Why are Jesus teachings unacceptable to Christians?  What do they substitute?
Posted: 10 June 2009 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20

Mathew 5:38-48

“You have heard that it was said (in the Old Testament) ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH,’ 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.

“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.  Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward to you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”  (end quote)

unsmoked asks:  Is this teaching hard to understand?  Why do Christians find it unacceptable?  Do they think Jesus was mistaken when he said those things?

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, or the World Trade Center, how many Christian preachers repeated Mathew 5:38-48 in their Sunday sermons?  How many Christians urged their president and representatives in Washington D.C. to follow Jesus’ advice, and not the EYE FOR AN EYE dictum in the Old Testament?

Is it fair to say that Christians have more in common with non-Christians than they do with Jesus’ teachings?  Why is it that Christian forum members never tire of defending the ‘truth’ of old creation myths like Adam and Eve, but don’t defend major teachings of Jesus like Mathew 5:38-48?

Is it possible that by talking and arguing about myths and miracles, by celebrating and making a cult of impossible things, Christians are able to deflect the conversation away from the heart of their founder’s teaching?  (a teaching they have no stomach for and have no intention of putting into practice).

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 June 2009 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1835
Joined  2006-03-26

And what about the teaching of giving up all your worldly possessions and giving them to the poor? Look at all those prosperity gospel preachers out there.

The teachings of loving your enemies and giving to the poor strip them of wealth, power, and influence. They prefer the Old Testament, with its blood, guts, and wrath. They’ll use Jesus when it’s convenient.

 Signature 

Bill Maher’s New Rule About Religious Tests for Office

Sam explains the difference between the belief in Elvis and belief in Jesus

Support the Separation of Church & State!
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 June 2009 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3255
Joined  2004-12-24

Because it’s about religion, not Jesus or God and the Truth(tm) or any of their rhetorical bullshit, and religion is ultimately about appeasing fear and validating and justifying the Dark Side of human nature.

 Signature 

“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 June 2009 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2006-10-02

Any country that turned the other cheek would cease to be a country in short order.  Obviously, these verses are intended for the individual believer.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 June 2009 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20
EMFrimbo - 20 June 2009 01:36 AM

Any country that turned the other cheek would cease to be a country in short order.  Obviously, these verses are intended for the individual believer.

Countless countries that lived by the sword have perished by the sword.  Countless countries that believed in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth have ceased to exist in short order.

The missing word here is ‘diplomacy’.

diplomacy n (1796) 1:  the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations 2:  skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility: TACT

Diplomacy calls for great intelligence, wit, tact, empathy, humility and compassion, among other things.  It doesn’t call for weakness.  One of the definitions of appeasement is to buy off an aggressor by concessions, usually at the sacrifice of principles.  That’s not diplomacy.

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 June 2009 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2006-10-02
unsmoked - 20 June 2009 03:12 PM

Countless countries that lived by the sword have perished by the sword.  Countless countries that believed in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth have ceased to exist in short order.

  Can you name a country that adopted “turn the other cheek” as policy and lived to tell about it?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 June 2009 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  777
Joined  2007-09-16

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, or the World Trade Center, how many Christian preachers repeated Mathew 5:38-48 in their Sunday sermons?  How many Christians urged their president and representatives in Washington D.C. to follow Jesus’ advice, and not the EYE FOR AN EYE dictum in the Old Testament?

Is it fair to say that Christians have more in common with non-Christians than they do with Jesus’ teachings?  Why is it that Christian forum members never tire of defending the ‘truth’ of old creation myths like Adam and Eve, but don’t defend major teachings of Jesus like Mathew 5:38-48?

Is it possible that by talking and arguing about myths and miracles, by celebrating and making a cult of impossible things, Christians are able to deflect the conversation away from the heart of their founder’s teaching?  (a teaching they have no stomach for and have no intention of putting into practice).

I think what you’re saying here, unsmoked, reflects just how much the Christian subculture, particularly in the US, has lost touch with actual biblical faith and a biblical worldview.  You obviously have in your mind what Christians and Christianity is all about, but there are countless Christians that aren’t buying into the same old arguments and are addressing relevant issues in the culture today…and that’s not simply to be more relevant, its actually fulfilling the commands of God to engage culture and live out their worldview, rather than hiding behind it. 

I will say, though, that you’re making some oversimplified comments and perhaps not intentionally.  I’m not a Christian Restructionist/Theonomist, and the majority of Christians in this country are not either.  What that means is that I believe that the Church and State are two separate entities, defined clearly in Scripture.  So when Jesus is addressing his disciples and others around him in Matthew 5, I don’t believe He is setting forth government policy or philosophy, I believe He is speaking of His Church and the Kingdom of God.  That’s pretty obvious from the context.  To try and apply the “turn the other cheek” passage to modern warfare and foreign policy is, I think, an exegetical and logical mistake…this, of course, is common practice with some Christians and with most non-Christian critics. 

Most Christians didn’t (and shouldn’t have) urge the President to take heed of Matthew 5 after 9/11, for example, because the Bible clearly gives the State the power of the sword and the right to protect its people (I don’t agree with Bush’s War on Terror in Iraq, but that’s for another time).  Having said that, my pastor and many of my Christian friends and I were very aware of the opportunity to be “Gospel-minded” and to make it clear that we are not to bear hatred or anger against enemies but to pray for them and love them in any way possible – so as to lead them to the knowledge of Christ (not just to be nice). 

I have no problem addressing the heart of Christ’s teaching, which was consistently about salvation and the Kingdom of God.  I’m ready to defend His teaching for any questions if need be…

 Signature 

“If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.” -Epictetus

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 June 2009 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  777
Joined  2007-09-16

Just to show that some Christians are not so shallow as may be assumed by many here, I’ve provided some song lyrics by a great Christian artist:

I have come to give you life
And to show you how to live it
I have come to make things right
To heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

‘Cause I would rather die
I would rather die
I would rather die than to take your life

‘Cause how can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love
My enemies are men like me
So I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
‘Cause my enemies are men like me

Peace by way of war
Is like purity by way of fornication
It’s like telling someone murder is wrong
And then showing them by way of execution

And I would rather die
I would rather die
I would rather die than to take your life

‘Cause how can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love
My enemies are men like me
So I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
‘Cause my enemies are men like me

When justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
Oh, the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

So how can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love
My enemies are men like me
So I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
‘Cause my enemies are men like me

 Signature 

“If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.” -Epictetus

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 June 2009 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20
EMFrimbo - 20 June 2009 06:37 PM
unsmoked - 20 June 2009 03:12 PM

Countless countries that lived by the sword have perished by the sword.  Countless countries that believed in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth have ceased to exist in short order.

  Can you name a country that adopted “turn the other cheek” as policy and lived to tell about it?

If you were alive in the 1950’s you might remember what it was like to live with the clock at one minute to midnight.  That wasn’t a doomsday expression voiced by a minority of alarmists.  Every thoughtful person on the planet knew that was the time on civilization’s clock.  The questions in the news was, “Will Kruschev pull the atomic warheads out of Cuba?  What will happen if he doesn’t?”

Sirens wailed all across the U.S.  School children dived under their desks.  Oh.  Just another test.  Millions of people built underground bunkers and stocked them with food and water.

As a child I spent some time in an air-raid shelter.  I had a pump something like a bicycle pump.  My job was to start pumping air into a rubber bag that contained my baby brother if my mother closed the zipper on it and gave me the signal.  A baby’s lungs aren’t strong enough to pull air through a gasmask filter.  The gas curtain on the shelter moved.  An ARP warden came in.  “They’ll be over us in ten minutes.”  He went out again.

We listened to the drone, getting louder and louder.  I looked at my sister.  To us it was like some kind of monster getting angrier and angrier.  I looked at my mother.  She was as white as a ghost.  She shook her head.  An old woman on another bench started to sing ‘Rock of Ages.’  We didn’t know how many there were.  Later, on BBC, we learned that 300 enemy bombers flew over us.  Their target was just five miles from us - the shipyards at Clydebank.  Would they miscalculate?  In the blackout, and flying at high altitude, could they see where they were?  We listened to the bombardment, the booming of the anti-aircraft guns, the buzzing of the Spitfires and Hurricanes, the peculiar sound that a plane makes when it falls out of the sky.  “Let me hide myself in thee.”

Finally we could hear them going home, going back to their airfields in France or Guernsey or wherever they came from.  Finally the all-clear sounded.  Clydebank was destroyed.  Unlike many who lived there, we were still alive. 

68 years later you don’t need 300 huge airplanes to destroy a place.  You don’t need four hijacked commercial jetliners.  You don’t even need a single high-tec drone the size of a model airplane.  All you need is a scrawny kid with a backpack and a brain filled with thoughts of paradise.  In a few years, if not sooner, the scrawny kid’s backpack will contain an atomic device.  Homeland Security knows this, and so do most people, Christians, Muslims, atheists, you name it.  Most of us know this.

Science has made it impossible to solve disputes with violence.  David and Goliath redux.  We’re Goliath.  Hopefully Goliath will learn the art of diplomacy.  After 9/11 the world was with us.  Then a handful of zealots hated us.  Now millions of zealots hate us.

[ Edited: 21 June 2009 12:22 PM by unsmoked]
 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 June 2009 12:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1585
Joined  2006-10-20
clayforHim648 - 20 June 2009 07:46 PM

Most Christians didn’t (and shouldn’t have) urge the President to take heed of Matthew 5 after 9/11, for example, because the Bible clearly gives the State the power of the sword and the right to protect its people (I don’t agree with Bush’s War on Terror in Iraq, but that’s for another time).

Please expand on this idea.  Does the Kingdom of God have different rules for the state?  If so, where are they?

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed