor teacher if he could not convince his 12 most devout followers to abandon their swords even after convincing them to abandon their jobs, lives, fishing boats, and just about everything else, or you are wrong.

        Do not mistake Jesus allowing himself to be tortured to fulfill his father’s plan with Jesus demanding we all do the same.

        • These were fishermen Andrew. The only sword Jesus was referring to was the knife they would have used as part of that job. If you continue to read he tells them that 2 were enough even though he also knew they were going to come across some others with even bigger swords. Read scripture fully. Dont pick and choose. Its not good practice.

          Jesus’ words are very clear and we’ll all find out someday!

      • Funny, Jesus apostles understood Him differently and taught that self-defense is legitimate and proper.

  7. I wonder what happened to the seperation of curch and state. Laws regarding marriage, infedelity, abortion, etc are clearly against this concept, yet the SCOTUS refuses to address the issue.

    Yahoos like this one will indeed become a statistic in a criminal confrontation, or when the SHTF.

    • So religious doctrine and state laws need to be completely orthogonal?

      Here is the separation right here: “Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

      That’s it. It doesn’t mean a senator can’t be religious or have his religious values influence his legislation. It doesn’t mean we can’t make laws regarding the definition of marriage – either pro or anti-gay. We just can’t make laws creating a state religion or create laws preventing a religion. People take it so far as to mean that it’s against the law for a political figure to even mention his faith!

      • Those who cry the loudest of separation of church and state tend to ignore the second part of “Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” as they wish to rid This country of anything remotely associated with Christianity. (If you read the qua-ran, It actually calls for the Islams to kill those who refuse their religion. In Christianity, Jesus himself told his disciples to “Knock the dust off their feet” after leaving the city that refused to listen. Stating that their blood was on their own hands. No where did He tell the disciples to kill the unbeliever of the Ways of Christ.

  8. I tried to post a comment on the Presbyterian pastor’s web site in response, but it was deleted minutes after I posted it. I simply asked him, “Sir, if found a man in the process of raping your wife and killing your children, and you have a firearm in your hand, would you use it to stop him? If not, why not?”

    I’m a conservative Lutheran pastor and here is my view on keeping and bearing arms for self-defense.

    In an evil world, evil people do evil things. I am thankful that in this nation I’m permitted to keep and bear arms to defend myself, my family and others. As a Lutheran Christian I view this as a way of being faithful to the commandments that tell me I am to help my neighbor to improve and protect his body and life and all that is his. Here is how Luther explains our duties according to the commandment, “You shall not murder” “We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].” And here is how Luther explains our duty according to the seventh commandment, “You shall not steal.” “We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor’s money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business [that his means are preserved and his condition is improved].” From the Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther, source.

  9. This Christian owns a number of guns and they are all owned for there defensive application, don’t know what Bible Mr. Chow is using.

    • The one that you’re ignoring, obviously. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great, really I do. It’s a sign you’re not an idiot. The sign of a rational human being is making decisions based on the world he lives in, not the mistranslated ravings of a Roman-era desert ascetic. But it’s dishonest to just ignore those writings and claim divine sanction in the face of “Offer no resistance to evil men”. Take the Old Testament if you like, take the teachings of hundreds of later scholars, but you are doing the same thing to the bible that “Living Constitution” types do to the 2A.

      • I take the authority of the Church Christ instituted, and their intepretation of scripture since it is on that authority that the Bible rests.

      • “… mistranslated ravings of a Roman-era desert ascetic.”

        Tarrou you totally undermined everything you claim with that single statement. How many fragments of scripture dating back to, oh, say 90 A.D. have you inspected and compared to recent translations? Back to, 200 A.D.? Any fragments? If you had and know your Greek, you would know that recent translations of the Bible are more accurate AND reliable than ever.

        You would also know that Jesus claims to be God and claims to be the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Old and New Testaments, taken in their entirety, paint a very clear picture that life is sacred and it is appropriate for people to defend themselves when attacked. What is NOT okay is to respond disproportionately to attacks, to take revenge, or to try and deliver justice. It is the role of government to deliver justice.

      • Tarrou,

        Let me ask you a question my friend, can a Christian serve as a Soldier (combat) or a Law Enforcement Officer ?

        The Second Amendment is, simply put the “Love thy Neighbor” clause of the Bill of Rights. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to defend each other or come to the aid of another. I choose to carry gun(s) daily for not only my own defense but for the defense of my neighbor, whoever that may be, this falls within “no greater Love……..

        The bottom line is this;

        “It’s matters not the length nor quality of your life, what matters only the decision you make for Christ”

  10. I hasten to note that in fact my comment was posted, and it appears that Pastor Bruce said he would use a gun to kill somebody trying to murder his family. I asked for clarification from him, but wanted to correct my previous claim.

  11. Martin Luther posed the rhetorical question: “Shall the power of the sword be left in the hands of the Turk? (not an exact quote) In other words “can a Christian wield the Sword?” His answer was that each individual should turn the other cheek when he is assaulted but his neighbor should come to his defense. We defend ourselves by defending each other. You have a firearm to protect your neighbor and not yourself. In such an environment the civil peace is maintained by the group. Luther’s argument supports the reasoning behind the Second Amendment. The individual right to bear arms protects the community.

    Jesus spoke at a time when his followers had no civil authority. It is far easier to “turn the other cheek.” when you have no official responsibilities. He spoke of what neighbors do as private individuals. When Christianity became the legal religion of Rome Christians found themselves in a position of administering the legal system and assuming responsibilities for maintaining the civil peace. At that point Christians were required to “pick up the sword.” There is a whole doctrine of the righteous use of force by civil authorities. Mr. Chow is apparently not aware of this literature.

    • Well, I congratulate you sir, it’s good that you believe that religious authority does not rest with the words of the supposed son of god, but rather with political expediency and human scholarship. Well done, and welcome to the modern world.

      • The words of Jesus are not as cut and dried as you ignorant anti-religious bigots assume. Jesus, being God incarnate, carries with him the subtlties that go beyond the simple literal word for simple minded believers and unbelievers.

        • Perfect my friend. Tell me more about these subtle mysteries available only to the initiated.

        • Here is one for you: “I do not come to bring peace but the sword.” I guess Jesus was really an advocate of an armed insurrection.

          Oh well, I guess we should leave things up to the Turk.

      • I do accept that reigious authority rests with the words of the Son of God. He instituted a Church. That Church taught that self defense is moral. That Church eventually declared certain books as scripture to augment the teaching of the Church — BUT it did not contain the entirety of the faith, not all is written there. That Church has always taught and still teaches that self-defense is moral.

        If you reject that self-defense is moral, if you say His Church is wrong. Than why do you accept the Bible as scripture to begin with?

    • No, Christ is speaking about persecution precisely because of your faith, in other words, somebody puts a gun to your head and demands you renounce Christ, no, you die instead. Somebody slaps you because you confess Christ, you turn the other cheek.

      Christ elsewhere told his followers to take a sword along for self-defense.

      It’s really not complicated.

      Pacifism is not a New Testament teaching, despite what the liberals and confused people say.

  12. Look at it this way… Jesus’ Golden Rule not only applies to me as an individual, but to everyone else, as well. So, I won’t use my gun in anger or aggression to another of my brethren because that is how I wish to be treated….BUT, if my brother or sister chooses to aggress me, then he/she has shown me how he/she wishes to be “done unto”….and you all can figure out the rest….

    I do not care if Mr. Chow chooses not to own a gun, I only care that he and I and everyone else has the right to make the choice. I am not angry with him over the choice he has made, but would resist him fully should he choose to infringe on my right to choose….

    • this is perverse logic. the golden rule exists only as a one direction rule, if others chose to hate, the Christian will always choose to love. depending on the behavior of others for the obedience of Christ’s command is to completely miss the point.
      Matt. 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” NASB

      • Yes…exactly the same perverse logic that caused our Dads, Grand Dads and Great-Grand Dads to enlist by the millions to kick Hitler’s NAZI Armies out of Europe and Hirohito’s Imperial Japanese Armies out of the Pacific Islands, Asia and China…
        I suggest you write your post on a nice piece of paper and go pin it on the chest of the nearest Marine Gunnery Sergeant you can find, but you’d probably have more success trying to poke a pound of butter up a Tiger’s ass with a hot soldering iron.

  13. If your religion tells you to give up the right to self-defense….it isn’t the right to self defense you should re-think, it’s the religion itself.

    The fact that the bible is apparently so wishy-washy on the subject such that it’s easily cherry-picked like this is not a point in its favor.

      • I’m with Tarrou on this one: it sure is wishy-washy. I know the bible very, very well.

        One can choose to believe in it and accept the distortion necessary to make it relevant to anything other than the middle east circa 500 BCE (OT) or 45 CE (NT), as that is your right.

        Rejecting it is also a valid course of action, especially if you are disinclined to using mental/rhetorical gymnastics in order to justify it’s most disregarded parts.

        • If by mental/rhetorical gymnastics you mean academic study that is also applied to every other historical work ever studied, you’re right. Go ahead and reject it because you don’t want to think about it.

    • “jkp says:

      August 28, 2012 at 09:17

      If your religion tells you to give up the right to self-defense….it isn’t the right to self defense you should re-think, it’s the religion itself.

      The fact that the bible is apparently so wishy-washy on the subject such that it’s easily cherry-picked like this is not a point in its favor.”

      Clearly you have no idea what the bible is about and have an opinion of something you know nothing of. Read the Old Testament and find me wishy-washy… all I see is rage and donkey jawbones.

      • I think I might have some idea what it’s about. For instance, I’m pretty confident there’s more in the OT than just rage and donkey jawbones; however, if the OT were really all about rage then it wouldn’t be wishy-washy would it? It would actually quite consistent not?

      • @Buurr:

        Sure, the Old Testament by itself is at least a bit more consistent. (Though whether what’s in there is worthwhile as a moral code is a different question) ….but what about the New Testament? Read in conjunction with the Old? Jesus was pretty clear on that ‘turn the other cheek’ stuff, I thought.

        The fact that so many people argue back and forth on the issue of self defense (is it ‘shall not murder’ or ‘kill’? What does ‘turn the other cheek’ REALLY mean) it seems that the bible is anything BUT crystal-clear on the subject of self-defense.

        And that is not a point in its favor.

        • jkp says:
          August 28, 2012 at 10:41
          @Buurr:

          Sure, the Old Testament by itself is at least a bit more consistent. (Though whether what’s in there is worthwhile as a moral code is a different question) ….but what about the New Testament? Read in conjunction with the Old? Jesus was pretty clear on that ‘turn the other cheek’ stuff, I thought.

          The fact that so many people argue back and forth on the issue of self defense (is it ‘shall not murder’ or ‘kill’? What does ‘turn the other cheek’ REALLY mean) it seems that the bible is anything BUT crystal-clear on the subject of self-defense.

          And that is not a point in its favor.

          No. It isn’t always completely clear but that’s the point of it. It is not clear on a lot of things and it may seem contradictory in a lot of ways. But there is always the almighty context the books and words are used in when they are spoken. At different times in your life or even different events many passages of the bible are crystal clear. Other times not so much. I think the bible is very clear on the defense of ones family and self. A number of passages talk about a man’s castle and his responsibility to those inside. In some passages it is merely a house. But the message for me is clear. God does not want you to have a cut and dry feeling about killing another person because it should never be cut and dry. But overall, at least for me as a family man, God tells me to protect my own and keep their best interests in mind.

    • You read out of context: Once more, the full verse “You have learnt how it was said: ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I say to you, Offer the wicked man no resistance. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”.

      This is clear. Self defense and legal defense are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus. If someone sues you, you must settle, and for more than they are asking. If someone attacks you, you are to offer no resistance. You are free to ignore this, as any rational person would, but if you would claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, you can’t pick and choose.

        • Why don’t you tell me what Jesus meant by “Offer no resistance to evil men” then? I’m only a poor student who probably can’t parse the complexities of such a statement. I mean, I still think the the Second Amendment protects an individual right to military grade firearms, so what do I know?

      • You and I have a difference. Jesus said to try and correct you in private– well, hard to do on the internet. Than with a couple of witnesses. Then if we can’t agree, take it to the Church to settle it. Since we have different interpreations of scripture.

        If we take it to the Church, they have already said (see post above) that self-defense is legitimate. Do you want to pick and choose Church’s to go to? Christ said, again if you accept the Bible as scripture, that even the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. Having multiple Church’s with different answers and interpretaitons seems pretty incompatible with what Christ said. I’ll choose to refer to the Church which has been consistent in it’s teaching from prior to the canon of scripture being declared. And on who’s authority I rely in accepting the Bible as scripture in the first place.

      • If you look at the context of these verse as whole, they come from the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5). We need to understand these verses from the context of the entire sermon. In v.29 Jesus says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (ESV) Jesus is using hyperbole; he is not advocating self-mutilation. Likewise v.38-40 do no prohibit self-defense or legal defense. Please pick up a good commentary and it will help you gain a better understanding of these verses.

      • You keep saying this ‘offer the wicked man no resistance’. While that may be consistent in some context with other teachings of Jesus, I don’t know that using 6 words to the exclusion of the rest of the teachings on said topic is wise, or encompasses the whole of Jesus’ thoughts on the subject. We can all think of hypotheticals that would seem to create tough strictly biblical solutions, but I believe they are there for those who seek them with pure intentions. You likely also know, Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” This seems to encompass the entirety of Jesus’ teachings, by fitting with your ‘resisting wicked men’ interpretation, but allowing for self-defense as well.

  14. I seem to recall something about Jesus running around, knocking over tables, and generally being not very turn-the-other-cheeky with moneychangers at some point.

    Sounds pretty violent to me. Thou shall not **murder** — not kill. Big difference.

  15. I thought that historically turning the other cheek was interpreted as asking for another because the first blow was thought to be unwarranted and the second would be more forceful as it would be a backhand (if the person used the same hand) and carry with it the thought that the person slapping has been so grievously shamed that they in turn get to slap you twice?

    Using the ancient honor system that originated this term to slap someone twice was to say that you are much better than someone else and they far beneath you and after you slapped the second time you would have to prove it. This was never a good thing. The second slap led to outright violence from the slapped party and could lead to a whole family being shamed or even killed.

    Jesus grew up in this time and from what I have read Jews used this system in society regularly to resolve public disputes.

    I think people misinterpret Jesus’s statement of ‘turn the other cheek’ as one of peace and love but miss that he is actually saying that if someone has a grievance with you that you call them out and have it resolved in the eyes of the public.

    Just my thoughts on it. I know most people like to paint Jesus as the almighty hippy but in reality he was pretty hardcore.

    • This made me giggle, thanks mate. All of a sudden when someone points out how ones actions conflict with their supposed beliefs, there is a scramble to turn into linguistics lawyers to explain why they don’t follow the exact words of the son of god. See my other posts, you take the bible out of context and no amount of Noam Chomskying will save you. Better to acknowledge the clear meaning of Jesus, and reject it in favor of sanity and human rights.

      • Tarrou, the Bible is full of contradictions. At least, they look like contradictions. Jesus is a lamb, but he’s also a lion. Believers are to be gentle as doves, but shrewd as serpents.

        You accuse other people of taking passages out of context, but you’re fixating on single verse out of a *huge* book. You’re insisting that the meaning is perfectly clear, and that Jesus intends his statement to be understood as a command from God that is to be rigidly applied in all circumstances without exception or further thought.

        That’s how a youtube commenter intends his remarks to be understood. Jesus is a little different. If you feel inclined, you can figure out how.

      • “Tarrou says:
        August 28, 2012 at 09:56
        This made me giggle, thanks mate.”

        Yes, I too find historical practices comedic.

        “All of a sudden when someone points out how ones actions conflict with their supposed beliefs, there is a scramble to turn into linguistics lawyers to explain why they don’t follow the exact words of the son of god.”

        Who are these folk you speak of? Linguistics lawyers? Are you referring to my looking up how ancient folk resolved conflicts? If you are I suggest you do a little reading. These practices are not based on linguistics. They are based on many forms of cultural doings. Turn the other cheek. Tossing the glove. Flipping the bird. All have the same basic idea. It was a sign of man’s rebellion and his hate of being wronged.. What are you on about?

        “See my other posts, you take the bible out of context and no amount of Noam Chomskying will save you. Better to acknowledge the clear meaning of Jesus, and reject it in favor of sanity and human rights.”

        lol.. huh? Nah, I don’t think I will bother. You seem a little off the path to me.

  16. 4th commandment. “thou shalt not kill.” In orig Greek it reads “Thou shalt not murder.” To me the statement “Turn the other Cheek” reads that you use every means to avoid violence. You have a right to defend yourself and your family. I know a couple of preachers that have guns. The love to shoot them. Shooting is a great stress relief.

  17. Mr. Reyes-Chow is completely wrong! Like most pacifists, he quoting jesus out of context. I have a book coming out in mid-Sept. It’s called “A Time to Kill-The Myth of Christian Pacifism”. It’s over 300 pages reflecting my 20+year law career,30+ as a gun enthusiast and expert witness, and 40 years as a Bible teacher. It covers what the Bible actually says about the death penalty,use-of force,police and military,and Jesus’ statements on self defense:”turn the other cheek”&”live by the sword,die by the sword”.Pacifism is NOT in the Bible! Published by Mindbridge Press. Please check it out.

    • This book will unite every “please kill me, I’m Christian” and “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” under the banner of truth. The author is a brilliant man who has used his lifetime of study and experience to get to the truth of this oft-debated subject. A recommended read to all, that will solidify the truth about self-defense. (By the way, this is a shameless plug from Nikeratos’ ((What the heck kind of name is that?)) brother.) But, really, check it out.

  18. I’m a Christian who is very conservative in my biblical views and I’ve not found a better or more complete written argument on this topic than this article. I have no idea who wrote it but it starts with the OT and goes all the way through the NT and I have not yet found error with it.

    http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/

  19. I don’t pretend to understand these new-fangled religions. But who am I to question the author of the article or Tarrou?

    It’s certainly courageous of the head of the major sect of Christianity to forego armed guards then. What? “Papal Swiss Guard?” He has a body-guard? Wait, he’s got an _army_? Well, surely they aren’t packing. . .

    “The Swiss Guard use the SIG Sauer P220 handgun (P75) and the SIG SG 550 assault rifle. These are the standard issue weapons of the Swiss Army. The Swiss Army have promised to provide standard issue weapons to the Swiss Guard. These weapons would be familiar to the Swiss Guard as all members have served in the Swiss Army. MP5 sub-machine guns (SMG) and MP7 are also used by the Swiss Guards.”

    To say nothing of the rapier and halberd.

    • Absolutely mate, you begin to see. Not even the Pope buys that Jesus said what he clearly did, because it is insane. So you have two options, just file that verse away under “shit He didn’t really mean”, or consider the possibility that maybe he didn’t mean any of the other things he said either. CS Lewis put it best: “He was either the Son of God, or a madman, on a level with someone who claims to be a poached egg”. I take the great Lewis at his (paraphrased) word.

      • No. The Church Christ instituted has always taught that self defense is legitimate. (see first post above) The Pope is acting consistently with what the Church has taught.

        They declared the canon of scripture which we call the Bible. Why do you accept the Bible, which rests on the Church’s authority but then ignore their interpretation and teaching? You may criticize the Pope but, you are trying to be the Pope insisting that you interpertation is correct. What is your authority? Which version of the Bible are you quoting? Do you agree on the apocrypha being dropped? Luther adding the word ‘alone’ after saved by faith? If the Church was in error in declaring scripture, than why not drop a few more books out? Or add some the Church rejected?

    • Or a third option, “the Pope, who has spent most of his life learning, reading and pondering religion has an understanding superior to that of Tarrou et al?”

  20. Isn’t it funny? I took my better half to a nearby CCW licensing class last month (finally) which was one of those approved by the state licensing bureau. It turned out to be at the fellowship hall of a local church. They’re training about fifty students every other week.

    Evidently the class is famous among area Christians because most of those attending learned of it through their various congregations. They seemed to me to be devout–or at least comfortable with their beliefs–though no one talked their religion. I wouldn’t be surprised if Presbyterians were among the denominations represented.

    Even the heathens in the class seemed to be the law-abiding sort, though.

  21. The comments here are a very interesting read.

    I’m Jewish. IMO, I recognize the existence of a Jewish Bible and a Christian Bible rather than the belief in an Old and New Testament. God is the Creator of Life. To take the attitude or non-actions of a pacifistic and to refuse to defend oneself and/or other innocent people (your kids, a person walking down the street, etc) from an unjustified aggressive attack is an immoral unethical act. It is also an act of disrespect to God the Creator who has standards laws ie morals. By standing aside and letting evil triumph then in a sense a pacifistic has indirectly sided with evil.

    The Judeo-Christian tradition is that there are universal standards of right and wrong behavior. A defense killing to protect the innocent is a righteous act. A planned murder of an innocent defenseless person is an immoral act. Anyone who cannot distinguish between the two is wrong. The modern concept of ‘moral relevance’ that life is all subjective to a person’s ego and what makes a person ‘feel good’ is fine to act on is wrong.

    Your physical biological manifestation comes from your parents. Your spiritual life force that makes it all possible is from the breathe of God. God wants you to protect your life from danger just as He (not she) wants you to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health.

  22. Having read both bibles myself, they are hard to understand and really no solid conclusions can be had from them. To me, they simply contain the lessons for good living. But I am no scholar by any means.

    Also having read this entire thread, twice and unless I have missed it, in the bibles and in modern self defense law, self defense does not mean KILL in order to defend. It simply means stop the threat, then and now. Now, am I “out to lunch”? Or do I have it right?

    • You are exactly right. The point of self defense is to stop the threat, not to kill. If a citizen’s use of force was justified, the citizen is in the clear whether the attacker lives or dies.

  23. Two short comments I want to make in an already long thread:

    First, the “defend with a sword” link leads to the quote: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” That sounds peaceful and all, except as others have pointed out, hooray for out of context. That was not a statement of pacifism or anti-violence. When you read the full passage, you see it was simple tactical awareness. Jesus was there with 8-10 of his closest friends, when “a large crowd armed with swords and clubs” showed up to arrest him. He told one of his disciples to sheathe his sword simply because he knew they were outnumbered and at a tactical disadvantage. Also because “he knew it had to happen this way,” but that’s a different argument.

    Second: I’d like to congratulate all of you on having the discussion you’ve had without anybody getting obnoxious. It would have been really easy to go down that road.

  24. So let me get this straight…

    Someone makes up a story a million years ago (figuratively speaking) that gets translated a thousand times until someone (poorly) translates it into English and puts it in a book about some guy who believes he’s a god (or the son of a god) and you people still believe this crap is true?

    If Michael Bloomberg wrote a book about how guns are bad and no one should ever have one, would you believe that too?

    Religion is the first form of government. It is a way to control your mind when your body cannot be controlled. Most of you here believe the government has no place in our lives. And in the most hypocritical way, you allow the text of a thousand-year-old book to control your mind the same way governments try to control your life.

    Remember, all the people you know and love that have taught you these things have all fallen for the same scam you have. It’s not your fault. It’s easy to believe because it is such an epic, amazing story. The reality is that the “teachings of Jesus” are mostly the personal opinions of the last “translator” of the text into the current version of the book whose opinions were biased by previously accepted public opinion passed down from generation to generation. Remember the whole segregation/slavery thing? That was once previously accepted public opinion too. Still think that’s right?

    Believe what you want, but just because you learned it in school, in church, and from your parents doesn’t make it logical or right. The teachers in those familiar places are taking advantage of your young mind to shape it the way they want it to think. If you really want to be free, make your own beliefs – don’t just believe what everyone tells you. Don’t believe everything that you read. That makes you a slave. Even the opinions on TTAG shouldn’t be taken for “gospel”. This information should be used to form your own opinions.

    The belief in a god is fine and maybe even good for some. But to believe the text of the bible is pure fact is more ignorant than all the liberals in the land. It is merely a religious guide that reflects the bitterness and frustration of a people who cannot let go of their past. It’s probably time to move on.

    Free your mind. It’s okay to NOT believe.

    • “Someone makes up a story … that gets translated a thousand times until someone (poorly) translates it into English …”

      Your assertion is woefully incorrect. The scholars (people who have spent decades studying their subject) who translated the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) directly to English have generated extremely reliable and accurate translations.

      What you do with them is up to you.

      • Original languages does not equal the original manuscript(s). The oldest extant fragments (the “Dead Sea Scrolls”) date from anywhere between 408 BCE and 318 CE, and only contain bits of the old testament. The oldest extant example of the new testament is the codex sinaiticus, dated from roughly 400 CE. It is more than safe to assume that various writers between the time of Jeshua of Nazareth and 400 years later were willing to take some creative license with the story of his life.

        • If they did, it was at their own peril. God instructed that nothing be added, or subtracted from His word. If you want authority on the old testament, compare it to an English version of the Torah. The Jewish Bible in which the scribes who made copies were very meticulous in making sure it was copied exactly the same. (Yes, they even threw out writing utensils when they copied one of the descriptive names of God.)

        • There are thousands of fragments and copies of entire books of the Old and New Testaments in the original languages — and they all say the same thing regardless of how old they are. Keep in mind that “fragments” could be anywhere from a couple paragraphs to several pages of a book of the Old or New Testaments and predate entire books by several hundred years.

          “It is more than safe to assume that various writers between the time of Jeshua of Nazareth and 400 years later were willing to take some creative license with the story of his life.”

          I do not agree. There is no evidence and no logical reason to assume that a copy of something is inaccurate if there are thousands of verses in random fragments that are consistent with copies 100s of years more recent.

          I have looked at New Testament fragments dated to about 80 A.D. (at a liberal university no less) that are spot on with Greek reference and modern English compilations of the Bible. How many fragments have you observed that illustrate egregious errors in the current compilations of the Bible?

    • Wait, so biblical people didn’t keep pet dinosaurs? But all these Christian scholars have told me that the earth is only a few thousand years old and that fossils and radioisotope dating are just tools the devil is using to steal my soul!

  25. My wife and I are Junior High Sunday School teachers.

    I have told our students that in certain situations anger and violence are appropriate, but that they should be avoided at almost any costs.

    Case in point: John 2:15. Jesus made a “whip of cords”. Why would John have included that detail unless our Lord meant to use it? I believe that Christ, in that moment, became violent.

    I am a Christian and I strive to bring peace into the world. Also, I am a Christian who understands that the world can be a very evil place. As such, I choose to be armed and have martial (couldn’t think of a better word) training.

    I pray I NEVER have to use violence to defend others or myself. But, I think if I encountered a person being unjustly assaulted, I would have an obligation to defend them by any means appropriate.

  26. I knew when I first replied to this that the religion part would get the most discussion. That is why I said that I would not even think of trying to change Mr. Chow’s beliefs, and that I just want him to stop imposing his beliefs on me. Reading this entire thread reminds me that everyone has an interpetation of the Bible and most believe that their’s is the only correct interpetation. This is also true of most of the various denominations of Christian churches. I often invision Heaven as a collection of gated communities, where the members of “X” live here, and the members of “Y” live there, and the members of “Z” live in the corner….. and the rest of us live in another corner. YMMV LOL

    • “I often invision Heaven as a collection of gated communities, where the members of “X” live here, and the members of “Y” live there, and the members of “Z” live in the corner…”

      I heard a joke once. I grew up in the Baptist Church so I feel I can retell it without being accused of being anti-something. It goes like this:

      St. Peter was giving a group of new arrivals a tour of heaven. He walks them up to one door and says, “This is where we keep the Catholics.” It was a bunch of people laughing, talking, playing naked volleyball, etc. At the next door he said, “This is where we keep the Methodists.” Again, people laughing, talking, playing naked volleyball, etc. After a couple other similar ones, he walked up to a door and said, “OK, now when you look in here, you have to be very quiet. Don’t make a sound. Just look.” Inside that door was another bunch of people, just like the others, laughing, talking, playing naked volleyball, etc. As they moved away, someone asked, “St. Peter, why did we have to be so quiet when we looked in there? They looked just like everyone else we’ve seen…”

      St. Peter answered, “That’s where we keep the Baptists, and they think they’re the only ones here.”

  27. The most important rule of reading the Bible: read everything in the context of the verse/s at hand AND the Bible as a whole. Mr. Reyes-Chow violates both principles and thus his conclusions are incorrect. These two versus are examples that illuminate Mr. Reyes-Chows error. “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” (Exodus 22:2) “[Jesus said] … and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)

    Specifically:

    Mr. Reyes-Chow’s reference to “turn the other cheek” … it doesn’t mean we cannot defend ourselves. It means that we should have a “tough skin” and not be “hot heads” or “loose cannons” in today’s vernacular.

    Mr. Reyes-Chow’s reference to Peter’s sword is silly. Jesus simply told Peter to put it away because it was time for Jesus to “face the music” of his crucifixion. If Jesus did not approve of Peter having a sword, he would have ordered Peter to get rid of it months/years earlier — or even right then and there.

    And Mr. Reyes-Chow’s reference to stoning the prostitute also lacks understanding. Jesus was critical of the crowd because the crowd was just as guilty of sins that deserved the death penalty as the prostitute … and because no one was going to stone the prostitute’s male partner who should have been stoned with her.

    • The sell your cloak, buy a sword moment is about fulfillment of prophecy, not about defense. Look at the next lines; when Christ is told that they have a sword (a single sword), he replies that the one is enough. If we are to be literalists, should Christians only have one weapon per 12/13 men?

      • Nothing in that prophecy in Isaiah refers to swords for Jesus’ followers. Rather, Jesus knew that the Jews, who were willing to assault and murder him, were inclined to treat his followers (the “transgressors” numbered with him) the same way. Thus Jesus directed his followers to purchase swords so they could defend themselves from similar treatment.

        In the next lines the disciples tell Jesus that they already have two swords among the 11 disciples. And a couple verses later Peter even draws his sword and cuts off the ear of a servant in the mob that came to arrest him. This wouldn’t be the case if Jesus were a staunch passivist. And I see no reason to read this section that Jesus is directing us to arm ourselves at a ratio of two swords (weapons) to every 11 men. That is not consistent with the rest of the Bible.

  28. Interesting discussion, but ultimately fruitless. When it comes to religion, everyone believes what they want to believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s Reyes-Chow’s sincere belief that he should not defend himself or his family, just as it’s my sincere belief that he’s a f^cking idiot.

    • You are missing an opportunity though. There is a non-trivial number of Christians and Jews who are effectively passivists and resist gun rights on misinformed religious grounds. It is a fairly simple matter to educate them and have more gun rights supporters. The more gun rights supporters we have, the better.

  29. Matthew 10:34 (Jesus Speaking)

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”

  30. I’ve known Pastor Reyes-Chow in the past and he has thought-out reasons for his positions, even if you don’t agree with all of them. I’ll ask him if he’d be willing to post a response and more nuanced piece on his position.

    • What are you getting me into. Much more fun to sit back and read what people say about me from afar 😉

      I do find it disappointing how easily folks – either side – default to name-calling and disrespectful rhetoric. I know when I post comments, my filter is always, “Is this how I want to model vigorous disagreement for my children?” With this in mind, I will never use take the approach that so many easily take when engaging in debate online or face-to-face.

      Okay . . . off my soapbox. Have a great day!

  31. There are many situations where non-violent resistance against evil and injustice can work and has worked admirably in the past.

    The case of the crazy dude gnawing a homeless guy’s face off is probably not one of those situations.

  32. There are so many reasons nestled in these comments, coupled with the OP, that I became an atheist and will happily stay one!

  33. 5RKa2e6Fu8

    Here’s the basic truth: This is a forum for gun enthusiasts, and virtually all of the readers believe in self-defense and would have no problem engaging in justifiable homicide if they believed the circumstances warranted it.

    Just like the rest of life, if something in the bible disagrees with the enthusiast’s use of firearms or self-defense, well, it’s the biblical understanding that’s somehow wrong. Outside of a firearms context, virtually all Christians would agree that Christ preached non-violence, love, and forgiveness. However, when Christian doctrine actually goes against something enthusiasts believe in, it’s invariably that the bible is being misinterpreted, outside of the “proper” context, not what Christ supposedly meant, not being viewed in the proper historical setting, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong. I strongly support gun ownership and self-defense. But let’s be realistic here. The bible could have a direct quote from Jesus saying the ownership and use of weapons was strictly prohibited and that a Christian was to never fight back. Guess what? All the same Christians would have their same guns and have no problem using them. They would argue that the “weapon” was somehow metaphorical. Or perhaps that in the historical context the “weapon” really meant black magic or something else.

    In other words, people are going to conform their religious worldview to suit the realities of their lives and their other existing beliefs. That’s exactly why you will find the back-and-forth of biblical quotes in the discussion above. People want their guns and their right to self-defense first. Then, as religious individuals, they can rationalize how Jesus was not really non-violent to justify these existing beliefs.

    P.S. Since this will inevitably come up: Yes, I am a gun owner. Yes, I have read the bible. No, I am not an atheist or agnostic.

  34. Rom 8:35″Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

    38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Tarrou has a valid point and we should be challenged by him. But yet not one professed Christian above has considered his point, instead only attempts to explain it away are submitted. Some have even insulted him, are we so scared of this Jesus? We are taking a beautiful legacy of weak, exposed, undesirable people and trying desperately to be their contemporaries but without the vulnrabilities. Their fear was not death but of being seperated from Christ. Who here can say these people took up arms to protect their mortal bodies? And they were braver souls for it. Scenario: Me with my gun and bad guy with the intent, who dies? I am not talking about protecting others or pacifists nations, just me and the jerk bad guy. Does not the verse above say that even (mortal) LIFE would try (though fail) to seperate me from God? As a Christian have I not been promised life regardless of the outcome? I am not the judge of any of you. I know what I’d hope to do, but I also know what I probably would do. However, Let’s not forget the foundation of our faith is that the Perfect Man died so the worst of us could live. Fox’s “Book of Martyrs”, anyone?

    P.S. Tarrou is a character from the book “the plague” by Albert Camus and though the book was just ok, this character was amazing. You bare the name well, sir.

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